Why Microsoft’s reorganization closes the books on an era of computing

the term “PC” is only mentioned in Ballmer’s memo four times, and three of those references are to history — to ways in which Microsoft has changed the tech industry in the past. The word “devices,” on the other hand, is mentioned 18 times, and most of those are, as they say in this business, “forward-looking statements.”


Nothing ever stays the same. On more than one occasion, it has taken Microsoft, one of the most important engines powering the rise of the technology industry, years to understand that. But with this week’s sweeping reorganization of the nearly 100,000 people who work for Microsoft(s msft), the company has signaled that it’s finally ready to abandon two-plus decades of business as usual in the tech industry.

Sure, Microsoft tends to shuffle the chairs a bit every year, as CNET’s Charles Cooper noted earlier this week. But this was more revolution than evolution: Microsoft’s famously loose union of sorta-friendly independent states has been thrown overboard in favor of an organizational structure “focusing the whole company on a single strategy,” as CEO Steve Ballmer wrote in an internal memo (later shared with the world) outlining the changes.

That may be easier said than done. In true Microsoft style…

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