Microsoft has announced organisation changes in a bid to catch up with rivals while details of its cooperation with the US spying agency have been revealed.
The world’s largest software maker, losing out in the long term to Apple and Google, wants to restructure its business in order to revive the declining public interest in PCs through innovation.
In a memo to employees, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said the company is "rallying behind a single strategy" to reverse the trend of the public turning towards tablets and mobile gadgets.
"Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetise the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands," Ballmer wrote.
The corporation has introduced several new divisions including engineering, marketing and business development. The company’s veteran executive Julie Larson-Green has been appointed the head of its devices and studios engineering group, overseeing hardware development, games, music and entertainment.
She had been promoted in November to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering after Steven Sinofsky, the president of Windows and Windows Live operations, left the company shortly after the launch of Windows 8.
Terry Myerson will lead Microsoft's operating systems and engineering group, namely Windows. Qi Lu will head applications and services.
The announcement has come out about the same time when the Guardian has revealed new information about Microsoft’s involvement in the operations of the secret surveillance programme of the US National Security Agency (NSA).
According to the documents leaked to the Guardian by the fugitive whistle blower Edward Snowden, Microsoft actively worked with the FBI and the NSA to facilitate the access to users’ data.
By helping the eavesdroppers to overcome the encryption system, Microsoft enabled the agencies to access its cloud storage service SkyDrive as well as intercept and record audio and video calls conducted via Skype.
Previously, Microsoft denied any involvement and said data have only been handed over in response to a lawful government request.
"To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product," the company said in a statement on its website.
Facebook, Google and Microsoft had all publicly urged US authorities to allow them to reveal the number and scope of the surveillance requests after documents leaked to the Washington Post and the Guardian suggested they had given the government "direct access" to their computers as part of the NSA's Prism program.
The disclosures have triggered widespread concern about the scope and extent of the information-gathering.