Microsoft engineering groups
Microsoft engineering groups are the operating divisions of Microsoft. Starting in April 2002, Microsoft organised itself into seven groups, each an independent financial entity. In September 2005, Microsoft announced a reorganization of its then seven groups into three. In July 2013, Microsoft announced another reorganization into five engineering groups and six corporate affairs groups. A year later, in June 2015, Microsoft reformed into three engineering groups. In September 2016, a new group was created to focus on artificial intelligence and research.
Windows and devices
This group produces core Windows products.
Windows is available in different families, catering to different kinds of devices.
- Windows NT: Windows 10 is the latest OS in this family. It is designed for use in personal computers, 2-in-1 PCs and tablets. Almost all IBM compatible personal computers as well as 2-in-1 PCs designed for consumers come with Windows pre-installed. However, in tablets the market share of Windows is quite less.
- Windows Phone: Windows 10 Mobile is the latest OS in this family. It is designed for smartphones and small tablets. It includes all basic consumer features, including Continuum capability. The market share of Windows in smartphones is very low.
- Windows Embedded: Windows 10 IoT Core is the latest OS in this family. It is designed specifically for use in IoT scenarios such as on devices where the OS may not directly be visible to the end user, in particular, home appliances, home automation, auto-motives, industry devices etc.
- Windows Mobile includes various mobile operating systems. This family has been discontinued.
- Windows 9x comprises Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME. This family has also been discontinued.
- Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0 and Windows 3.0 are versions of Windows that were launched from MS-DOS and were not stand-alone operating systems. This family has also been discontinued.
- Xbox One system software includes all versions of Windows running on Xbox game consoles.
- Microsoft Surface - a family of Windows-based personal computing devices, first launched in 2012. It includes the Surface and Surface Pro series of 2-in-1 tablet computers, the Surface Book laptop, the Surface Studio all-in-one PC, and the Surface Hub interactive whiteboard.
- Microsoft HoloLens - a set of virtual reality smartglasses, launched in 2016.
- Xbox - a home gaming console. Many video games for the platform have been developed by the company's Microsoft Studios subsidiary, in addition to third-party video game publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision. The first generation launched in 2001 and was succeeded by the Xbox 360 in 2005, and in turn by the Xbox One in 2013.
- Microsoft also produces and sells mice, keyboards, webcams, headsets, game controllers and wireless display adapters. The production of these accessories is outsourced in most cases.
MSN is a web portal and related collection of Internet services and apps for Windows and mobile devices, provided by Microsoft. It was launched on August 1995. The current website and suite of apps offered by MSN was first introduced by Microsoft in 2014 as part of a complete redesign and relaunch. The redesign of MSN proved positive and helped increase traffic with an additional 10 million daily visitors after two months. MSN is based in the United States and offers international versions of its portal for dozens of countries around the world.
Microsoft Servers (previously called Windows Server System) is a brand that encompasses Microsoft's server products. This includes the Windows Server editions of the Microsoft Windows operating system itself, as well as products targeted at the wider business market. Microsoft's server products are further categorized into four groups namely, Operating systems, Productivity, Security and Microsoft System Center. A complete listing of product offerings can be found here.
In July 2016, Microsoft moved the Windows Server team and its related products to the Windows and Devices Group, further justifying one Windows core across all platforms.
Cloud and Enterprise
This group produces below products.
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. It was launched in 2010.
Microsoft Visual Studio the 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. Visual Studio supports development for both native Windows platform and .NET Framework. It was launched in 1995.
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software applications. Microsoft Dynamics was previously a separate engineering unit until it got reorganised into the Cloud & Enterprise Group in June 2015.
This group produces apps from the Microsoft Office family.
Microsoft Office is a line of office software, provided by Microsoft. It is available in three versions, for desktop, for mobile devices and an online one.
- Office for desktop includes Word (a word processor), Excel (a spreadsheet program), PowerPoint (a presentation software), Access (a personal relational database application), Outlook (an email program, frequently used with Exchange Server), OneNote (a notetaking program) and Publisher (desktop publishing software). It also encompasses other products (not bundled in Office suite) like Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft SharePoint and Skype for Business.
- Office Mobile consists of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive available as standalone apps for mobile devices on their respective application stores, since 2015. Earlier these apps were part of Office Mobile, another app for mobile devices which is still present for older devices.
- Office Online is combination of Microsoft Office Web Apps (an online version of Microsoft Office's core apps) and various formerly Windows Live branded web services, in general all these services are connected via Microsoft accounts. This includes free versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.com (a free web-based email service, previously branded as Hotmail), OneNote, OneDrive (a free cloud storage and file hosting service, it was previously branded as SkyDrive), Sway (a presentation program that can pull content from various websites), Docs.com (a site where users can discover, upload and share Office documents on their profile page, the website originally started as a collaboration between Microsoft and the Facebook but was redesigned for Office Online), People (an online address book), Calendar and Tasks.
Skype is an application that specializes in providing video chat and voice call services. Users can exchange text and video messages, files and images, and create conference calls. Other applications developed alongside Skype are Skype Translator, Skype Qik and GroupMe. Originally launched in 2003, it was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5 billion.
AI and Research
This group was created in September 2016 to emphasize the company's presence on artificial intelligence. It was formed when parts of the former Apps and Services group came together with the research team to form a fourth engineering group.
Bing (known previously as Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) is a web search engine (advertised as a "decision engine") from Microsoft. As of 2015, it is the second largest search engine in the world, behind Google. A complete list of search offerings from Bing can be found here. Under Bing, below non-search offerings are also listed:
- Bing Ads: an advertising service that provides pay per click advertising on various search engines.
- Bing Translator: a statistical machine translation platform and web service.
- Bing Webmaster Tools: an online toolbox that allows webmasters to add their websites to the Bing index crawler.
- Cortana: an intelligent personal assistant.
- Microsoft Pulse: an audience response system, it has been used by several major news organisations like CNN, Fox and MSNBC.
Microsoft Research was created with the intent to advance state of the art computing and solve difficult world problems through technological innovation in collaboration with academic, government, and industry researchers.
- Ballmer, Steve. "One Microsoft: Company realigns to enable innovation at greater speed, efficiency". Microsoft. Microsoft. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- "Microsoft aligns engineering teams to strategy". Microsoft News Center.
- "Internal email: Microsoft forms new 5,000-person AI division; key exec Qi Lu leaving after bike injury". GeekWire. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
- "Operating system market share".
- "Windows 10 has seven editions – here’s how to tell which is for you". 29 May 2015.
- "Market Share Building for Windows Tablets,". Strategy Analytics.
- Android and iOS Squeeze the Competition, Swelling to 96.3% of the Smartphone Operating System Market Archived 2015-02-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- "A Guided Tour of Windows 10 IoT Core -". 15 July 2015.
- "Microsoft Phasing Out Windows Mobile 6.x". Redmondmag.com.
- Krebs, Brian (1 July 2006). "Microsoft to End Support Of Old Windows Versions" – via washingtonpost.com.
- Rundle, Michael. "The biggest Xbox One update in history finally has a launch date".
- "What Impressed Me the Most About Microsoft’s HoloLens".
- "The History of the Xbox". 12 May 2013.
- "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.
- Bishop, Todd (September 30, 2014). "MSN's rebirth brings Microsoft's new approach into focus". GeekWire. Retrieved 2014-10-01.
- Finney, Joseph (19 November 2014). "How has Microsoft's redesign of MSN.com affected daily site traffic?". WinBeta.
- "MSN Worldwide". Retrieved 2015-04-10.
- Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft rolls out its R Server big-data analytics line-up - ZDNet".
- Markoff, John (31 January 2016). "Microsoft Plumbs Ocean’s Depths to Test Underwater Data Center" – via NYTimes.com.
- Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft to move Windows Server engineering team into Windows and Devices Group | ZDNet". ZDNet. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- "Inside Microsoft's Azure Stack Private Cloud". 29 January 2016.
- "Microsoft open-sources Visual Studio Code, launches free Visual Studio Dev Essentials program".
- Foley, Mary Jo (18 June 2015). "How Microsoft's latest reorg will affect Dynamics CRM and ERP. Microsoft is bringing its Dynamics CRM and ERP businesses out of their silo and into the company's Cloud and Enterprise unit.". ZDNet.
- Mayo, Benjamin (22 January 2016). "Mac users can now try out new Microsoft Office features early with ‘Office Insider’ program".
- "Office Mobile apps Word, PowerPoint and Excel see new updates arrive in store". On MSFT. 20 January 2016.
- "Office on mobile devices". Microsoft. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "Microsoft Office Online Gets New Cloud Storage Options". InformationWeek.
- "Microsoft Brings Skype Closer to Unified Business Communication".
- Bright, Peter. "Microsoft Buys Skype for $8.5 Billion. Why, Exactly?".
- Linke, Rebecca. "The reasoning behind Microsoft's new A.I. and Research Group". Computerworld. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
- "Welcome to Discover Bing". Discover Bing. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- "Here's What's Changing With Bing Ads Now That It Includes AOL".
- "Bing Translator beta app for Windows 10 updated". MSPoweruser. 24 September 2015.
- "Bing Webmaster Tools Warns of Microsoft Edge Compatibility Issues". 8 January 2016.
- "How to Turn On and Use Cortana in Microsoft Edge".
- Bing Pulse real-time polling tools are now Microsoft Pulse real-time polling tools