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Latest Microsoft reorganization reportedly focuses on Mixed Reality push

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows Mixed Reality has become a major focus for Microsoft going forward, and it looks as if that push has extended to a shakeup of Microsoft's internal team structure. According to a report from Petri (via ZDNet), Microsoft has gone through with a small reorganization effort that shuffles several of its teams based around its augmented, mixed, and virtual reality efforts.

The most interesting moves appear to be the creation of a new Mixed Reality Studio focused on "Mixed Reality in the Modern Workplace," and the combination of Microsoft's Every Day Magic (EDM) and Evoke studios. EDM is responsible for Paint 3D, Remix3D, Mixed Reality Viewer, and development of apps across mixed, virtual, and augmented reality. The Evoke team is behind the Photos and Videos app. The combined groups will now report to Chris Pratley, who is a notable figure within Microsoft for his work on OneNote and Sway.

Along with the above changes, Microsoft is also reported to be reorganizing its New Experiences and Technologies (NeXT) team, which is part of its AI and research group. Changes include:

  • Graph and Data: A new team defining the capabilities and creative vision for how data and analytics become a crucial element in defining user experiences.
  • Foundry: Incubating new types of experiences plus pushing and validating platform and hardware incubation that bring value across NEXT strategic initiatives.
  • Source: Focuses on data reporting, AppsPortal, and validation with hardware partners.
  • Education: This is a new team to drive wide efforts in education which the company hopes will be the next big growth area for the org.
  • S&O: Product innovation through trend analysis and business design.
  • Basecamp: this team is the storytelling side of NEXT and the Community, Content and SpecIT teams are moving under this umbrella.
  • Design Activation: This is a new team focused on NEXT wide UX and audio designs. Studio Maya: This is a new operation based in India and is focused on mixed reality and 2D devices.
  • Data Compliance: A new team helping to maintain that helps the team maintain compliance and meet standards such as business rules and data definition/integrity.
  • Data Science: Data analysis and product insight for NEXT data.

Ultimately, all of these shuffles will only be felt internally, and it's doubtful that outside users of Microsoft's products will notice anything different. However, this reorganization effort does appear to be responsible for the small round of layoffs confirmed by Microsoft this week.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Why not focus on cleaning up their buggy mess instead? Start by kicking out Nadella.
  • Well, if there's anyone living in a mixed reality, it's the folks at Microsoft
  • Good move, a division centered on xR tech and experiences will pave the way for tomorrow, this will avoid being left behind like happened with phones.
  • Agreed, but I think in 2017 too many OEMs launched a Mixed Reality headset (Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo) for something that didn't had any developer support, that is the same problem than Windows Phone had, hopefully in 2018 Microsoft can take Mixed Reality serious and attract 3rd party development companies that can provide good experience for end user For ex.
    Lego - a virtual lego education game
    Amazon - a virtual store
    National Geographic - a virtual museum
    Discovery Channel - a virtual library of entertainment programs built for VR And we're still waiting for Minecraft, the Augmented Reality version, when is this coming out?
  • It has to start somewhere. Microsoft has the software integrated into the OS to begin with. It has launched the first batch of OEM hardware. It's investing into the growth and future of this, a whole new platform. If you think about it, it's a solid foundation, especially if they have a plan.
  • Sounds like good decision, youtube reviews for Mixed Reality headsets are not good, looks like Microsoft rushed Virtual Reality solution which already has better experience on Oculus or HTC Vive, and consumers got confused thinking Mixed Reality would be adding a mixture of VR and Augmented Reality which still hasn't happened. Looking forward for the review of a 2nd generation Mixed Reality headset, hopefully OEMs can fix the issues with last year products.
  • ......Bullshit!
  • Gosh, it's a shame they didn't focus on it when they still had a years long head start :/
  • The lack of transitional focus is what really baffles me.
  • People I loved Windows Phone too. Its gone. They aren't bringing it back. Please move on. If you can't get over it please quit commenting. Its not constructive.
  • The Evoke and EDM teams are/were responsible for the apps I enjoyed the most. It will be very interesting to see what they come up with next 😌