Microsoft Officially Announces Reorganization Plans

As anticipated, president Steve Ballmer and CEO Bill Gates outlined a fundamental realignment of the company to meet the needs of its customers, rather than merely focusing on technologies.

"When we took stock of our ability to meet these future opportunities, it became clear that we were organized to meet today's needs but not those of the next decade," Ballmer says. "We realized that we needed to renew Microsoft by focusing on three core issues: First, we needed to update and refresh our vision. Second, we needed to get closer to our customers' needs and requirements. Third, we needed to empower customer-focused groups to work more autonomously and in parallel."

Ballmer and Gates stressed that refreshing the Microsoft vision and driving an organizational structure focused on customer needs would help the company execute against its key priorities of making the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system more scalable, reliable and available, and continuing to deliver solutions that simplify management and reduce total cost of ownership.

The new structure more closely maps to Microsoft's core customers: the IT manager, the knowledge worker, the developer and the consumer.

The company will be broken into four groups: the Business and Enterprise division will focus on software technology for the information technology customer; the Consumer Windows division will focus on evolving the Windows platform for the consumer; the Business Productivity Group will focus on meeting the needs of the knowledge worker; the Developer group will focus on the developer customer; and the Consumer and Commerce Group will focus on bringing together consumers and businesses online.

The company has also created the home and retail products division, which will operate outside of the four core business divisions. It will focus on consumer-targeted products such as games, input devices and Microsoft's reference products. – Thomas Sullivan, Senior Reporter/Northwest Corespondent

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.