After a long wait, which many industry onlookers have hinted might have beent too long, Microsoft Corp have announced a major resuffle plan in an obvious attempt to be be more flexible in the face of the massive switch in direction that the computer hardware and software industry has been taking over the last year or so.
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/ By Stanley Green/
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s often hard pressed CEO within the last few days has released his plans for the company which he was on of the co-founders and have been struggling to retain their role as among the movers and shakers of the computer industry. In a memeo circulated among the company’s thousands of employess world wide before the weekend, Ballmer stressed that the comapnay needs to go through major changes in the very near future. Changes that will see the company begin to rally behind a single strategy as well as having each of its divisions better organized by being “functionalized.”
While the arrival of Ballmer’s and Microsoft’s “vision for the future” has been widely anticipated in the industry as well as loyal followers of the company’s products and services , who are looking for some sign of the breakthaking innovation that revolutionized the world of mass communnication when Bill Gates was at the helm at Microsoft.
A number of industry commentators are already phophesying that it may be too much of an uphill climb for Microsoft to be able compete with their more flexible thinking industry rivals, who have showed themsleves to be more capable of adjusting to the rapidly changing situations in the industry.
Ballmer led Microsoft have often been accused of placing too much of an emphasis in “buying themslelves out of trouble” instead of being more self-examintory and developing products that reflect the new face of the hardware industry.
The call for change by Microsoft, who still remain the world’s largest software maker , despite unenthusiastic response to the company’s latest version of their flagship Windows operating system, Windows 8.
So optimistic were Microsoft that they succeeded in bridging the gap between the desktop screen and tablet that they launched a global marketing campaign extolling the virtues of their latest operating system and its “ touch screen” qualities. However as the product began to hit the stores worldwide, complaints began to flood in on its many technical “ glitches”. Sufficient to cause Microsoft to suffer the embarrasment and horrendous costs of having to institute a major rewrite of the product, just a few months after it first hit the shops.
Ballmer has long since made it public notic that the company needs to be less reliant on its software department, and diversify more into hardware, while retaining their focus on maintaining a single company identity.
In the meantime, to get the “ new Microsoft” up and running, Ballmer has instituted some major personnel changes in the upper echelons of the company.
The ultra- important role head of head of Microsoft’s devices and studios engineering group, with the responsibility of overseeing hardware and software development, including games, music and entertainment goes to company veteran Julie Larsen Green who has gradually replaced Steven Sinofsky, who left Microsoft shortly after the launch of Windows 8.
In charge of the operating systems and engineering group, will be another Microsoft long termer , Terry Myerson while Qi Lu will be given the role of head applications and services.
What many industry observers remarked upon was that Ballmer had resisted the temptation to head hunt a “ big name” from within the software or hardware industry, instead preferring to depend on the old guard.
This backs up the thinking that Ballmer stressed in his memo, where he insists thjat Microsoft will only move forward operating as a cohesive company rather than 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. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands, ” Ballmer summed up in his memo.
Where Microsoft have led the field for many years, they have been knocked of their perch by both Apple and Google, whose market values are much higher than Microsoft’s, a fact that must be difficult to accept for the Redmond, Washington-based company’, especially when it comes to Google who only went public less than nine years ago.
Apple who have been around for around the same time, but have come on in leaps and bounds, especially when Steve Jobs returned to manage the compnay have seen their stock value mulitiply by 2, 500% while Google;s stock has risen by 1000% since their IPO. During the same period Microsoft’s stock value has risen by just 30%.
On the news of the reorginization Microsoft shares rose by just 67 cents to $35.37.