Microsoft splits AI and cloud with end users
Microsoft head Satya Nadella announced a large business shakeup at Redmond.
In an e-mail to staff on Thursday, Nadella delivered to them how Microsoft will operate with two divisions. One will be focusing on end-users with and another that will handle the cloud and AI side.
The change reflects what has been a bigger move in the consumer and enterprise markets for Microsoft as the concept of desktop and server software have given way to cloud services across all devices. It also marks a new chapter in Nadella’s rebuild of Microsoft in the modern era.
In making this change, Nadella invoked Conway’s Law, a 1960’s belief that holds a company’s tech will be structured in much the same way as the company itself. Basically, if Microsoft wants to build services that function across many devices, they can’t be caught up in individual business units for each platform and its product.
“The purpose of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices….Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go.” Nadella said.
The shake-up will see Terry Myerson leave and have his Windows and Devices division merged with Office with Rajesh Jha in what will be named ‘Experiences and Devices’.
Almost all of the actual product groups will stay intact as Panos Panay , Joe Belfiore, Kudo Tsunoda , and Brad Anderson will handle their respective divisions within the new group.
The cloud business will incorporate Azure, lead by joining executive Jason Zander who will also oversee a ‘Windows platform’ unit
In a move that Elon Musk will love, Nadella is also creating an AI ethics unit headed up by Shum and Microsoft president and top lawyer Brad Smith.
“Among other steps, we are investing in strategies and tools for detecting and addressing bias in AI systems and implementing new requirements established by the GDPR,” Nadella said of the new project.