Today in the news: How Microsoft's internal reorganization reflects its desire to control the user experience; what's new and improved in Office 365's search; where Kinect's been.
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MICROSOFT MANAGEMENT SHAKE-UP
The company announced a rearrangement of its internal structure today, merging the Microsoft Devices Group into Operating Systems Group, forming a new Windows and Devices Group to be led by Terry Myerson. Scott Guthrie's Cloud and Enterprise Group will subsume the Business Services Division, and Qi Lu, who heads the Application and Services Group will be assuming responsibility for the Advanced Technology and Education group.
In all the reorganization, several executives are leaving: Stephen Elop (Vice President of the Microsoft Devices group); Kiril Tatarinov (leader of the Business Services group); and Eric Rudder (who oversaw server and tools and research units); Mark Penn (erstwhile Chief Insight Officer). Jo Harlow, a former Nokia executive who moved to Microsoft when the latter acquired the mobile phone maker, is also leaving the company.
The moves sends a signal that Microsoft has a lot of confidence in Windows head Myerson, and that meshing the Windows and Devices into one department brings the company one step closer to emulating the tight control Apple maintains over its hardware/software ecosystem.
WHAT'S NEW AND IMPROVED IN MICROSOFT SOFTWARE
The latest update to the Outlook Calendar app in Windows 10 features interactive notifications, i.e. notifications that permit users to act on a nudge from an app without opening the app. For example, if you get a notification on WhatsApp, you’ll be able to reply to it from the notification without opening the app.
Microsoft also announced the debut of Compliance Search in Office 365:
[It's] designed for times when the full-fledged search case management of eDiscovery search isn’t required. Compliance Search is ideal for quick searches across content in Office 365, such as searching for specific credit card numbers in SharePoint as part of a Data Loss Prevention (DLP) project.
KINECT's PINING FOR THE FJORDS
Kinect isn't dead, it's just … hanging out and being low-key, says Microsoft Games Studios head of publishing Shannon Lofts. In an interview with The Verge, she says:
There's still quite a few people working on Kinect. It's still a vibrant development ecosystem, still part of the Xbox experience as well. The same device now runs on Windows 10 as well as Xbox. We still have, to me, what is the greatest thing about Kinect, which is the creator community very actively creating new and mind-blowing things.