‘One Microsoft’ strategy unveiled

Microsoft has announced a new “One Microsoft” strategy and major restructure that aims to ensure the way its different products and services are developed and marketed become more of a reflection on how people use many types of technology together in their everyday lives as it looks to better compete with rivals such as Apple and Google.

Microsoft Surface

CEO Steve Ballmer spelled out the “One Microsoft” vision in a memo to staff today (11 July), which he says will focus on creating a “family” of devices and services for individuals and businesses that “empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most”.

He adds: “This is a big undertaking. It touches nearly every piece of what we do and how we work. It changes our org[anisational] structure, the way we collaborate, how we allocate resources, how we best empower our engineers and how we market.”

As a result the company will be reorganised by function rather than product and will consist of: marketing, business development and evangelism, advanced strategy and research, finance, HR, legal, various engineering groups and COO – which includes field, support, commercial operations and IT. The restructure means all parts of the company will contribute to core products such as Windows, Office 365, Windows Phone, Xbox, Bing and Azure.

The marketing group will be led by current Windows CMO Tami Reller; Mark Penn – the former Clinton electioneer and currently Microsoft’s president for strategic and special projects – will be charged with Microsoft’s new centralised advertising and media functions; while president of the Skype division Tony Bates will lead the business development and evangelism division.

Marketing going forward will now reflect “one company”, with an integrated approach to both Microsoft’s consumer and business customers meaning adverts are likely to be more brand than product-led. The brand will reflect the business plan and also Microsoft’s employees’ values: to be “personal, valued, inspired and forward-looking”, the memo continues.

Ballmer adds: “In the critical choice today of digital ecosystems, Microsoft has an unmatched advantage in work and productivity experiences, and has a unique ability to drive unified services for everything from tasks and documents to entertainment, games and communications. I am convinced that by deploying our smart-cloud assets across a range of devices, we can make Windows devices once again the devices to own. Other companies provide strong experiences, but in their own way they are each fragmented and limited. Microsoft is best positioned to take advantage of the power of one, and bring it to our over 1 billion users.”

Microsoft’s new vision is similar in both name and approach to Sony’s, which announced its “One Sony” strategy last year to better align its array of products and services around three core divisions. 

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