Report: Microsoft to restructure consumer unit

A shake-up is looming for Redmond's consumer gadgets division, as the company faces tougher competition from Apple and Google, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Microsoft is preparing to revamp the team that oversees its consumer gadgets division, as it falls farther behind Apple and Google in the market for mobile phones and other devices, according to a news report.

Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal said the software giant could announce "major organizational changes at its Entertainment & Devices Division as early as this week." The Journal said those changes would include J Allard relinquishing his role as the chief experience officer and chief technology officer of the division. Allard had been overseeing a recently aborted tablet PC project. The unit is headed by 22-year Microsoft veteran Robbie Bach.

Some say Microsoft has let its foundational Windows and Office franchises interfere with a necessary focus on a mobile future. The company has seen a slip in shipments of handsets based on its mobile operating system as Google's Android phone OS and Apple's iPhone have enjoyed significant jumps.

The Entertainment & Devices Division also handles Microsoft's Xbox gaming business.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment on J Allard's status or on any organizational challenges.