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J. Allard in costume after losing a bet in which he said that the Sony PSP wouldn't pass 10 million units sold  (Source: Zune Online)

Robbie Bach
J. Allard leaving Microsoft after 19 years on the job

We reported earlier today that some shakeups were on the way from Microsoft with regards to its Entertainment & Devices Division. It had already been widely speculated that J. Allard, chief experience officer and chief technology officer, was leaving. It was also reported that Robbie Bach could also be shown the door.

TechFlash now reports that both Allard and Bach are leaving Microsoft. According to TechFlash's Todd Bishop, the departure of Allard and Bach will give CEO Steve Ballmer more direct control over Microsoft's struggling sectors (namely its Zune and Windows Mobile units).

Although there has been speculation that Allard might jump ship to Google and work on that company's tablet efforts, he refuted those claims and said that he wants to unwind for a bit and tackle “personal interests” after working at Microsoft for 19 years.

For his part, Ballmer stated the following in a company email announcing the departures:

Transitions are always hard. Robbie has been an instrumental part of so many key moments in Microsoft history — from the evolution of Office to the decision to create the first Xbox to pushing the company hard in entertainment overall. J as well has had a great impact in the market and on our culture, providing leadership in design, and in creating a passionate and involved Xbox community, and earlier being at the center of our work seizing the importance of the Web for the company...

Both have been great team builders with a strong record of attracting, coaching and growing talent. As a result, their teams are primed to continue to step up and deliver great products, great services and great results for the company.

You can read Ballmer's full email to the troops here.

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By Tony Swash on 5/25/2010 1:15:29 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft will continue to flounder in the consumer market because for all it's size and it's domination of the desktop for nearly two decades Microsoft's has almost no experience of marketing directly to consumers. MS's existing customers are IT departments and managers, its OEMs, its not end users, its not consumers.

Other than Xbox MS has almost no experience in the consumer market and the only way the Xbox business worked was with a vast (and I do mean vast) financial subsidy from MS's desktop business and after billions spent the XBox is just about breaking even.

The reason MS argued the Xbox was important was that it opened the door to the living room as a new arena for MS products - but it doesn't have any such products because it has no track record or experience of producing successful products for the consumer.

Microsoft in the consumer market is like an American tourist arriving in France clutching their Esperanto phrasebook and thinking they can get by.

As long as MS's Windows/Office/Server monopoly tripod continues to exist they will continue to make a lot of money and be a very big business but I cannot see where they can generate growth from. They have been trying to break out from dependence on their old business model for 15 years and have failed to find a single successful new business venture (i.e. one that makes a good profit). Now Steve Balmer is taking a more hands on role - the omens are not good.

By leuNam on 5/25/2010 6:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
apple and tony again....

By Tony Swash on 5/26/2010 8:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
apple and tony again..

I didn't mention Apple !?!

By Smilin on 5/26/2010 4:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
No you didn't but you earned yourself a fanboy rep on some other article I watched. You're no pirks or reader1 but you're trying :)

By LordanSS on 5/25/2010 8:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I kinda liked their PC Gaming hardware...

GameVoice was utter crap, but I loved their Precision 2 joystick. As a matter of fact, even though I bought mine in the 90s (I think), it works to this day! And a friend of mine who I play racing games with, he still plays using his ForceFeedback Wheel (Gameport relic version, he uses some adapter to USB lol).

Obviously I'd love to have a Thrustmaster HOTAS Cougar combo and whatnot, and I did import a CH Pro Throttle USB, but yeah, import... those things ain't available here in Brazil. Had to make do with what we had for sale, and the Precision 2 did the job. =)

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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