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All posts tagged "j allard"


Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Official Robbie Bach and J Allard are Stepping Down

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 04:00 PM

I posted about this rumour recently, but now it's official: J Allard has left he building...although it seems he's going to be sticking around a little bit, working on special projects for Steve Ballmer. Robbie Bach, on the other hand, is full-on retiring and leaving Microsoft. Bach has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, a long time in the tech industry. Who's stepping in to fill the voice? No one for now:

"Underscoring the strength of the leadership teams in place for the entertainment and mobile businesses, the company announced that Senior Vice President Don Mattrick will continue to lead the Interactive Entertainment Business and Senior Vice President Andy Lees will continue to lead the Mobile Communications Business. Each will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer effective July 1."

Ballmer says that Bach just wanted to retire - it's not a reflection of his performance. J Allard wrote a really great letter about his time at Microsoft - it's worth reading, but this one quote really stood out to me:

"Please, put my headcount and that cardkey "invitation" to good use. Find a college student that claims we don't get it and blogs tirelessly about our lack of agility. Track down an EE that has been focusing on fuel cells and has radical thoughts about power management. Or a social networking whiz who is tired of building little islands that go hot and cold and can't break the mainstream. Hire a designer who's given shape to 2 decades of beautiful automobiles and thinks we can sculpt technology to better connect to users. Infuse them with our purpose. Give them the tools. Give them lots of rope. Learn from them. Support where they take you. Invite them to redefine The Tribe."

I couldn't agree more. If anything has been shown by the past few years of Microsoft's performance in the mobile space, they need to bring in more fresh blood, with fresh ideas, and continue to agitate and move the company forward. Zune is still a USA-only product, Microsoft has no OS capable of running on thin and light tablets, and Windows Phone 7 is long overdue. Microsoft is in a rough spot with all things mobility. Good thing the Xbox 360 and Windows 7 rock!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Has J Allard Left Microsoft?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:30 AM

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft...s-j-allard/6256

"Over the past month or so, I've been asking around about Allard's whereabouts. One of my sources who has been a pretty reliable tipster in the past told me that Allard is on sabbatical and is unlikely to return to Microsoft. His name is still in the Global Address Book inside Microsoft, I hear, and his bio page is still unaltered on the Microsoft Corporate Web site, where he still is listed as Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Entertainment and Devices Division."

The rumour mill is saying that J Allard has left Microsoft - and possibly over the fate of the now-dead Courier project. If it's true that he left Microsoft, it bodes ill for the company. Products are rarely truly created by one person, but teams and divisions of people can certainly be inspired by one person. Microsoft isn't typically known for having very creative, boundary-pushing people working for them, but J Allard was both of those. If he's really gone, I truly wonder what the devices and entertainment division - which includes Windows Phone, Xbox, and Zune - is going to do.

[Silly side note: my one and only J Allard moment was when I walked past him going into a bathroom at the Microsoft campus, inside the old Zune team building...and he happened to have a broken arm in a cast at the time. Memories, meeeemories...]


Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Engadget Interview: J Allard, Microsoft Corporate Vice President

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 05:25 PM

"You know, it's been our philosophy that digital music is just getting started. The world is gaga about iPods, but everybody in the world listens to music, not just 50 million people that have iPods. And so we're taking a real deep approach when it comes to music and saying, "There's an opportunity with this technology to narrow the distance between artists and their audience." What does that look like? And we're talking about a lot of different artists saying, "What can Zune be doing to change the medium for you in really exciting new ways? How can we get beyond just getting the zeros and ones off of CDs and putting them in people's pockets, and change that?" We're talking to consumers and saying, "How can we change the way that you discover new music? You know, we'd love you to find new people based on the music you love, we'd love you to find new music based on the people you love." How do we change that dynamic?"



A very interesting interview by the gang at Engadget. J Allard talks about how Zune isn't a device, it's a platform. And like all Microsoft platforms, it's a long-term play with a lot of depth, and designed to bridge with other Microsoft platforms to the greatest possible effect. In the case of the Zune, it's bridging into the Xbox and Vista. How deep that will go is anyone's guess, but I expect big, bold things from the company where Zune is concerned over the next several years. No one takes on the iPod empire in a single pitched battle: it's a long-term war. In the end, if we as consumers get better devices, all the better.


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