It is fair to say, as Appleâ€™s market cap is set to exceed Microsoftâ€™s, that consumer computing devices have become an increasingly important measure of the success or failure of a company. By that measure Microsoftâ€™s Entertainment and Devices division have at best a passing grade, with Xbox success, but Zune and Windows Mobile failures.
Whether the current re-org was spurred by this report card will not be known (Robbie Bachâ€™s â€œretirementâ€ at 48 is certainly suspicious) but the effect has ultimately been to bring the division front and centre in Microsoft, with its two VPâ€™s Don Mattrick from the Interactive Entertainment business (Xbox), and Andy Lees, from the Mobile Communications business (obviously Windows Phone) now reporting directly to Steve Ballmer, and presumable being closely performance managed. Given what we have heard about Steve Ballmer, he is likely not a person one would want to disappoint too many times either.
J Allard has left the company, but will in fact it appears be elevated in many ways to a Svengali-like figure, now with direct access to Ballmer, advising on UI and Design, an area which has never been known as Microsoftâ€™s strength.
With rumours that Courier-type interfaces may still make an appearance after all, it is likely Microsoft will be moving aggressively into the post-Windows consumer computing market.
What do our readers think? Let us know below.