No one’s quite sure what it is but more people are convinced that something big is happening at the highest levels of Microsoft ( msft). On Monday, AllThingsD reported that a “significant restructuring” of the software giant is in the works, citing unnamed sources close to the situation.
The report references CEO Steve Ballmer’s annual shareholder letter, which re-characterized Microsoft as a ”devices and services company.” That is quite a shift from a company built on shipping shrink-wrapped boxes of diskettes or bundling the operating system on PCs and servers made by hardware partners IBM, HP, Dell et al. Update: Microsoft had no comment on this report.
This report comes a week after noted Microsoft watcher Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund posited “big changes” to come, driven by a set of shareholders increasingly annoyed at Microsoft’s stagnant stock price. Sherlund put forth some pretty interesting options including the offloading of Bing search to Facebookor Yahoo in exchange for traffic acquisition costs or an outright sale of the Xbox franchise — a big “device” success — to another player, perhaps Samsung.