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Microsoft To Work As 'Single Company' After Overhaul

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Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Thursday he was streamlining the software and media company around devices like phones and game consoles and services in its first major overhaul in five years.

The shakeup of the world's largest software company will result in eight division based on their functions.

Under the reorganisation, Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office, will retire, Microsoft said in a statement on its website.

Ballmer said he hoped the new structure would bring products to the market faster and make the company more efficient. The company is trying to entice people to use Microsoft products, like Word and Office, on a variety of devices rather than just personal computers.

Microsoft has been struggling with sharply declining personal computer sales that cut into its software sales as well as a lukewarm reception for its new Windows 8 operating system.

Ballmer, who took over as CEO from co-founder Bill Gates in 2000, said he wants the company to be more like Apple Inc . The maker of the iPhone and iPad has roared past Microsoft in sales and stock market value in the past few years by smoothly melding its devices with online services such as iTunes.

Microsoft's last significant reorganization came in July 2008, when Ballmer split the 'Platforms & Services Division' into three separate units - Windows, Online Services and Server and Tools. The head of the unit, Kevin Johnson, left Microsoft to join Juniper Networks Inc, largely taking the blame for the failed attempt to buy Yahoo Inc.