Microsoft appears to be done fiddling around and losing market share when it comes to mobile. The company yesterday had a major shakeup that underscores Microsoft’s commitment to mobility as a platform, with the announcement that James Allard, Microsoft’s Chief Experience Officer and Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division will be leaving the company.
Allard was known as the champion of the Courier product, which was supposed to be a dual screen ebook reader. The company recently announced Courier was off-the-table and instead, Microsoft would partner with OEMs to attack the tablet market and take on the iPad.
The subsequent reorg seems to be a refocus of sorts. The new structure elevates a “platform leader”—Corporate VP David Treadwell, the former head of Live Platform Services—and has him reporting to the Project Natal guru, SVP Don Mattrick, who reports directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. Mobile devices SVP Andrew Lees, the man responsible for Windows Phone 7 development will report directly to Ballmer, too.
Redmond is also gearing up for the release of Windows Phone 7 later this year, after multiple delays, and the release of a stopgap OS in form of Windows Mobile 6.5.
Feedback from first sneak peeks is quite good, and hardware manufacturers are jumping on board.
The mobile market is perpetually in flux and recent events with Google, SAP, Sybase and now Microsoft show that if companies want to succeed in the changing digital age, the mobile channel cannot be dismissed. Microsoft, once the trailblazer in the mobile software and mobile device marketplace, understands it dropped the ball, and is now attempting to make it right. Time will tell. Regardless, it should be exciting to watch.