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Combining Windows and Devices Engineering Makes Sense

The big headline behind last week's annual Microsoft reorganization was that Stephen Elop and several other longtime senior executives and engineering heads are leaving Redmond. But the bringing together of Windows engineering with devices and Dynamics under cloud and enterprise is a sign that CEO Satya Nadella  is looking to further break down the siloes and, quite frankly fiefdoms, that stood in the way of successful products.

Having the executive who leads the engineering for the software that powers devices such as its Surface tablet PCs, Lumia phones, Xbox gaming consoles and even the new HoloLens, in charge of that hardware as well seems like a no brainer.

Nadella likely realized that, which meant Elop and Terry Myerson couldn't both remain in charge of their respective organizations indefinitely. As The New York Times reported today, Myerson's elevation makes him among the most powerful and visible executives at Microsoft under Nadella. Myerson's 18 year tenure with Microsoft began with an engineering role with the Exchange group, though his work in the operating systems group goes back to when he reported to onetime devices lead Andy Lees where the two reportedly clashed.

Before heading up the Windows group, Myerson was tapped to replace Lees as the head Windows Phone chief. Realizing the Windows Phone software predecessor Windows Mobile had too much legacy baggage to be salvaged a year after modern phone OSes iOS and Android started to take hold, Myerson was a key advocate for starting from scratch and developing Windows Phone, The Times report noted.

Likewise bringing the Dynamics group into the Cloud and Enterprise Group under Scott Guthrie's leadership promises to align the various applications with Azure and the various services and APIs built around it.

While bringing the two groups together looks like a wise move, there's more at stake with the consolidation of operating systems and devices. The question about both is whether they were brought together too late.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/22/2015 at 12:45 PM


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