The restructuring comes as Microsoft attempts to pivot from its roots in desktop computing towards a mobile computing strategy that includes smartphones and tablets such as the Microsoft Surface. In his letter, Ballmer said that under Microsoft One, the number of engineering divisions would shrink from eight to four: Operating System, Apps, Cloud, and Devices.
In addition, as Apple Insider notes, the company will now be organized by function – marketing, legal, business development, etc. – with more collaboration across divisions.
"We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company – not a collection of divisional strategies," Ballmer wrote. "Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands."
So is this a good move for Microsoft? Well, over at GigaOM, Barb Darrow, a veteran tech reporter, answers with a qualified yes.
"[I]t is crucial that the changes take direct aim at a long-running Microsoft problem: Fierce political infighting," Darrow writes. "When I covered the company day to day, the best way to get dirt on Office was to ask the Windows guys and vice versa. Clearly, after decades of that, and faced with huge and capable (and well funded) competition – Google, Apple, Amazon et al., Microsoft can’t afford to let that behavior stand."
In other One/Microsoft-related news, the limited launch edition of Microsoft's Xbox One console, which won't actually debut until later this fall, is already sold out at Best Buy.
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