After months of rumours, Microsoft has announced a major reorganisation of the company.

In an echo of its new gaming console, the Xbox One, CEO Steve Ballmer said the re-org was designed to create a "One Microsoft" structure.

The new organisation is based around "devices and services", and the shifts will affect every part of the company. There will now be eight divisions, and a streamlined approach to gaming, software and hardware.

The changes include:

  • Former Windows Phone head Terry Myerson will lead the operating systems engineering group, which will include both Windows and the Xbox OS.
  • Julie Larson-Green will take over all hardware, including Surface, Xbox and PC accessories.
  • Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office, will retire as part of the changes.
  • Qi Lu will lead apps, search and services.

In a statement on the company's website, Ballmer said that the company wanted to be more efficient and bring products to market faster - and more like Apple.

"This company has always had a big vision -- to help people realize their full potential. In the earliest days, it was by putting a PC on every desk and in every home. We've come farther than we could have imagined. The impact we have collectively made on the world is undeniable, and I am inspired when talented new hires say they chose Microsoft because they want to change the world -- that's what we do today, and that's what we'll do tomorrow."

Read the full statement for more detail about the reorg.