Is Microsoft moving away from software? Sources say yes

Microsoft restructuring could mean a shift in focus to devices
The Xbox sets the pattern for a device plus services approach

A major restructuring of Microsoft could mean that the company is moving away from software and focusing instead devices and services, in a development led by CEO Steve Ballmer.

According to a report from All Things Digital, several high-level executives are also being moved around to facilitate the change in direction.

Ballmer had previously indicated that such a shift was part of the company's plan. In the 2012 annual company report, Ballmer wrote: "Last year in this letter I said that over time, the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives.

"This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves - as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses."

New challenger

The shift in focus doesn't necessarily mean that Microsoft will spend less time doing what it's good at - developing software.

Windows is still one of the biggest desktop operating systems in the world and Microsoft is unlikely to neglect its pioneering software.

There is, however, increased competition from an improving Ubuntu OS as well as desktops that run Android and Apple's OSx that's spreading influence across a range of devices, which may have forced Microsoft to rethink its future strategy.