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Much like Apple organizes its executive and engineering teams around functions and services rather than specific products, Microsoft is today unveiling its plans to reorganize its divisions and bring together its various hardware and software teams. According to an email sent to employees from CEO Steve Ballmer and published on the company’s website, the move will see Microsoft bring together its separate teams from Windows, Xbox, Office and elsewhere and reassign managers to oversee broader engineering, marketing and finance groups:

We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies. Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands. We will allocate resources and build devices and services that provide compelling, integrated experiences across the many screens in our lives, with maximum return to shareholders. All parts of the company will share and contribute to the success of core offerings, like Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and our EA offer, Bing, Skype, Dynamics, Azure and our servers.

This means we will organize the company by function: Engineering (including supply chain and datacenters), Marketing, Business Development and Evangelism, Advanced Strategy and Research, Finance, HR, Legal, and COO (including field, support, commercial operations and IT). Each discipline will help drive our overall strategy. Each discipline will also be charged with improving our core capabilities in its area. We must improve in all aspects of the business.

From now on Microsoft will focus on four key engineering areas, not unlike Apple, including OS, Apps, Cloud, and Devices. Microsoft is hoping its new “One Microsoft” strategy will “improve the productivity of every engineer and to facilitate engineering collaboration and contribution across the company.” It’s also planning to bring its marketing teams together to have its message to customers better “reflect one company with integrated approaches.” The company will transition to the new engineering teams and “One Microsoft” approach by the end of the year after delivering its next round of Windows 8.1, Xbox One, Windows Phone products.

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