Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is moving the company’s MSN group to the Windows division, creating a tighter connection between Microsoft’s online portal and its flagship operating system as the company gears up for the launch of Windows 10 in the months ahead.
The change — which follows reports of an internal struggle over MSN’s status as the default home page in Internet Explorer — was announced by Nadella in an internal memo this morning, according to people inside the company who viewed the message.
With the move, MSN shifts to Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, led by executive vice president Terry Myerson, and out of the Applications and Services Group, led by executive vice president Qi Lu. It’s the latest consolidation of power under Myerson inside the company.
Last fall, Lu and Myerson were reported to be at the center of an internal dispute over the default home page on Internet Explorer on Windows PCs, with Myerson wanting that page to default to a Windows 10 promotion, and leaders of the Bing team pushing for IE to default to Microsoft’s search engine. IE has traditionally defaulted to MSN on the millions of Windows PCs that ship every year.
In another sign of the change, Brian MacDonald, the corporate vice president who previously oversaw Bing Apps and MSN, has shifted as of this month to oversee productivity software in the Applications & Services Group, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Microsoft declined to comment on the changes or provide a copy of Nadella’s memo. MSN was reported to experience an initial decline in traffic last year following a redesign, but people inside the company say it has since recovered.
Update: Microsoft issued the following statement to Business Insider:
MSN has long been an important part of the Windows experience via Internet Explorer so expanding the Operating System Group (OSG) group to include the MSN team is very much in line with our goal to deliver the best and most relevant content to our customers. We recently redesigned the MSN user experience to include a vast array of content from the world’s leading media outlets and we’re excited about the possibility of bringing this content into the Windows experience in even better ways.