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Microsoft shuffles Windows Phone management to build momentum

post #1 of 42
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Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.

An internal memo from Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was first leaked by AllThingsD, then publicly released on Monday. The document caused some confusion as it was unclear whether Lees' new role was a promotion or a demotion.

Ballmer wrote to employees at the Redmond, Wash., software giant that Lees, who took over as Windows Phone president just 14 months ago, would move to a new role working for him on "a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8." The executive noted that the change would set Microsoft up to "really deliver" on the "tremendous potential" of the two operating systems.

The memo thanked Lees for his contributions to the team, noting that he had made a "ton of progress" in a short amount of time. "In the three years Andy has been leading the phone group, weve come a long way we reset our strategy, built a strong team that delivered WP7 and WP7.5 and created critical new partnerships and ecosystem around Windows Phone," the note read.

Former Windows Phone engineering lead Terry Myerson will take over Lees' existing responsibilities, including development, marketing and "other business functions," according to the memo.

"Because Terry has been so integrally involved in our Windows Phone work already, Im confident that he can make a seamless transition to this new and broader leadership responsibility," Ballmer wrote.

Adding to Ballmer's words of affirmation, handset maker Nokia, a close partner with Microsoft these days, issued a statement praising Lees' work.

We are grateful for Andys support and commitment in getting Nokias Lumia range into the market, on schedule, Executive VP Jo Harlow told AllThingsD. We would like to thank him for his hard work and wish him well in his new ventures at Microsoft. We have been working closely with Terry and are looking forward to collaborating with him more broadly.

The fact that Lees' role will span both the Windows and Windows Phone teams may serve as further evidence of Microsoft's plans to merge the two platforms. Ballmer has made clear that his vision for Windows is for it to be "everywhere on every device without compromise." Lees said in July that he believes PCs, tablets and phones will eventually merge into a "unified ecosystem," though he did not indicate when he expects that to happen for Microsoft.\t

Windows 8 will take a step in that direction by adding support for ARM-based architectures and including a secondary tablet-oriented interface called Metro. The operating system is slated for release sometime next year.

However, Lees' new role was also taken by some to be a result of disappointing sales of Windows Phone. Joe Wilcox of BetaNews speculated that Ballmer's email could be interpreted as a firing of Lees, though "he's too high level to just show the door." Wilcox went on to note that Windows Phone's paltry 1.2 percent market share in the third quarter is a "measure of failure, in a really big way."

"On second thought, I'm convincing myself that Lees is sidelined and as a leader, forgive me, castrated," he wrote. "Hell, he is no longer a Microsoft president -- and over one of the company's most strategically important product groups.

"It's likely the Lees era is over at the Windows Phone division," he continued, adding that "Microsoft has fallen too far behind and can't get up."

Windows Phone 7 arrived last fall, but failed to gain much support from consumers. Reviewers praised some of Microsoft's user interface decisions as "novel and attractive," while generally noting that the OS appeared to be a few years behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Ballmer said in September that Windows Phone's first year of sales didn't amount to "quite as many as [he] would have liked."

Microsoft worked to make up for lost time with a major update, codenamed "Mango," to Windows Phone this fall. In October, Nokia unveiled its first two Windows Phone devices under the brand "Lumia" after agreeing to abandon its own Symbian OS in favor of Windows Phone early this year.

Nokia's new Lumia 800 (left) and Lumia 710 are its first Windows Phones.

Some analysts are skeptical that even Nokia, the world's largest handset manufacturer, will bring Microsoft critical mass for its mobile platform. Pacific Crest Securities analyst James Faucette cut his sales forecast for Nokia's Windows Phone devices in half last month, stating that he believes the handsets are "unlikely to get traction."

Microsoft's partners are also worried about the platform. U.S. wireless operator AT&T has even admitted that Microsoft will face "a lot of challenges" in going up against its well-entrenched rivals.
post #2 of 42
WP7 is a great mobile OS. I hope they can find an opportunity to exploit. So far it's not looking so good.

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post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

WP7 is a great mobile OS. I hope they can find an opportunity to exploit. So far it's not looking so good.

I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.
post #4 of 42
Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.
post #5 of 42
The term for the Lees promotion is [temporal] "percussive sublimation"...

Pity though, that we'll need to come up with a different name for the MS/Google competitor to Siri...

I rather like the sound of AndyAndy...
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post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World

I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.

I don't understand... what do you mean? Obviously all those easter eggs don't deliver themselves!
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I don't understand... what do you mean? Obviously all those easter eggs don't deliver themselves!

And the only evidence that bigfoot leaves behind are giant turds.
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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft shuffles Windows Phone management to build momentum

why do we so seldom hear about apple shuffling management to build mo ... meh ... never mind.
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post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.

I have seen one WP7 when in flight from LA to SF a couple months ago. Interesting interface. It looks promising and in my personal opinion, is better than that mess they call Android.

It holds promise, but I doubt it will get far so long as the chair-throwing monkey-boy is at the helm.

Good luck WP7. You're going to need it.
post #10 of 42
The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.
post #11 of 42
deck chairs.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.

Lumia 800 has just opened for bookings in India. It looks pretty interesting. I will read a few reviews to see how the interface is.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngel21x View Post

The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.


I would sponsor a dozen chairs for that!
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Nokia's Lumia 800 is doing very, very well in Europe. It'll be interesting to hear just how many they've sold in the run up to Christmas.

well = 100 sold
very well = 1000 sold
very very well = 10,000 sold

you get my progression
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

I have never even seen a Windows Phone in the wild in either Europe or the US. I think they are a myth, like the easter bunny or bigfoot.

I saw a pink Nokia Lumia 800 in the Wild in McDonalds.

But I agree with SolipsismX - its a great mobile OS. I'm tempted to buy one after christmas.

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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngel21x View Post

The only management shuffle they need is to shuffle Steve Ballmer out the door. Then every year after that, Microsoft should have a ceremonial chair throwing party on the day he was fired.

^This

... at night.

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... at night.

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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoss the Dog View Post

well = 100 sold
very well = 1000 sold
very very well = 10,000 sold

you get my progression

2nd and 3rd best selling at Vodaphone:
http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_...-news-3421.php

Best selling phone at biggest network in the Netherlands:

http://wmpoweruser.com/nokia-lumia-800-tops-sales-charts-at-netherlandss-largest-mobile-operator/



So yes, 500,000 to 1M in Q1 is looking likely. Of those, about 100 will be in the US.
post #18 of 42
One of my students bought a WP7 when they first came out.

At the time he couldn't use it as a phone because it wouldn't connect to the carrier. That lasted a couple of weeks or so after he bought it. It honestly didn't look too bad. He likes it. It might be another case of too little, too late for Microsoft.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

And the only evidence that bigfoot leaves behind are giant turds.

200,000 Android activations a day is a lot of evidence for bigfoot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.

An internal memo from Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was first leaked by AllThingsD, then publicly released on Monday. The document caused some confusion as it was unclear whether Lees' new role was a promotion or a demotion.

I don't see the confusion at all. Ballmer says to the Division Head: you're responsible for this division, so I'm going to set aside all of your other responsibilities and your job is to make sure that Windows Mobile 8 is a success. That means that 100% of your time should be spent on promotion during the next 6 months which is the critical time frame.

It happens all the time. Basically, the division head is given a 'do or die' opportunity.
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post #20 of 42
This story reminds me of an apparent quote from a Titanic crewman.

"Hold on a moment please, while I just patch this hole "
post #21 of 42
How much more shareholders money is Microsoft going to piss away on the complete failure known as Windows Phone? The interface is unusable. Who in their right mind things text scrolling off the right side of the screen all over the place makes sense? We are talking Design 101 here.

Like i have always said....DOA. Microsoft should stop wasting shareholders money and focus on milking their illegally obtained desktop monopoly. Just develop software for iOS and Android and continue patent trolling Android cloners. that is where they will return the most money to their shareholders.
post #22 of 42
I remember the poor-taste spectacle of Microsoft folks having a funeral for iPhone.

Now we know who was really in the casket.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by plovell View Post

I remember the poor-taste spectacle of Microsoft folks having a funeral for iPhone.

Now we know who was really in the casket.

Oh yes, I'd forgotten that. I must see if I can find a video. That should be recycled for sure.
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post #24 of 42
I never knew about the MS - iPhone funeral.



Haha, what a bunch of pathetic fools.

Windows Phones deserves to burn in hell together with Android!
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has rearranged its management team for Windows Phone, shifting division head Andy Lees to a "time-critical opportunity" to build momentum for its Windows Phone and Windows 8 operating systems, a move that some have viewed as a sign of failure.


"Rearranging deck chairs on a ship that's going down"
post #26 of 42
A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Gates had overruled Ballmer, forcing the company to hold the line on Wndows Everywhere. Thus, the silliness that the same OS must run on all devices, whether phones, tablets, computers, toasters, etc. This suggests the even sillier notion that the same programs run on all the platforms. Java's write once, run anywhere?

Unless Windows 8 will only be the same in name, there is no practical sense in this vision. Windows Everywhere was a great vision 30 years ago, but Gates is living in the past to think such a vision is tenable today.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

"Rearranging deck chairs on a ship that's going down"

That would be WindowsMobile. This is more like the Titanic sank, people died, and MS built another Titanic that was safe one of the best ships on the seas, but no one trusts the name because they called it Titanic 2 so no one is sailing on it do to its stigma yet it's a great ship.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #28 of 42
The only thought I had while reading this article: are we really quoting Joe Wilcox from Betanews so heavily? Since when did this guy's rants and ill-informed opinions become something worth quoting?
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

... This is more like the Titanic sank, people died, and MS built another Titanic that was safe one of the best ships on the seas, but no one trusted the name because they called it Titanic 2 so no one is sailing on it do to its stigma yet it's a great ship.

Great analogy. Windows Phone 7 = Titanic 2.

My take on this news is probably a bit weird but the first thing I thought was that this has to do with MS Office.

Lees is being moved to an important "time sensitive" (due out next year) project that spans both of Microsoft's platforms. He's kind of a "clutch" guy at the company and has been put in to fix other failing projects in the past (at least as far as I heard). Add that to the rumour of MS making Office for iOS and the recent debut of their notes app (part of Office traditionally), and I think the "big project" is about putting MS Office on tablets.

Microsoft only has two products that actually sell and make it money. Windows and Office. It stands to reason that they would pull out Office as a sort of "Ace in the Hole" to prop up the failing OS situation.

Also, that rumour about Office for iOS seemed pretty firm, but anyone with half a brain can see that bringing out Office for iOS is the same thing as stabbing their own mobile platform directly in the heart. Why would anyone ever switch to a Windows tablet if you could use Office on the iPad? The whole idea is ridiculous.

For that reason they may not do it at all, but if they did they would *have* to have a version for their own mobile OS first.
post #30 of 42
Yup, this will solve all their problems.
post #31 of 42
seems like Microsoft needs to re-align for launch of Windows Mobile 8 and OS 8

the early windows mobile 7.5 mango phones are ok if you like no keyboard versions, but what if you want a slideout keyboard to compete with iphone's? you can't get one.

i am open to window tablet 8, it could be a good thing to get a tablet with a more open architecture than IOS and more solid than Android.

could be interesting.... but Microsoft needs better staffing and to throw proper strategic deals to make it fly. No one thinks anyone can compete with Android and IOS.... I do. Can't count MS out. but they need to launch this one correct if it will not end with egg on their face.

which namely ought to be cost effective products with tons of App's. or even full featured software on tablet Windows 8 variant.

could be interesting, lots of potential, but they need visionaries making and marketing it, a nokia deal isn't visionary. they could have licensed it to anyone. they need to make sure it is cost effective and competes with iphone.
post #32 of 42
Sliding down a steep incline towards a precipice is definitely one way to gain momentum!
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post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I have seen one WP7 when in flight from LA to SF a couple months ago. Interesting interface. It looks promising and in my personal opinion, is better than that mess they call Android. [...]

Agree, but it's obvious that Microsoft has intentionally gone as far away from iOS' look-and-feel as possible. Android has come as close to iOS' look-and-feel as possible.

Funny that both of them are, IMHO, equally distasteful.

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post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

The interface is unusable. Who in their right mind things text scrolling off the right side of the screen all over the place makes sense? We are talking Design 101 here.

You have got to be joking, if there is one thing that anyone who has ever used a windows 7 phone has said is that they got UI right. Go troll elsewhere bullhead.
post #35 of 42
I don't know how you can pin the failure of Windows Phone on Andy Lees. I don't think there was anything they could do. By the time Microsoft realized that Apple had changed the game, and Windows Mobile 6 was stale, it was too late.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noliving View Post

You have got to be joking, if there is one thing that anyone who has ever used a windows 7 phone has said is that they got UI right. Go troll elsewhere bullhead.

That is clearly what they are saying...look at how fast those Windows Phones are selling. What 1.5% of the market now and still shrinking? Windows Phone 7 is a total failure. Why can't you softies admit it? The UI is _horribad_
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noliving View Post

You have got to be joking, if there is one thing that anyone who has ever used a windows 7 phone has said is that they got UI right. Go troll elsewhere bullhead.

Just ignore him.

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post #38 of 42
I wonder when, if ever, Microsoft is going to realise the Xbox360 person/team is the only person/team in Microsoft that "gets" anything.

If I were a shareholder, I would be calling for Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer to step down and cease all leadership of Microsoft effective, 3 years ago.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Just ignore him.

Here I'll help! Simply click here to improve your AI forum experience!

Sorry the truth hurts. No wonder the world is so mess up, people just tune out reality and live in their own fantasy world.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Sorry the truth hurts. No wonder the world is so mess up, people just tune out reality and live in their own fantasy world.

That's like complaining someone who avoids eating dogsh*t isn't expanding their culinary horizons.

I don't tune out to reality, just the useless stuff.
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