Microsoft Reorganizes Office Group to Focus on Common Tasks

Office Everywhere: Microsoft's Expansion Plans
  • Larson-Green tells conference the focus is actions, not tools
  • Changes combine Word and PowerPoint, Excel and data tools

Microsoft Corp. has reorganized its Office unit to combine products that tackle the same tasks rather than carving out individual products, said Julie Larson-Green, chief experience officer for Microsoft’s applications and services group.

The company combined PowerPoint, Word and the Sway interactive-presentation app, all tools for content creation, while putting data and analytics tools like the Excel spreadsheet and Access database together, she said on Tuesday at the Bloomberg Technology Conference in San Francisco.

“We want to have people focusing on the task they are trying to do and not the tools,” Larson-Green said. The idea is to enable the company to “think more broadly and more deeply about the future of those technology areas and the future of that kind of content creation rather than focusing so much on the individual applications themselves.”

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft took another step aimed at making its products the hub of business activity on the Internet on Monday by agreeing to buy professional networking website LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion. The deal will let Microsoft jump into social networking and web-based business communications at a time when it’s been shifting its product focus to the cloud.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to take their big professional network of people and combine it with our big professional cloud,” Larson-Green said of the deal.

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