Microsoft reorg: More pieces fall into place

Microsoft reorg: More pieces fall into place

Summary: Microsoft officials are continuing to tweak the reporting structure inside the company, a few months after management announced a corporate-wide reorg.


As the year rolls on, more pieces are falling into place with Microsoft's latest reorg, announced in mid-July.


In an attempt to better reflect its new devices and services mission, Microsoft management reorganized the company around four new engineering divisions, as well as a few centralized ones like marketing, legal and human resources.

Since then, the top brass have been filling out their team rosters and adjusting things by moving teams to where they better fit in the new Microsoft world order.

Here are a couple of new assignments/reassignments that have happened since the initial reorg announcement, confirmed by sources of mine close to the company:

The Windows Embedded team is now part of the unified operating system division under Terry Myerson. (Windows Server, however, still is not and remains part of the Enterprise and Cloud organization.) It always seemed odd to me that Embedded was moved to Server & Tools back in 2010. Now it's back in its more rightful place, if you ask me.

The, Windows Mail and Calendar app teams which were initially part of the unified OS group are now part of the Applications and Services group under Qi Lu. Specifically, they are part of the Outlook team in that group. I'm hearing this could result -- at some point -- in the Windows Mail and Calendar apps, which were built by the Windows 8 team, being replaced with the Outlook app that is now available for Windows RT. The thinking? Fewer mail clients means less confusion. I vote yes, even though the Windows Mail client got a lot better with Windows 8.1. Update: If and when this happens, Outlook will have to become a Metro-Style/Windows Store app, I'd think. Right now, it's a Desktop app (even on Windows RT).

The software side of the Perceptive Pixel team is now part of the unified operating system group, as well. (The hardware side is most likely in the Devices team.) Microsoft bought Perceptive Pixel, a maker of large, multi-touch displays bck in 2012. While we've seen these devices featured in numerous demos, we've heard little about it since. Last I heard, Microsoft had some Perceptive Pixel software updates coming in April 2014.

Microsoft officials aren't commenting on internal management changes happening at the company, a spokesperson said.

Topics: Windows, Cloud, Collaboration, Tablets, PCs


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Are you saying Outlook will become free like it is on RT?

    If they eliminate Mail app, what would they replace with exactly for Windows 8 x86-x64 users?
    • Maybe

      a Metro-version of Outlook app? Some day? Maybe? MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Metro apps are...

        …not all free. Outlook as a Metro app would be nice but MS still have to figure out a way to fully adapt their Windows applications to the Metro environment. The reality is that Desktop applications are productivity oriented. Metra apps are, for now, more designed for quick, lightweight, low level tasks. They will have to find a way to display a lot of information at the same time, allow a lot of different functionalities to filter through the screen while still make the app touch oriented and light weight. Many problems they will face will come from the fact that in a desktop app, icons, text tags and menus are smaller when compared to the Metro visual language and there is a lot more going on at the same time.
        • Gemini

          I think that Metro Office will be a big step in changing the perception that productivity can only be accomplished on the desktop.
          • The problem is...

            I don't see Metro Office changing the paradigm. A great mobile application, but not replacing the desktop version.
        • Metro apps are...

          I don't use RT, so I may be off base here- Outlook in Windows 8.1 is free and vastly improved over the same app in Windows 8. Was it not free or not available in RT?
          As far as using the Windows 8.1 Start screen (metro apps) I actually prefer it to the desktop- if only Office worked in Metro, I'd rarely even use the desktop.
    • adacosta38

      "If they eliminate Mail app, what would they replace with exactly for Windows 8 x86-x64 users?"

      MS will recommend Thunderbird of course!
      • Replacement email program

        YEah I was gonna say people could always use Thunderbird
        Steven Ladner
  • Outlook...

    That would be great to make the new mail app more Outlook like. You can't even print from the new Calendar app, that is a disaster for anyone that actually uses a calendar. Little things like the inability to print from the Calendar app make my head explode. WTF is that all about?
    • Agree, calender app needs improvement

      Its a shame that it can't print. I would also like to embed location with a Bing map control as on option. The calendar event can't be forwarded as well. These things are easily doable and its really annoying that simple things are overlooked.
      • Agree

        I use to own a Windows mobile portable computer, many years ago. It was manufactured by Garmin. In those days, you could schedule you appointments, locate them, get the directions between each meeting and even get an error message if the distance between to rendezvous point was too big for the time available between the two meetings. The Metro calendar app is boring and lacks many much needed features. Integration would be nice like the ability to create a rendezvous from the Mail app or get the email discussions related to a rendezvous.
        • I still use Windows mobile with stylus...

          Because some legacy applications I use is not available anywhere else...
  • Fat Boy MS Has Re-shuffle

    Still puffing and panting behind the pack.
    Alan Smithie
  • wow....

    logical org changes. they might right this ship after all. They need to unify the UI. As much as I like the WP and 8.1 UIs, the Office 2013 experience leaves me baffled. No bevels anywhere., not even flat lines. You can select any color you like as long as it is white, light grey, or lighter grey.
    • I think/hope....

      ..the general consensus is they are likely working on an Office with the new UI.
      • That's too bad

        as it will irritate and alienate many more than it will please.
  • Sorry MS too late.................

    Unless you seperate the Server, Desktop, Notebook, Laptop with no Touch, and bring back the WIN7/XP style of UI (Start&Menu back) then you will be lost to the Corporate/Business world.

    No one wants a METRO UI on a production machine, it is designed for work and NOT clicking on pretty blocks.

    It may be well on mobile devices and tablets/phones, but usless ong work systems.
    • It is designed for places where

      low information density is the desire, which is not what is needed or desired in a real work situation.
    • So what?

      If you don't want to, don't use Metro apps. It's really as simple as that.

      At work I use Windows Server 2012 (same as Win8) and there's not an "app" in sight. And because I've been sticking my most used programs into taskbar toolbars since XP I get to see the start screen at most once a week (or the start menu in previous versions). Judging by how most people clutter their desktops, I imagine they have little need for the start screen/menu either. Other than to baulk at its uselessness of course.

      My tablet/laptop hybrid (Win8.1) on the other hand lives almost exclusively in Metro world. Because it makes sense there, at least the way I use it most of the time.

      Desktop and Metro are both there to allow a choice. Just because something is there, it doesn't mean you have to use it. Yes, the parts where they meet (e.g. start screen and certain options) still need some work, but I see nothing wrong with having both even if I hardly ever need one of them.
      Matjaž Miler
  • Desktop Mode

    Can't comprehend all these changes...I'm still trying to wrap my head around why Windows RT needs a Desktop Mode?