Microsoft has unveiled a major realignment of its company structure into three new divisions, each of which will have its own president.

The software giant has also announced that Jim Allchin, the company’s group vice-president of platforms, plans to retire at the end of 2006, following the launch of Windows Vista, the next version of the client operating system.

According to a Microsoft press statement, the three new divisions will be: the platform products and services division, led by Kevin Johnson and Allchin as co-presidents; the business division, with Jeff Raikes as president; and the entertainment and devices division, with Robbie Bach as president.

Johnson is currently group vice-president of worldwide sales, marketing, and services. He will be solely responsible for the platform products and services division once Allchin retires, according to Microsoft. Raikes holds the post of group vice-president of information worker business, and Bach serves both as senior vice-president for the company’s home and entertainment division and as its chief Xbox officer.

In addition, Lotus Notes creator and Groove Networks founder Ray Ozzie, currently Microsoft’s chief technology officer, will take on responsibility for driving Microsoft’s software-based services strategy and execution across the three new divisions.

Eric Rudder, senior vice-president of servers and tools at Microsoft, will be taking on a new role, too. He will work directly for Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, chairman, and chief software architect, focusing on the company’s advanced development efforts as well as on its overall technical strategy. Rudder will move into his new role following the launches of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005; both are scheduled for 7 November.