Microsoft Product Divisions
|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (November 2010)|
Microsoft Product Divisions are the segments of Microsoft that are responsible for the company's products. To be more precise in tracking performance of each unit and delegating responsibility, Microsoft reorganized into seven core business groups — each an independent financial entity — in April 2002. On September 20, 2005, Microsoft announced a rationalization of its original seven business groups into the three core divisions. Later, on the date of July 11, 2013, Microsoft announced a sweeping reorganization that reorganized its products into five engineering groups and six corporate affairs groups.
- 1 Operating Systems Engineering
- 2 Cloud and Enterprise Division
- 3 Applications and Services Engineering
- 4 Devices and Studios Group
- 5 Microsoft Dynamics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Operating Systems Engineering
Windows and Windows Phone
This group produces Microsoft's flagship product, the Windows operating system. It has been produced in many versions, including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2008. It also produces the Windows Phone operating system for smartphones. Almost all IBM compatible personal computers designed for the consumer come with Windows preinstalled.
Windows Embedded is a group of operating systems designed to be used in embedded systems. It produces several products such as Windows CE, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Industry and more. The focus of the operating system is on devices where the OS may not directly be visible to the end user, in particular, appliances and cars, as well as point of sale systems and automated teller machines. Microsoft tried to expand the Windows brand name with products such as Windows CE for PDAs and its "Windows-powered" Smartphone products.
Cloud and Enterprise Division
Microsoft offers a suite of server software, entitled Microsoft Servers for private clouds. Windows Server 2012, an operating system for network servers, is the core of the Windows Server System line. Microsoft also provides Windows Azure which is a cloud computing platform. Other server products include:
- SQL Server - a relational database management system and set of business intelligence tools;
- Exchange Server - a messaging and collaborative software product;
- BizTalk Server - a business process automation, modeling, communication and integration server;
- Systems Management Server - a collection of tools providing remote-control abilities, patch management, software distribution, and a hardware/software inventory.
- Small Business Server - an integrated suite of server products designed for running network infrastructure (both intranet management and Internet access) of small and medium enterprises;
Microsoft Azure is the company's cloud computing platform that hosts virtual machines, websites and more. It provides both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) services and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
Microsoft Visual Studio is the company's set of programming tools and compilers. The software product is GUI-oriented and links easily with the Windows APIs, but must be specially configured if used with non-Microsoft libraries. The current version is Visual Studio 2013 and previous versions are Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2005. Visual Studio supports development for both native Windows platform and .NET Framework. Various free editions are also offered for Windows Runtime, Windows Phone, ASP.NET and Windows desktop development.
Applications and Services Engineering
This group produces online services such as Bing, Outlook.com, MSN, SkyDrive and others. Microsoft also has hosted versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Live Meeting and Office Communicator known as Office 365.
This group produces Microsoft Office, which is the company's line of office software. The software product includes Word (a word processor), Access (a personal relational database application), Excel (a spreadsheet program), Outlook (Groupware, frequently used with Exchange Server), PowerPoint (presentation software), and Publisher (desktop publishing software). Microsoft also produces an online office and software plus services suite named Office 365 which is a subscription service for Microsoft Office products. A number of other products were added later with the release of Office 2013 including Visio, Project, MapPoint, InfoPath and OneNote.
This group also produces the company's Skype voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client. This product before the reorganization was in the Microsoft Skype Division. It was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion.
Outlook.com formerly known as Hotmail is a free web-based email service operated by Microsoft. It is similarly named to a Microsoft Office email client named Microsoft Outlook. The service relaunched as Outlook.com on July 31, 2012.
Devices and Studios Group
The Devices and Studios group is responsible for most of Microsoft's hardware products and development.
Microsoft entered the game console market dominated by Sony and Nintendo in late 2001, with the release of the Xbox. The company develops and publishes its own video games for this console, with the help of its Microsoft Game Studios subsidiary, in addition to third-party Xbox video game publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision, who pay a license fee to publish games for the system. The Xbox also has a successor in the Xbox 360, released on 2005-11-22 in North America and other countries. With the Xbox 360, Microsoft hopes to compensate for the losses incurred with the original Xbox. However, Microsoft made some decisions considered controversial in the video gaming community, such as selling two different versions of the system, as well as providing backward compatibility with only particular Xbox titles.
Microsoft also markets a number of other computing-related hardware products as well, including mice, keyboards, joysticks, and gamepads, along with other game controllers, the production of which is outsourced in most cases.
This group solely produces Microsoft Dynamics products which are enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software applications.
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- "Midnight Madness Hypes Xbox 360 Launch". Retrieved 2006-07-03.
- "Xbox 360 sells out within hours". BBC News. 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
- Tor Thorsen (2005-11-11). "360 to play 200-plus Xbox games". GameSpot. Retrieved 2006-07-14.
- Tor Thorsen (2005-12-09). "360 backward-compatibility update re-released". GameSpot. Retrieved 2006-07-14.