Sat, Jul 13, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Microsoft Corp unveils sweeping company shakeup

AFP, NEW YORK

Microsoft Corp announced a sweeping reorganization of the company on Thursday to “enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world.”

The US technology giant said the “far-reaching realignment” would help integrate efforts around its software and devices.

“We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies,” chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a memo to employees.

“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,” he said.

“One Microsoft” strategy would seek to bring together diverse segments such as Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and others,” Ballmer said. “Today’s announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”

Microsoft remains the dominant PC software firm with its Windows operating system, but its activities have broadened with the Xbox gaming console, the Windows Phone operating system and the Surface tablet. The company also offers cloud and business services.

In the mobile space, Microsoft is far behind players such as Apple Inc and Google Inc, which sell devices and make the operating systems for tablets and smartphones.

“Building upon Windows, Xbox and our growing suite of consumer and enterprise services, we will design, create and deliver through us and through third parties a complete family of Windows-powered devices — devices that can help people just as much in their work life as they do after hours,” Ballmer said.

“We will strive for a single experience for everything in a person’s life that matters. One experience, one company, one set of learnings, one set of apps, and one personal library of entertainment, photos and information everywhere. One store for everything,” he said.

Changes to the management structure are intended to make the colossal technology company’s divisions and teams more collaborative while eliminating bureaucracy and duplication of effort, executives said on a conference call.

Microsoft is not planning to lay off workers, but anticipates “lots of opportunities” to “map people to new and expanding needs,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft shares ended the official trading day in New York up nearly three percent to US$35.69.

Raimo Lenschow, a Barclays analyst, said the new strategy “makes a lot of sense, given the demands of consumers for a more unified experience across devices.”

RBC Capital Markets analyst Matthew Hedberg added that “it should better position the company and realign resources for the next leg of technology evolution.”

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