In an email to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlined how the company is being arranged into three distinct engineering groups in the months ahead, namely Experiences & Devices, Cloud + AI Platform and AI + Research. Now this week, another major shift has occurred, reorganising Microsoft, diminishing the role of the Windows group and putting more focus on Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform.
Things people use: Microsoft's new "experiences and devices" team will attempt to unify the way the firm is developing products for consumer and business users.
Windows 10 has been adopted by almost 700 million users, the outgoing Windows chief Terry Myerson inadvertently revealed. AI Perception & Mixed Reality, one of two new groups, will be headed by Alex Kipman. Myerson said that the commercial usage of the latest Windows version has also improved 84% year over year.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has no easy task steering the company well past the era of its personal computing dominance, through the current cloud and mobile-oriented period and into the AI and possibly VR driven future. On the Windows side, Joe Belfiore will continue leading this unit. The Windows devices team combines with Office software, with the goal of building laptops and tablets that appeal to users of Microsoft's applications, including its Word and Excel programs and newer tools like email and Skype.
"Having a chief product officer is an indication that the company is leaning more into hardware products, not backing off", he told SiliconANGLE.
Jason Zander is being promoted to executive vice president, Azure, and will lead this team. "These modern needs, habits and expectations of our customers are motivating us to bring Windows, Office, and third-party applications and devices into a more cohesive Microsoft 365 experience".
Some responsibilities that were previously the purview of Gurdeep Singh Pall, head of Business AI at Microsoft, are also being transitioned as part of the reorg. Harry Shum, the Executive VP of AI and Research will continue to lead that unit. It will be led by Scott Guthrie, the current executive vice president for the Cloud and Enterprise Group.
AI Ethics Group Nadella also announced the formation of a new committee charged with navigating the legal and ethical issues resulting from advances in AI.
Enterprise Mobility and Management: Brad Anderson will continue to lead Microsoft's Windows Enterprise deployment and management efforts.