Microsoft Makes Changes to Get Its Products, Services to Sync Better

PHOTO: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer speaks during the keynote address during the Microsoft Build Conference on June 26, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
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One Microsoft. That was the subject line of a memo sent from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to the entire company this morning. The software giant has crafted a new strategy, along with a series of leadership changes, all toward the goal of making Microsoft a more cohesive company with products and services that sync better together.

"Going forward, our strategy will focus on creating a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most," Ballmer wrote to Microsoft's nearly 100,000 employees.

WHAT TO KNOW
  • Microsoft will make a series of leadership and strategy changes to get its products working better together.

While Microsoft took steps to incorporate many of its services into Windows 8 last year, much of the divisions have been siloed. For instance, Xbox stands separately from the Windows, Bing and Skype teams. The mission is to change that and get everything working in unison, or as Ballmer puts it, with "One Strategy, One Microsoft." The full memo can be read here.

"We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services for the high-value experiences and core technologies around which we organize," the memo reads.

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To achieve that the company is now being reorganized into core groups, which include the operating system, devices and studios, applications and cloud fractions. Terry Myerson will lead the operating systems group, which will include Windows and Windows Phone. Julie Larson-Green will head the devices and studios group, which will oversee the hardware development of everything from the Surface to the Xbox.

Larson Green, who joined Microsoft 19 years ago as a program manager for Visual C++, took over for Steve Sinofsky last year as the head of Windows.

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Microsoft recently announced the next version of Windows -- Windows 8.1 -- which aims to fix some of the major complaints about Windows 8. While the company has a foot in the mobile world, it has struggled over the past few years to keep up with the Apple and Google in the smartphone and services race.

"It improves their consistency in operating systems. Tying them all together better -- from search to their phones and to tablets and PCs," Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told ABC News. "The new war is an ecosystem war. It is essentially across multiple devices and multiple experiences."

Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have emerged over the past few years as the main device and services companies, each aiming to get customers to buy their devices and spend time in their software and stores.

Microsoft's new One strategy won't be the only solution to helping the company, but industry experts certainly think it will help. "I wouldn't go as far as say it would make them more competitive, but it certainly puts them in a position where they can be as competitive," Moorhead said.

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