It is no secret that Microsoft has been marked by extensive inter-organizational strife. In a comical organizational chart, while every other company appeared to be interconnected and working towards a common goal, Microsoft organizations were depicted to be at war with one another, with each organization pointing a gun at the other. Far from an unwarranted criticism, Microsoft has had infamous internal feuds between divisions, which have driven a lot of Microsoft’s talent from the company.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the organizational structure is soon to change. Currently Microsoft has 8 product divisions. The company announced on Thursday that it would replace this framework with 4 broader divisions centered on functional themes, an attempt rein in employees and organizations into more cooperative umbrellas.
In addition to creating more unified employee structure, Microsoft hopes these changes will unite their product compatibility. Terry Myerson, who was previously responsible for only the software engineering for the Windows Phone, is now entrusted with the software that powers Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. Similarly on the hardware side, Julie Larson-Green will lead hardware development for Microsoft surface, Xbox and PC-related accessories. Ballmer believes that these changes will help create “One Microsoft,” a company not marked by competing interests of highly specialized organizations.
If the reorganization does what it is intended to do, you can expect Microsoft to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and compatibility in the rapidly evolving technological landscape, which means more products and updates for us. Further, The consolidation of software and engineering of multiple MS platforms under one branch could potentially mean better integration of Microsoft devices (phones, xbox’s, PCs and tablets), giving you a complete Microsoft experience that rivals the Apple experience.
Ballmer’s memo is a sign that Microsoft understands that the technological environment has changed rapidly and that Microsoft must update their business practices with these changes. While reorganization may alleviate some of the detrimental inter-organizational competitiveness, a change this large must be accompanied by a change to the corporate culture. Once the company culture changes, only then will the idea of “One Microsoft” truly be accomplished. We will have to wait and see if that is accomplished with this reorganization