Business

Massive restructure to hit Microsoft

'Titanic' changes at Microsoft: Will CEO Steve Ballmer create an ecosystem to rival Apple's?
'Titanic' changes at Microsoft: Will CEO Steve Ballmer create an ecosystem to rival Apple's? Independent News & Media

MICROSOFT CEO Steve Ballmer is set to reveal a massive restructuring of the company on July 1, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal's technology blog, All Things D.

The changes are reportedly being overseen almost solely by Ballmer, with an end goal of changing Microsoft into a "devices and services company" - focusing on devices such as the Windows Phone, the Xbox and Microsoft Surface, and services like SkyDrive, Skype and Bing.

This new direction was indicated in the company's 2012 shareholder letter where Ballmer stressed the need for Microsoft to continue to deliver cloud services - for both consumers and enterprise - as well as "firmly establishing one platform, Windows" across a range of devices.

The Verge is reporting that Ballmer is considering reorganizing the company into four distinct divisions - enterprise business, hardware, applications and services and a group focused on operating systems - whilst also focusing on greater cohesion between Windows 8 and the Windows Phone operating system.

Creating unified ecosystems for mobile and desktop seems to be a common theme for big tech companies at the moment, and might position Microsoft to challenge the king of the ecosystem - Apple - more effectively.

Apple's WWDC conference attracted a lot of attention for its iOS 7 redesign, but it also unveiled a number of features that will tie together iOS, the upcoming OS X Mavericks, and its cloud services. There was a new Apple Maps app for desktop; a rebooted calendar app with an improved notification system synced across devices; iBooks for the desktop with streamlined notes and annotations; and even a revamped cloud-centric iWork for desktops, phones and tablets - slick enough to pose a challenge to Office.

You can compare these changes with Microsoft finally offering Office for mobiles (only for Office 365 subscribers - again, pushing users into the cloud); its shared tile-based UI for Surface, Windows Phone and the new Xbox One (though it's important to note that a shared look is not the same as a shared platform for developers - there are still separate Windows Stores for Phone and Surface); as well as the revamp of Outlook into a unified mail-and-calendar system, making the programme available for free at the beginning of this month.

For every Apple feature there seems to be a Microsoft twin, and vice versa: we might, for example, consider Apple TV as a 'console' to rival the Xbox. Although there's currently no games involved (yet - see the final chunk of this article) for the box's status as Apple's "hobby" it's not doing so badly, especially considering sales figures - around 6.5 million in the last 12 months.

Whatever changes Ballmer announces on July 1st, it seems they'll be pretty substantial:

"It feels like it is going to be titanic - that Steve is doing this change for his legacy," a source told All Things Digital. "And it's the first time in a long time that it feels like that there will be some major shifts, including some departures."

Some departures from the executive level are to be expected  in any major reshuffle, but many hope that Microsoft will be leaving behind old practices as well.

Topics:  apple, games and gadgets, microsoft, restructure, steve ballmer




UPDATE: 25-year-old man dies in Benaraby collision, video:

Fatal motorbike accident at Benaraby.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

Its been confirmed the man who died at the scene of the crash was 25

Parents fume over exit: So, why weren’t we told?

HEARTBROKEN: Stacey Wallace with Ashton, 8 and Elizabeth Martin with Nathanial, 8 and Tyler Jackson, 7 worry for their children’s future after St Stephens announced it will close.

“We need to rally together to keep it open"

LNG crash a slow-moving train wreck: expert

NEW CYCLE: When LNG tanker Methane Mickie Harper left Gladstone on January 8, 2015, the spot price was about $9LMMBtu.

LNG companies will have to wait until next decade for return

Latest deals and offers

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

Aussie director makes his mark on new Roots mini-series

Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte in a scene from the TV series Roots.

BRUCE Beresford behind final episode of remake of iconic series.

Wham bam, thank you TAM

Regional TAM is increasing its audience measurement services by 50%.

Regional television viewers finally getting the credit we deserve

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles