In a lengthy email entitled “One Microsoft”, Ballmer revealed the new changes and spelled out how he expects them to make the company faster and more efficient.
“Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world,” wrote Ballmer, who stays on as chief executive.
“We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do.”
The changes see several Microsoft center its engineering efforts on four key areas: OS, Apps, Cloud and Devices.
The OS group is poignant because it will see Microsoft group together its three operating systems, including Windows Phone and Windows 8, and the division is to be led by Windows Phone chief Terry Myerson.
As previously predicted, Windows boss Julie Larson-Green will oversee all hardware development (including Xbox) in the newly-named Devices and Studios Engineering Group.
Other notable personnel changes see Qi Lui lead the Applications and Services Engineering Group and Satya Nadella oversee the Cloud and Enterprise Engineering Group. Kirill Tatarinov will continue to run Dynamics, while Tami Reller will lead all company marketing.
Kevin Turner, who has hinted at new Surface tablets, continues as COO and former Skype president Tony Bates will manage the Business Development and Evangelism Group (which involves liaising with OEMs, silicon vendors and developers).
Despite today’s announcement, Ballmer spells out that the changes will take time and says that existing teams will continue working on current developments, such as Windows 8.1.
“Completing this process will take through the end of the calendar year as we figure things out and as we keep existing teams focused on current deliverables like Windows 8.1, Xbox One, Windows Phone, etc.”