A Microsoft reorg caveat: It's not fast (and only maybe fluid)

Don't expect any sudden moves resulting from Microsoft's latest reorg any time soon.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Whether you are in the camp that thinks Microsoft's recent reorg is a momentous event or just a rearranging of the deck chairs, there's one thing to keep in mind: It's not going to happen quickly. When it comes to reorging a nearly 100,000-employee company, fast and fluid are not the watchwords.


Yes, it's true that Microsoft has been laying the groundwork for "One Microsoft" for a while.

I wrote about the company's One Microsoft strategy over a year ago. And moves like using the NT core inside Windows Phone and the Windows 8/Hyper-V "guts" inside the Xbox One show that Microsoft was taking steps to break down artificial boundaries of teams that naturally belonged together. Many groups at Microsoft already adopted the test-dev-PM "functional" structure, and will likely remain organized in that fashion even after the reorg dust settles.

That said, while Microsoft officials decided to announce the new corporate structure last week, on July 11, most changes around the reporting structure aren't likely to take effect until this fall or later.

The Office team, which will become part of the new Applications and Services group, already reorg'd months ago.

The Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox OS teams will be munged together, but not right away. The last thing Microsoft needs right now is a disruption in its product-delivery schedules, especially given the company's goal of delivering new releases more quickly. I seriously doubt anyone from Windows or Xbox is going to be moved around until after this fall, when those products hit RTM/launch.

And for those praying that the new reorg will mean Windows Phone Blue will be out earlier, I'd say don't get your hopes up. Microsoft's Windows Phone team is continuing its slow march along the General Distribution Release (GDR 1, 2, 3) path. GDR2 is only starting to roll out now; GDR3 has been slated to arrive this fall for a while. Windows Phone Blue isn't coming until after that, most likely in the early part of 2014 -- reorg or no reorg.

When Microsoft reports its Q4 FY 2013 earnings this Thursday, July 18, it will be business as usual: The same five groups will still be reporting their profits and losses. (Right now, we don't know how Microsoft is going to break out its P&L centers in the post-reorg'd world.)

So yes, there will be changes coming as a result of Microsoft's latest reorg. In some senses, the new, more collaborative planning already had begun before the formal reorg announcement. But any big reorg-related changes are still probably months away from happening....

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