In a newly released memo, Microsoft has outlined a new corporate structure that it hopes will allow it to deliver a products faster.
The changes were outlined in a memo that went out to Microsoft employees this morning from Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer. Entitled “One Microsoft”, the memo gives a somewhat on-high look at how the company will be replacing the structure it has today.
Instead of the business division structure the company has today, Microsoft will stop focusing on specific product brands and goals with each division. For example, instead of having one division that solely focused on Windows Products, the new Microsoft will have one division whose sole job it is to create operating systems for all of its products.
It also seems that the company will centralize most of its operating departments as well. Today it isn’t uncommon to find marketing teams on each product group and division, however with the new structure, marketing will be common a division into itself.
Consumer oriented products will breakdown like this:
The Operating Systems Engineering Group will be headed by Terry Myerson, the current head of the mobile communications business that produces Windows Phone. “It [the Operating Systems Engineering Group] will span all our OS work for console, to mobile device, to PC, to back-end systems. The core cloud services for the operating system will be in this group.”
The new Devices and Studios Engineering Group will be led by the current head of the Windows division Julie Larson-Green and be responsible for “all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices we [Microsoft] builds. Julie will also take responsibility for our [Microsoft’s] studios experiences including all games, music video and other entertainment.”
Your eyes don’t deceive you. Microsoft will be splitting the hardware and software development of its consumer facing products across divisions. For example the new Devices and Studios organization will assume responsibility for the Xbox One hardware, however the software and Xbox LIVE will be maintained by the Operating Systems Engineering Team.
Microsoft’s suite of applications and online services like Office, Bing and SkyDrive will now live in a division all on their own dubbed the Applications and Services Engineering Group.
There’s a ton of other details here, but it seems the general idea is to forget about the boundaries that form when one division is responsible for a brand and simply pool resources talent from groups who know those types of products better. For example a centralized Application group might be better at creating a Music application than the Devices and Studios Engineering group as they have more ability on the platform.
Either way, this reorganization could get all kinds of confusing. Microsoft says it will share more about the new structure through the end of the year.