Microsoft rearranges the deck chairs again; reorgs cellphone, games division

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Microsoft Corp. is expected to shake up the management of its division focused on videogames, mobile phones and other devices, in the wake of increasingly bruising competition from Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the market for consumer devices, according to people familiar with the matter,” Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s time for the annual Microsoft reorg!

Wingfield continues, “The Redmond, Wash., software company could announce major organizational changes at its Entertainment & Devices Division as early as this week, those people said. The division includes Microsoft’s Xbox videogame business and Windows Phone, an operating system for mobile phones. One executive in the division, J Allard, the chief experience officer and chief technology officer of the group, is expected to leave that role following Microsoft’s recent decision to shut down a tablet PC development project known internally as Courier, that Mr. Allard was overseeing, people familiar with the matter said. But the organizational shakeup is broader than Mr. Allard’s departure from his role, these people add.”

MacDailyNews Take: The Apple wannabes at Microsoft are legion: Windows wants to be a Mac, Zune wants to be an iPod+iTunes, Windows Phone wants to be an iPhone, Allard wanted to be Steve Jobs, etc. None of them ever enters the same solar system, much less ballpark.

Wingfield reports, “Microsoft’s woes in mobile phones are particularly troubling for the company. Although it was an early player in the market for the sophisticated wireless phones known as smartphones, Microsoft has stumbled badly in recent years with its Windows Mobile operating system for handsets. The company’s software has lagged behind cutting-edge technologies found in Apple’s iPhone… During the first quarter, new shipments of handsets based on Microsoft’s mobile software fell to 6.8% of the worldwide market from 10.2% during the same period the prior year, according to Gartner Inc. Google’s Android operating system jumped to 9.6% from 1.6% during those same periods, while Apple’s iPhone rose to 15.4% from 10.5%, Gartner estimated.”

Full article here.

Mary Jo Foley reports for ZDNet, “Over the past mont or so, I’ve been asking around about Allard’s whereabouts. One of my sources who has been a pretty reliable tipster in the past told me that Allard is on sabbatical and is unlikely to return to Microsoft… Word inside was Allard was none too happy about the killing off of Courier and has finally made good on his (what sounds like they may have been regular) threats about leaving the company all together. (Another person with whom I communicated claimed CEO Steve Ballmer showed Allard the door because of disagreements regarding the Courier’s potential.)”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Courier’s potential was nil. It was even more vaporous than HP’s fake slate. Even Balmy could see Courier has no potential, so it had to be pretty obvious to just about everyone. Oh, but J Allard, with his oh-so-cool name, is supposedly a genius, you say? Uh, Zune.

Still, with Apple about to leave Microsoft in the dust, we’re getting worried for Monkey Boy. This is at least the fifth major reorganization at Microsoft in the last five years! Even Microsoft shareholders have to wake up eventually, right? So, let’s offer up our toast: May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. Wasn’t “J” Allard supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to Steve Jobs? Seriously, the guy changed his first name legally to the letter J. How full of himself he must be!

  2. Ballmer’s days may be numbered with Apple close to passing MS in market cap. Would Bill Gates return if Ballmer retired to spend more time with his family? I say give Ballmer 5 more years in charge.

  3. Can someone buy Steve Ballmer some more time. The Microsoft Titanic hit the iceberg and has only partly sunk. The life boats and life preservers are just now hitting the cold dark water.

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