After a fair amount of industry speculation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that the company is to undergo a full reorganization. Given the changing IT landscape and the advance of rivals such as Apple, Google, and Amazon, Microsoft is arranging itself into well-defined, functional areas in order to form a more concentrated vision for its technical offerings. Given the range of markets in which Microsoft operates – OS, enterprise software, business intelligence, servers, mobile devices, gaming, etc., the move has been widely praised.
One of the core growth areas in IT – and one that has kept Microsoft competitive – is cloud services. The reorganization is perhaps a key to the company gaining traction against Google and Amazon, the two top rivals in terms of mature cloud platforms. It is not surprising then that out of the four units of its new engineering functional area, one is devoted to “Cloud and Enterprise.”
For a sense of how important cloud services are in Microsoft’s current strategies, we can examine Steve Ballmer’s official company memo regarding the reorganization. Ballmer speaks of unifying the consumer experience across all devices, a model in which cloud computing is a central factor. He has described a core “shell” – perhaps already embodied by the UI design principles shared across Windows Phone and Windows 8 – that will bring commonality to the platforms. However, the experience will be driven by smart cloud data. As Ballmer puts it:
“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world.”
No matter how much of this is promotion and how much accurately reflects the future of Microsoft’s offerings, it is important to turn to Microsoft cloud services experts in order to stay current with enterprise IT.