Feeds

Fewer chairs remain after Microsoft reshuffle

Put it down, Steve. Gently

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft has rejigged the company's reporting structure, collapsing the seven divisions created in 2002 into three new ones. It's a bid to deal with the process issues that have bedevilled the company, exemplified by the delivery of Microsoft Vista three years later than planned, and several features short.

The changes are "designed to align our Business Groups in a way that will enhance decision-making and speed of execution," reads the canned quote from Fester that's supplied in the press release.

In five years since Ballmer took over the CEO's job from Gates, Microsoft has moved from anarchy to a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. The culture of "MaMaM", or meetings about meetings about meetings, is well known in the industry, but reached a wider audience with defection of Microsoft's China Labs chief Kai Fu Lee to Google, which led to suit and countersuit. Microsoft's inefficiencies even amused the Chinese Communist Party, Lee alleged.

In addition to the major restructuring, Microsoft also announced an expanded advisory role for CTO Ray "Lotus Notes" Ozzie, and that veteran Windows manager Jim Allchin will step down at the end of 2006.

The reshuffle sees the Information Worker division and the Business Solutions division collapsed into a new Business Division. That's one less chair, and nine fewer syllables.

The Home and Entertainment division responsible for Xbox and Flight Simulator is merged with the Mobile and Embedded division to create the new Entertainment and Devices Division. That's one less chair, too, and six fewer syllables.

Robbie Bach will head up E&D, and Jeff Raikes the Business division.

Everything else, including MSN and tools, as well as the cash cows of Windows and Office, is collapsed into Allchin's Platform Products and Services division.

Jupiter's Joe Wilcox points out that this breaks the close alignment between Office and Server, and Office and Tools, that has been such an important part of Microsoft's enterprise success. Think, for example how the Outlook client bundled with Office drove Windows Exchange server sales as Redmond successfully targeted first the department, then the enterprise.

"The amount of integration between Information Worker and Server & Tools products is staggering. In fact, several server products are actually part of the Office group, and Microsoft's 2006 product strategy is all about server software-to-Office integration," writes Joe.

" Microsoft's doesn't want to mess with the Office-and-server formula. Remember that New Coke fizzled."

It's at odd with what Microsoft wants users to think of as a new platform: "Office Server".

The new structure will help Microsoft target verticals more closely. Moving people off old versions of Office, which as Chris Caposella acknowledged most users deem "good enough", is a priority for 2006.

For continuity, the seven old divisions keep their accounting structures intact.

And the reaction from inside Microsoft?

We turned to Microsoft's most famous weblogger - a character renowned and lauded for his integrity.

But no word, yet, from Who Da'Punk.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.