Earlier this month Don Mattrick left his post as head of the Xbox hardware division in Microsoft for a gaming company named Zygna. Rumors reported that this was due to the impending changes and restructuring of the organization internally. Well early this morning CEO Steve Ballmer sent an email to his staff titled “One Microsoft,” in which he details the new way the company will function.The company will be now be split into a number of divisions starting from Engineering, Marketing, Business Development and Evangelism, Advanced Strategy and Research, Finance, HR, Legal, and Operations. Within engineering there will be four units: Operating Systems, Applications and Services, Cloud and Enterprise, and Devices and Studios. This is key because it is the engineering department that the Xbox One “X1” is developed in along with all properties related to that.
Mr. Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft has directly effected the X1. Whether it is for the better or worse remains to be seen but here is what we know so far. The former Xbox divison has now been split in half and will be teams working separately on different aspects of the system. Terry Myerson, formerly head of Windows Phone, will head the Operating System unit, which includes the Xbox One’s core functions of the machine. With Don Mattrick’s leave, Julie Larson-Green is now in charge of hardware (Devices and Studios), which includes the Xbox One’s apps and so forth. Lastly, this new restructure puts Skype head Tony Bates in charge of developer relations with third parties and outside companies.
Now how does all of this business talk effect you as the gamer, and more specifically the launch day buyer of an X1. It is my belief that this is a move for the better. However it will only be for the better if all the heads of each division can work cooperatively. Terry Myerson is a well accomplished figure in the tech world and clearly has a proven success record. Starting his own web software company at 21 years old and continuing to be a true talent right up until this past year while overseeing the Windows phone he has helped the Nokia Lumia 520 become one of the most successful selling cell phones on the market today. And this is the man who will be supervising the X1’s core operating units of the console.
Julie Larson will be the one replacing Don Matrrick’s old post as head of hardware. She was formerly head of the Windows division after replacing the man responsible for bungling up Windows 8 this past November. Mrs. Larson is known for her communication skills and ability to work well with others, uniting people, which helped her create and oversee Office 2007 “still one of their highest rated offices to date”. She is also rumored to be the next CEO of Microsoft following Steve Ballmer’s departure in the coming years.
Lastly you have Tony Bates now in charge of developer relations. I honestly cant think of a better person to be in charge of connecting with outside companies and developing relationships than the former CEO of Skype. A company known for connecting people around our globe. Before Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011 they had a base of about 170 million users, post Microsoft acquisition they are now at a record base of 1 billion users. Clearly there relationship has been beneficial and most likely will continue to be as Bates will now be responsible for helping the X1 post launch and beyond.
In closing with all of this talent focusing on different aspects of one console, the cards are all in their favor. Brilliant minds coming together for one cause, and that is creating, and promoting the success of a piece of technology. This console will be debuting in an already mass populated gaming and media market. However if cooperation is not achieved then the possibilities for failure are also great. You can be the judge for yourself on how you feel the outcome will be, and how this impacts the industry, or whether this changes your mind a purchase of an X1 this November. For more news stay tuned folks.