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What Microsoft's new product groups mean for Windows, Office, and more

Mark Hachman | July 12, 2013
Microsoft realigns groups by function rather than platform or product, aiming for a smoother development cycle internally, and a smoother user experience externally.

Microsoft Dynamics will have its own group, as will the Advanced Strategy and Research Group (aka Microsoft Research). Marketing, business development and evangelism, and the backoffice functions of finance, legal and corporate, and HR, will also have their own groups. The chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, will be his own group as well.

Will more collaboration mean less distinction?
Placing technologies first and foremost makes sense, in a way. Microsoft's ecosystem has notoriously favored Windows, but even Windows 8 has barely cracked 100,000 apps in the Windows Store. Still, I think the question that will overshadow Microsoft in the months to come is how the company's individual product managers will operate under these new marching orders. Will this empower them to coordinate and pull from disparate groups and improve their technologies? Or will they all be plagued with a sense of sameness, and with less emphasis on polish and pleasing the user?

What we do know is this: Microsoft's Turner this week promised even more innovation for Microsoft in the year ahead than what Microsoft accomplished through July. And what the company does, or does not do, during that time, will be viewed through that prism.


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