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Microsoft Prepping Shakeup for Games, Mobile Phones



Last week Mary Jo Foley hinted that J Allard the man behind Microsoft’s XBox, and who was also behind Microsoft Courier, was none too happy with the cancellation of that device and might be headed out of the company. Today the Wall St. Journal is sort of quasi confirming that story saying Microsoft is prepping a shakeup in its division that handles games, mobile phones, and other devices.

Supposedly the changes will be announced later this week. If this all holds true, it is more than curious and perhaps a bit troubling. The early debut on Windows Phone 7 featured some genuinely enthusiastic responses from most quarters, but it is no secret that the timing of the actual release (the holidays this year) puts Microsoft behind the curve that the other mobile players are setting. Also targeted for the holiday season is Project Natal.

One way or the other, it will be interesting to see this all play out.



  1. GoodThings2Life

    05/25/2010 at 5:48 am

    I desperately think Microsoft needs people like Allard, and really I’d love to see him or Sinofski take the reigns at Microsoft, because frankly I can’t stand the way Ballmer is running the company. Someone like Allard should be in a CEO role as a visionary and creative driver and leading the execution of those ideas.

    • Sumocat

      05/25/2010 at 6:51 am

      Agreed. I sometimes question whether I treat Ballmer unfairly for comparing him to Gates, but then stuff like this surfaces and I long for the return of a CEO with vision.

      • Brett Gilbertson

        05/26/2010 at 4:47 pm

        Time for bill g to return… The Balmer era is starting to feel like apple without steve j…

    • tk

      05/25/2010 at 11:00 am

      I understand you because that what everyone is saying, but it is wrong, even a millition people saying that. If you pick BillG’s last three years, comparing with Ballmer’s last two years, the difference is huge. Win 7, Phone 7, cloud, office 2007, VS 2010, SQL 2008 R2, Sharepoint 2010, any those are vastly better than before.

      I am sad that stupid people are always in majority.

      • Sumocat

        05/26/2010 at 7:12 am

        You call that “vision”? Those are all continuations of products introduced during Gates’ term. Those are the least creative examples from Ballmer’s term you could have cited. New products introduced during Ballmer’s term include Zune, Bing, and Kin, and each of those chase someone else’s product.

        If we’re comparing vision, the Tablet PC and Windows Media Center were two of the last innovations developed during the Gates administration. Had they been strongly supported by Ballmer instead of being folded and forgotten into the main OS, we might be reading all about Windows tablets and media centers today instead of the iPad and Google TV.

  2. Jeff Jackson

    05/25/2010 at 7:01 am

    With any luck, this means they’ll now cancel the fiasco that is Windows Phone 7, AKA iPhone-lite. If Allard is the “genius” behind that turkey, I say good riddence.

  3. Art Sarasin

    05/25/2010 at 10:29 am

    J Allard was the only and last hope I had in Microsoft and Courier was the only device that could excite me in a long long time. Courier’s way greater than iphone, ipad combined. Too bad Ballmer’s shattered all these hopes for once and all.

    It’s Ballmer that should’ve been replaced.

    Oh wait, they will wait until Apple market cap eclipse MSFT’s first before bother to find a replacement.

    • Jeff Jackson

      05/25/2010 at 12:08 pm

      Courier was a non-starter from the beginning, a yet another incompatible with everything that came before it device that would have to fight tooth and nail to get developers developing for it. If it could run something like Windows 7, it might have been something I would have wanted. If Allard is the main responsible for WM6.5 and WP7, then he is the man who single-handedly killed Microsoft’s hopes for having a presence in the mobile arena. Ballmer should have given him the boot years ago.

  4. Virtuous

    05/28/2010 at 1:58 pm

    Whoever is responsible for Windows Phone 7 taking so long to reach the market deserves to get canned. Ballmer should get fired for dismissing the iPhone when it debuted. The Courier was just a pipe dream, not a real product.

  5. Joe

    01/20/2011 at 12:15 pm

    I woiuld rather say that the ‘courier’ is targeting a niche market and not general users that would normally go for an Ipad or Samsung Tablet. Microsoft’s ‘courier’ seems to be more suitable for advanced users like Business people that need good integration with their backend systems, or even IT professionals like support officers, etc.. So I believe the the market is not the same here. Nevertheless, i still believe that Microsoft is making its biggest mistake ever..

    more views on this here:


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