Windows Phone 7 head replaced; Andy Lees on 'special project'

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - December 13, 2011.

The president of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 division, Andy Lees, is no more. CEO Steve Ballmer just replaced him with an underling, Terry Myerson. Lees is to work on an unspecified special project. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers read between the lines.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: (sqrt(cos(x))*cos(400*x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.4)*(4-x*x)^0.1...

    Preston Gralla reports:

Andy Lees is being replaced by Terry Myerson, who...has been head of engineering for the division. ... Lees is being moved to a new ill-defined position. ... [I]t's not clear who, if anyone, will report to him...doesn't sound as if this is a promotion..


The memo Ballmer sent around praised Lees, as always happens when these kinds of things are being done to people. ... [But] Windows Phone 7 is so far behind the iPhone and Android it's hard to know how it will ever catch up.   

   Ina Fried broke the story:

Lees...will still report to...Ballmer and focus on ways Microsoft can work across multiple types of devices from phones to slates to PCs. ... “I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role...focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8,” Ballmer said in an internal memo.


Despite positive reviews, Microsoft has yet to gain significant market share with Windows Phone.   

Fetch the comfy chair! Joe Wilcox is in two three four minds:

I'm scratching my head wondering. ... I could interpret [this] two ways. Ballmer says..."he's too high level to just show the door". Or: "I need him to help...bring Windows desktop, embedded and mobile to a single code base". ... Or: "He's going to help get this Nokia partnership really going". ... Or -- take your pick of whatever skunk-works project that might be "time critical".


I'm convincing myself that Lees is sidelined and as a leader, forgive me, castrated...the Lees era is over. ... Microsoft has fallen too far behind. ... [But if] Lees is working on something like a unified OS strategy, good luck to him. Microsoft's relevance in the post-PC era may depend on such a project's success.   

Meanwhile, MG Siegler analogizes:

[D]espite a nice array of talent, Microsoft is...getting absolutely smoked. What do you do when that happens? You switch coaches.


It’s interesting to see Microsoft in this position...seemingly learning an old Apple lesson: great products alone don’t always win.   

   And Finally...

[hat tip: Science Gallery]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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