Microsoft shakes up Windows Phone management

Microsoft shakes up Windows Phone management
AllThingsD is reporting that Windows Phone head Andy Lees is being moved to another position. It’s not exactly a demotion, as Lees will still be reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, but rather than head up the Windows Phone division he will be working on a “time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8”.

Terry Myerson, who has led the engineering side on Windows Phone, is going to take over most management duties in the division, although he apparently will not be officially named as Lees successor at this time. It’s not clear whether this move is to shift Lees expertise to somewhere else, or is due to the disappointing sales of Widows Phone handsets to date.

Despite positive reviews, Windows Phone has gained very little market share. In the last year Microsoft-based phones have actually lost market share, as users of the older Windows Mobile handsets moved to competing mobile platforms at a faster rate than people purchased WP7 phones.

Windows Phone was late to market, with Microsoft deciding it had to totally scrap Windows Mobile and start anew after the explosive growth of the Android and iOS ecosystems. With OEM partner Nokia starting to ship WP7 phones, 2012 may be a make or break year for Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Whether this change in management can create new growth (or at least remove obstacles blocking it) remains to be seen.

source: AllThingsD



1. RazaAsad

Posts: 100; Member since: Nov 24, 2011

2012 is a start of bright future for both Nokia and WP. Once Nokia is back, most of us would say "see...? I told you so..."

4. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I'd be careful before saying that. WebOS and the Palm Pre were supposed to be the savior of Palm as well as Sprint...that didn't go so good.

6. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

You never know what will happen, but it appears that Microsoft has a lot going on in the pipeline that could potentially entice more consumers.

2. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Can someone please fire Ballmer?

5. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

You know anyone better?

9. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Bezos, though he'd never do it... he's definitely the superior bald CEO

15. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Bill Gates? He used to hold down the position.

7. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

WP7 hasn't taken off at all yet, so I would agree with you if I were an investor. From a purely operational perspective, I have to say that Microsoft has been executing their products and strategy unbelievably well, so I would probably keep the man around.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

agree. love the start and potential of WP7. I think WP7's biggest fault right now isnt functional, its that its still called WINDOWS which leaves a bitter bad dirty taste in your mouth if you have ever had a windows phone. They should have just called it MS Metro or something instead of windows. If iOS was solidified by Apple's brilliant marketing, WP7 was sunk before it start because of its negative publicity by using "windows phone". Its an anchor to an otherwise great system. Whoever thought THAT was a brilliant idea should be fired.

17. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"Whoever thought THAT was a brilliant idea should be fired." Um, if memory serves, that was one of Balmer's brilliant moves.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

lol, if thats true, then its just one more reason to punch balmer. bring back Gates! :)

18. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I was actually a Windows Mobile 6 user myself. It was a real mobile operating system, but it definitely left a sour taste in a lot of users' mouths because of lag, freezing, etc. However, I think it is a little short-sighted to say that going with the name "Windows" was a bad idea. Now more than ever, using that monicker is actually representative of what Microsoft is trying to do by unifying the OS across devices.

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

yes, but there comes a point when the brand is so stained that you have to change the moniker. There is a reason Ford doesnt sell the Pinto anymore. No matter what kind of car it is, when you say Pinto it immediately recalls disaster in a lot of people's minds. All day I get people that are immediately turned off from WP7 that have never tried it, just because they hear "windows phone". Its insane how often it happens. Not changing the brand identity to remove the shackles of the previous generations of poor phone OS was a bad idea. they dont need "brand cohesion" in the mobile space, they need brand penetration. They need OS cohesion, and that can happen no matter what they call it. At this point, they could put Apple logos on a turd and it will sell like crazy because of brand recognition. They could put a "windows phone" sticker on even the all mighty i4s, and it wouldnt sell squat. Brand identity will help you swim or sink long before people even try the product.

26. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

well i personally dont agree with you on this one. just wait for 2012 and i am pretty sure its gonna work. Nokia would bring the much needed support for windows. and i dont think anyone hates windows. we just dont love it as much as we love android.

28. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

im going by my customer's reactions, not just a personal feeling. I could say its as high as 7 of 10 immediately grimace when i say "this is the new windows phone 7 device".. as soon as they hear "windows". I have a "windows defense" speech all ready to go whenever i say that, because its normally the next thing i have to say when people shrug it off without even looking at it. There are a lot of sales reps in these boards. Maybe they will chime in and agree or disagree, but that is my personal experience with customers... and im one of the few reps that actively try to sell WP7.

29. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

@remixfa I'm not selling phones in the retail space, so you can definitely gauge the reaction of shoppers better than I can. I understand that using the name "Windows" Phone may turn people off right now, but I am confident that if Microsoft can successfully promote Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 when they come out, the choice to stick with the "Windows" name will pay off. In my opinion, I would take the hit to sales now if later I could tell customers that what they are running on their PCs is what we're running on our phones, because that brand recognition is more important.

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

im not so sure. that brand cohesion works for some, like apple, because there is a positive feeling around the brand. people go "oh, i love my mac.. ill try the iphone.. oh .. i love my iphone, ill try the ipad" ect. People dont go "wow, i really hated my Windows 6xx phone, let me go try windows 7/8" In that type of situation, it would take a lot less money to convince people of the worth of a new brand identity, than it would be to turn around the perception of the old brand identity. just to bring it back to the old car point... cars get rebranded all the time. when an identity, even a long running one, like say the Ford Escort gets stale or gets percieved as too negative, they change the name of the next year's model to something else like the "Ford Focus" and try to create a positive brand identity with that. Its still the same car as the previous model, but its much easier to start fresh than wipe the slate clean when it gets "too negative". Thats my only point. I think we've talked about the many positives of WP7, and the fact that I do like the system. Its biggest negative isnt the lack of real multitasking, flash, or even its smaller app market.. its the negative perception surrounding its name. If a sales rep that WANTS to sell the device has to spend all its time explaining why its not like previous windows phones.. what do u think happens when a rep that DOESNT want to sell the phone is asked those questions?

25. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

totally agree. windows as a name brings a unifying feel.

24. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

but i think "windows" as a name is a perfectly fine.

3. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

My Samsung Focus is very boring / on its last leg. Cant wait until christmas, out with the old and in with the new!

8. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Dare I say..."Too little, too late"....?

16. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

At this point, MS is making more from licensing their IP than they are from WP# licenses. Maybe it is time for them to take a hint and follow the $ (aka shutter the WP# effort, as it is a failure)?

10. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

WP is going to be just fine. Lees did a good job of leading the development of the new OS, but with Nokia onboard and commitments from both Samsung and HTC, it is time to get aggressive. Lees wasn't that kind of guy. WP is a great OS, and is ready for some true support. No more time to waste.

27. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

well said sir.

11. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I played with an HTC Titan at an ATT store today, although the screen is the same resolution as a DROID X it is sharp, smooth, nice, if WP7 had apps for all my online services (Hulu, netflix, spotify, slacker, etc) I'd be tempted to pick one up, it is SMOOTH!, smoother than my Itouch 4th.

20. wp7tribes

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

i know netflix, spotify, slacker available for windows phone 7 not sure about hulu

13. mrwp7

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

@BattleBrat, i'm a Netflix, Spotify, and Slacker user as well and have used all three ON MY WINDOWS PHONE. It supports all those and more. Any mobile platform support Hulu yet (aside from a few tablets?). All the major players are supported on wp7, the "not enough apps" argument is a weak one at this point. Not necessarily directing all of this to you, but the perception that the platform is lacking app support is common and I find it to be the opposite.

14. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

CRAP, Guess I'll start saving for the Titan, I was impressed by the build quality, I've never really held a flagship HTC handset before, it was aluminum and glass, and WP7 was SOOOO smooth!, IMO it is smoother than iOS, so so smooth, I can't get it out of my head how beautiful the Titan is, it is like an apple product, except the windows are better looking than the ugly apps, and that Titan had a big, beautiful screen, even if 800x480, it was sharp.

19. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Windows Phone 7 IS smoother than iOS... It is also more interactive... yet it is simple and clear, all while being exponentially more functional than iOS or Android. WP is REALLY something special. It's only a matter of time before its market share explodes.

21. wp7tribes

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

totally agree

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