Several days ago AllThingsD reported that Andy Lees (pictured above), Head of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Business, was going to be replaced by Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of Windows Phone, more specifically his responsibilities included leading Windows Phone engineering. Lees has held his title as the Head of Windows Phone for the past 3 years, basically since the birth of the operating system. Now we didn’t report the story because we wanted to see what additional information might turn up. Thanks to The Verge, we have a better idea of why Lees was moved to a different role. They say that Lees didn’t exactly have stellar relationships with OEMs, that it’s his fault that Motorla stopped making smartphones running Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, which eventually made the company focus on Android and then get sold to Google. Lees was also responsible for the deal Microsoft signed with LG back in 2008 for a “strategic collaboration”. That pissed off HTC, who actually makes Windows Phones, but let’s be honest, they’re known for what they do with Android.
So this new guy in charge of Windows Phone, Terry Myerson, is apparently “well-liked internally”, and during a recent team meeting with the folks working on Microsoft’s attempt at penetrating the smartphone market, he said:
“We’re at zero percent market share for all practical purposes, and if we could get to ten percent, that’d be great.”
That’s not exactly the type of quote you want to see leaked out, but at least Myerson isn’t trying to sugar coat Microsoft’s current situation to rally up the troops. Now achieving that 10% will be easier with Nokia focusing on Windows Phone, but it takes two to tango. Microsoft has to prove that they can out innovate Android and iOS, something that they’ve yet to do.
Expect 2012 to be a defining year for Windows Phone and for Microsoft in general. During the first half of next year we’ll find out more about Tango, the update to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango that supposedly adds LTE support and the ability for handset vendors to make lower end devices. And then during the second half, that’s when Apollo (Windows Phone 8?) will hit the scene. Rumors say it’ll support dual core processors and 720p resolution screens. Also due to come out during the second half of 2012: Windows 8.
[Image Credit: Flickr]