The lights are on
As we suspected earlier this morning, Microsoft has made its reorganization official. CEO Steve Ballmer has sent an email to staff titled "One Microsoft," in which he details the new way the business will be operated.
The company will be organized into a number of divisions: Engineering, Marketing, Business Development and Evangelism, Advanced Strategy and Research, Finance, HR, Legal, and Operations. Within engineering (the home of Xbox One), there will be four units: Operating Systems, Applications and Services, Cloud and Enterprise, and Devices and Studios.
Ballmer's vision for a monolithic Microsoft has significant implications for the Xbox One creation, which is now split in half. Terry Myerson, formerly head of Windows Phone, will head the Operating System unit, which includes the Xbox One's core functions. Following Don Mattrick's departure, Julie Larson-Green is now in charge of hardware (Devices and Studios), which includes the Xbox One's tangible components. Additionally, this new organization puts Skype head Tony Bates in charge of developer relations and evangelism, which could have impact for the Xbox One on the post-launch software side.
Ballmer's email stresses collaboration as a key focus of the reorganization. "Improving our performance has three big dimensions: focusing the whole company on a single strategy, improving our capability in all disciplines and engineering/technology areas, and working together with more collaboration and agility around our common goals," Ballmer told employees. For those intently watching the Xbox One's communication issues, one passage might offer some hope. "We will reshape how we interact with our customers, developers and key innovation partners, delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings," Ballmer offers.
Other implications include a path toward a new financial reporting structure that will no longer break out different business units. This would make it much harder for investors to discern what products are underperforming. As with any change in financial reporting, comparison becomes difficult in the periods immediately following a shift.
Microsoft will be holding a town hall meeting at 10 am Pacific for employees. We've reached out to the company for comment. The full transcript of Ballmer's email to staff can be found here.
[Source: All Things D]
Our TakeI am skeptical about how this will help the Xbox One get back on its feet. The reorganization might be good for Microsoft as a whole, but splitting the finalization of the Xbox One across two engineering divisions with two different, new leaders seems ill advised. Once the console is launched, Myerson's group will be responsible for refining the user experience, which likely won't require the same level of interactivity with the hardware team.
We're eager to hear from Larson-Green about her plans for the Xbox One launch, how she'll be using existing staff like Phil Spencer, and how she and Myerson will navigate the launch with two separate divisions handling crucial functions.
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Man, I just wish MS would leave good enough alone! Why not just build upon the 360? Make it faster, stronger, and make Xbox Marketplace as good as or better than the PS+. I love Xbox but man, for some reason the Xbox One has given me a bad vibe. I don't know why but I'm not taking the chance with $500 and I end up hating what they're doing. I'll wait a few years to get my One.
At this point I just feel bad for Microsoft. All of their recent products pretty much suck lately. No one's buying Windows Phones, everyone hates Windows 8 and now the Xbox One has had the worst reveal, most hated in the history of gaming.
This restructuring leaves me worried about the state of the Xbox One. With the Xbox division being split right down the middle and the division software side of Xbox just becoming one of many parts of the new software division leaves me worrying. It seems to me that the Xbox will continue to focus less and less on gaming and more on other entertainment. My thing is how much does this new head know about gaming? Does she have any experience on this front? If the answer is no and none, then it'll probably happen that the Xbox One will end up not so great in the long run.
It's like building a house and putting the architect in charge of interior design later on.
Seems like both Sony and MS keep doing these management-shuffles to "unify" their experience - and neither really follow through. I'll believe it when MS unveils true cross-platform capabilities.
You know, I kind of like the "Our Take" section. It helps separates the bias from reporting, which reporters don't really do anymore. Thank GI, for being one of the few news outlets with common sense!
This right here!!! is Why I'm going to Best-Buy and canceled my per-order and get a PS4...("Xbox MVP" and director of the company's consumer camp Marques Lyons says it's "entirely justifiable" to file a $500 Xbox One purchase as a business expense.)
MS I AM NOT A BUSINESS..So NO!! i can NOT write it off as a Business Expense you bunch of Dumb Blimp Blimp....OMG...Are you kidding me...and to think i have been be-hide MS from day one...It's over..Sony fan now for sure.. I don't see MS for the gamers this time around, No wonder Sony eat there lunch at E3 and Now...
I hope Ms is reading what All of us long time die-hard fan are saying, Cause i'm really going to trade my per-order Xbox1 for a PS4, i really wanted a xbox1 as i have the past two, But MS don't sound like to me they got it all together this time around, and $499 is a lot...Sony sounds like they are all for the gamers,,,it breaks my heart cause i really support USA made items, But a man got to do what a man got to do!!!!! Ms here the steps you need to take to get back on top...
1. remove the force of Kinect
2. Gaming Gaming
4. gamers only want System, controller, Headset
5. forget bout cloud and suck to DVDs
6. all the above if you going to get my $499.00 and not Sony
remember...I have bought Xbox from day one, only one PS3 sons room and 4 360..4 Xbox...I maybe the BIGGEST Xbox fan ever till NOW, SAD
and microsoft fumbles again
Evangelism....wut. Am I missing something here?
There it goes again, sorry Microsoft.
This doesn't sound like too good of an idea.
Well, it seems odd. But at least they're trying...
Hey Microsoft if you are reading all these comments read this one real good take a page from Sony and let us swap out the internal hard drive.
Bad news eminent
I don't believe these changes will effect the release in any significant way. Being only a few months out, the console is already in manufacturing, the packaging and advertising bits have probably already been prepped, and all the games are finalizing development. Remember, June 30th is the end of the fiscal year for Microsoft. Doing a restructure now actually makes perfect sense. Dan Mattrick needed to be replaced, and (from the Microsoft perspective) it's the start of a new year.
As for the complexity, this sounds like a high level reorganization. For the average employee, their boss's boss's boss's boss probably changed, but the group/team/what-ever-you-call-it they work with everyday is probably exactly the same.
Something as big as the Xbox should have such freight train like momentum that changing the chain of command a bit shouldn't slow it down. Microsoft isn't removing any components, they're just changing where they sit in the machine.
bad PR. but will still be a good console.