Top 4th of July Sales Best 4K Projectors 7 Early Prime Day Deals Wi-Fi Range Extenders My Favorite Summer Gadgets Cheap Car Insurance Target's 4th of July Sale Best Running Earbuds, Headphones

Microsoft forms streaming division

Microsoft announces the formation of a new division devoted to developing and marketing consumer and business digital media technologies.

Microsoft today announced the formation of a new division devoted to developing and marketing consumer and business digital media technologies.

The Streaming Media Division joins the two existing divisions under Senior Vice President Jim Allchin--the Consumer Windows Division and Business and Enterprise Division--to focus Microsoft's efforts in the streaming media space, ranging from music, radio, news, and events to online training and communications, the company said.

With these divisions combined into one group under Allchin, Microsoft claims customers will benefit from a deeper investment in digital media support in Windows 98, Windows 2000, and in future Microsoft operating systems.

The new division will be headed by Anthony Bay, general manager, reporting to Allchin. Will Poole, senior director, also reporting to Allchin, is responsible for marketing and business development, including managing Microsoft's relationships with the key Internet content providers and infrastructure vendors, the company said.

The announcement falls on the heels of the software giant's launch of a new series of specialized support offerings targeted at specific customer segments that are divided into four families that address the enterprise and home user.

Microsoft business strategy has been going through major makeover under the leadership of its new president Steve Ballmer, who unveiled a reorganization of the company's businesses into five groups based on customer types.

As previously reported, the reorganization was one of Ballmer's first major plans and aims to reorganize the software giant to focus more closely on customers instead of around specific products.

As part of the reorganization Allchin was put in charge of the Consumer Windows division which was tasked with evolving the Windows platform for the consumer, or the "renewal of the PC," Ballmer said in March.

"Both our business customers and home PC users are realizing huge benefits from the PC as a digital media platform," said Ballmer in a statement. "By creating a division dedicated to building the industry's best streaming media platform, Microsoft is sending the message that customers can choose us, and trust us, to deliver the solutions they need over the long term."

Windows Media Technologies include the Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools, and Windows Media SDK, which are all available now for Windows customers to download free at the companies Windows media Web site, the company said.