Some critics maintain that Microsoft's product line is too diverse and that far from unifying the company, it would be wiser to make certain units more autonomous.
Microsoft officials didn't provide any information about the ongoing process to pick a replacement for Ballmer, who recently announced his intention to retire at some point in the next 12 months. Speculation about who may get picked has become a Silicon Valley pastime, and there are questions as to whether the replacement will get leeway in rethinking some of Ballmer's decisions, especially regarding the reorganization.
Of course, it wouldn't have been a Microsoft event if participants hadn't taken a few shots at Google. Turner said Office 365 has been taking business from Google Apps in part because customers have become distrustful of the way Gmail scans the text of email messages to serve ads and of Google's WiFi snooping scandal. (Google in turn routinely also reports on customers Google Apps has snatched from Microsoft.)
For his part, Ballmer said that Google's business practices "are worthy of discussion with competition authorities" and increasingly so, especially around the way the company bundles some of its products.
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