Windows is key to any Microsoft reshuffle, analysts say

Jul 12, 2013 by Rex Crum

A high-level management shakeup is expected at Microsoft Corp. in the coming days, and analysts expect the effort will expand upon Chief Executive Steve Ballmer's stated efforts to turn the software giant into a more nimble business entity.

Various media reports have pointed to Microsoft announcing a of its business that would include significant changes to its upper-level executive team. The goal would be better alignment of its devices and services businesses in a that is being driven more and more by the quick release of applications and mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

The AllThingsD technology blog reported Monday that the shakeup could be announced Thursday, based on the current plan, though the timing, it reported, could change.

Ballmer himself hinted that a new direction was in store for Microsoft when he spoke last month at the company's annual Build conference for developers in San Francisco.

"The transformation we are going through as a company (is) to an absolutely rapid release cycle," Ballmer said, calling this philosophy "the new norm" for Microsoft.

Ballmer was speaking about the upcoming release of Windows 8.1 less than a year after Windows 8 debuted to a mixed response. And it's the role of Windows in all of Microsoft's main product releases that's seen by many as central to the company's restructuring plans - however they may shake out.

"I think it's going to be more of a realignment around devices and services," said Rick Sherlund, an analyst who covers Microsoft for Nomura Equity Research. "Windows code is in everything, so I think this will be about aligning resources and management that optimizes efficiency and focuses strategy on that."

It's possible that some of what Microsoft has planned has already taken place. Last week, Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft's Xbox division, left the company to become chief executive of social-gaming company Zynga Inc. Microsoft has not yet named Mattrick's official successor; Ballmer said the various heads of the Xbox business will report to him.

Frank Gillett of Forrester Research said the one thing that Microsoft doesn't need to do is rearrange the deck chairs in "a conventional reorg of aligning around a current set of personalities." Instead, Gillett argued that the company needs to better serve its new strategy centered on hardware and services.

"Witness the lack of coordination in marketing between Windows and Windows Phone, despite a common design language," Gillett said. "What Microsoft needs to do is align the organization to customer experiences that focus on the individual and on the IT buyer and enterprise (customer)."

Janney Capital Markets analyst Yun Kim said combining the Windows and Windows Phone business units, in particular, would be "a positive step towards providing an integrated user experience across multiple devices for the consumer market."

Some analysts who follow Microsoft say it would be in the company's interest to take some action that reflects better communication with investors. Sherlund said it's possible the company could bring back its yearly meeting with financial analysts as a signal it is being more transparent about the performance of its business units. Microsoft hasn't had such a meeting for two years.

"They probably need to flesh out a lot of questions people have about each of these business segments," Sherlund said. "I think people want to know what your model is going to do for Windows, and you might have to have a venue to explain in detail how that model might change."

Explore further: Microsoft woos developers with 're-blended' Windows

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Windows 'Blue' set to preview June 26

May 14, 2013

The tweaked version of Microsoft's operating system nicknamed Windows Blue will be previewed on June 26 and will be a free update for users as Windows 8.1, the company said Tuesday. ...

Microsoft CEO sees Windows as key to growth plan

Sep 14, 2011

(AP) -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer expects the Windows operating system to be "front and center" in the software maker's growth strategy despite a recent slowdown in personal computer sales.

Ballmer says 'Windows Era' everlasting

Nov 15, 2011

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer proclaimed an everlasting "Windows Era" as the software giant's board easily won re-election at an annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday.

Microsoft opening mini-shops in Best Buy stores

Jun 13, 2013

Microsoft on Thursday announced that it is expanding its real-world retail push with mini-shops inside 600 US and Canadian stores operated by consumer electronics chain Best Buy.

Recommended for you

Enabling dynamic prioritization of data in the cloud

Apr 14, 2014

IBM inventors have patented a cloud computing invention that can improve quality of service for clients by enabling data to be dynamically modified, prioritized and shared across a cloud environment.

Uber meets local lookalikes in Asia taxi-app wars

Apr 14, 2014

Riding on its startup success and flush with fresh capital, taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber is making a big push into Asia. There's a twist, though: Instead of being the game-changing phenomena it was in ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 12, 2013
"I think it's going to be more of a realignment around devices and services," said Rick Sherlund, an analyst who covers Microsoft for Nomura Equity Research. "Windows code is in everything, so I think this will be about aligning resources and management that optimizes efficiency and focuses strategy on that."

In my analysis of the situation, Microsoft should realign resources, management and synergies into the one thing Microsoft does best and what it's user base demands.....

The fucking START button.

More news stories

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

( —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Unlocking secrets of new solar material

( —A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

New US-Spanish firm says targets rich mobile ad market

Spanish telecoms firm Telefonica and US investment giant Blackstone launched a mobile telephone advertising venture on Wednesday, challenging internet giants such as Google and Facebook in a multi-billion-dollar ...

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

( —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...