Ballmer at work on Microsoft restructuring, report says

CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly at work on a "major" change to his company's structure to focus its efforts on devices and services.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer with his company's Surface tablet.
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer with his company's Surface tablet. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Microsoft, a software giant since the dawn of the PC era, might not be so focused on software much longer.

CEO Steve Ballmer is in the process of managing a "major restructuring" that would shift his company's center of balance, All Things Digital's Kara Swisher is reporting on Monday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Microsoft's plans. Rather than base its business on software, as it has since its inception, Microsoft would transition to a "devices and services company," Swisher's sources say.

Ballmer might have already laid the groundwork for that transition last year when he wrote a note to shareholders declaring that " this is really a new era for our company ." He pointed out in that letter that Microsoft would increasingly focus on devices and services.

Given how important Windows and Office are to Microsoft's bottom line, it's unlikely those platforms will be pushed aside. However, Swisher's sources say that several executives within Microsoft could soon have more important roles at the company. Among those executives are Tony Bates, head of Skype, and Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment division that handles Xbox and other services.

Last month, Microsoft showed off its latest device creation, the Xbox One. The company also sells its own brand of Surface tablets running Windows. If the restructuring happens, it's possible more devices will be coming from the software giant.

CNET has contacted Microsoft for response to the All Things Digital report. We will update this story when we have more information.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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