"[One Microsoft] should do wonders for CIOs who are all in for Microsoft, but it should strike fear in the heart of CIOs who were hoping that Microsoft would decouple Office from Windows," Austin said.
Over the years, Microsoft critics have suggested the company's product lines are too diverse, and that certain businesses should be spun off as autonomous subsidiaries or even independent companies. Clearly, Ballmer has taken the opposite tack.
The implementation of the plan should take at least three months, maybe more, said Gillen, who considers this the company's biggest reorganization ever. Microsoft will need to continue tweaking the plan in the coming years based on market changes.
"Is this the only and last thing they'll have to do? No. They'll have to continue responding to changes in the industry, and they'll have to continue adjusting the organizational structure," he said.
Or as Gillett put it: "They needed to do something and they're making big changes that make sense. Now we'll have to wait and see how it plays out."
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.