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Microsoft has unveiled its long awaited re-organization Thursday, and it's a big one. The shuffle not only creates more than a half-dozen new units but also puts several lesser known Microsoft executives into prominent, front-line positions.
In an email to employees Thursday outlining the re-org, CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft is refocusing its engineering efforts on four main areas: operating systems, apps, cloud and devices.
This is a consolidation of Microsoft's previous approach, where products and technologies were more spread out across the different units. The goal here, Ballmer said in the email, is to be "more coherent for our users and developers."
Ballmer is putting Terry Myerson, former corporate vice president of the Windows Phone unit, in charge of the new Operating Systems Engineering Group. This group will handle OS work for Microsoft's console (Xbox), mobile devices, PCs, back-end systems and cloud services connected to the OSes.
Putting the Windows Phone chief in charge of Windows is a great illustration of the seismic changes this re-org represents. It's also a big promotion for Myerson, a 16-year Microsoft vet who was tapped to replace Andy Lees as head of the Windows Phone unit in December 2011.
Julie Larson-Green, a 20-year vet who has been leading Windows hardware and software engineering since Steven Sinofsky left in November, is now in charge of Microsoft's new Devices and Studios Engineering Group.
This is another big promotion: Larson-Green will be responsible for "all hardware development and supply chain" for every device Microsoft builds, Ballmer said in the email.
This looks like it'll be a huge role: Ballmer, in a separate memo released Thursday, talked about a "family" of coming Windows devices, including phones, tablets, PCs, 2-in-1s and TV-connected devices.
Larson-Green will also lead Microsoft's games, music, video and other entertainment businesses, Ballmer said in the memo.
Tony Bates, the former Skype CEO who joined Microsoft in its 2011 acquisition of that company, has been tapped to lead the new Business Development and Evangelism Group. He'll lead partnerships with OEMs, chip vendors, third-party developers and relations with Nokia and Yahoo, Ballmer said in the email.
That's not all: Bates will also be responsible for the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) unit, which lately has been leading Microsoft's efforts to connect with new types of developers it hasn't previously worked with.