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All posts tagged "robbie bach"


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!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Microsoft at CES: Watch the Keynote Live at 6:30 PM (PST)

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home Events" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/ces/

"Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, and Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division, deliver the pre-show keynote address in Las Vegas to kick off the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Coverage begins on Jan. 6, 2010, at approximately 6:30 p.m. PST with the live, streaming keynote. The Microsoft 2010 CES Newsroom will be updated throughout CES with the latest news, videos, photos and press information from Microsoft and its partners."

CES is here! Tune in to the live webcast at 6:30 PM (PST) today (world times listed below) as Steve Ballmer and Robbie Bach talk the latest and greatest in Windows 7, Office, Windows Live, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Zune, and other consumer technologies. But if you'd rather digest it all in one hit, keep your eyes peeled for our post-keynote report.

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle: Wednesday, 6:30 PM
  • Chicago, Houston: Wednesday, 8:30 PM
  • New York, Washington, DC: Wednesday, 9:30 PM
  • London: Thursday, 2:30 AM
  • Paris, Berlin: Thursday, 3:30 AM
  • Moscow: Thursday, 5:30 AM
  • Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Perth: Thursday, 10:30 AM
  • Tokyo: Thursday, 11:30 AM
  • Sydney, Melbourne: Thursday, 1:30 PM
  • Auckland: Thursday, 3:30 PM


Thursday, June 12, 2008

VentureBeat Interviews Microsoft’s Robbie Bach

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Articles & Resources" @ 05:00 PM

http://venturebeat.com/2008/06/12/i...part-1-on-zune/

"Robbie Bach is the president of the multibillion-dollar Entertainment & Devices Group at Microsoft. The group is closing in on a big fiscal year end on June 30. The company has projected that the group will be profitable this year for the first time since its inception in 2005. One of the products that isn’t profitable yet is the Zune media player. A challenger to Apple’s iPod, the Zune is so far a quixotic attempt to unseat Apple in making cool music devices that capture the buzz among consumers.The Zune is just one of many products within Bach’s domain, where the common theme is “connected entertainment.” VentureBeat was part of a small group of reporters that recently got to quiz Bach about all of his businesses, from Zune to the Xbox 360. This edited transcript is the first of several parts and focuses just on the Zune business."

This is a great interview with Robbie Bach that goes pretty deep on the Zune; namely, how they see the Zune's position in the market against the iPod and iPhone. Bach drills on the "connected entertainment" point quite a bit, and while I think that's nice in theory, I continue to believe that Microsoft has fallen short in achieving the synergy they can/should achieve with Windows Mobile, Xbox, Windows, and the Zune. I should be able to purchase a song, a TV show, or a movie and watch it on my Windows Mobile smartphone, my Zune, my Xbox, and my PC. It's all the same family of products, it's all similar DRM. Why can't it all work together? Licensing? Make it work Microsoft! Apple beat you to the punch with the synergy of computer + phone + living room. Don't let them get too far ahead!

I also think that the VentureBeat reported nailed the right term for the launch of games on the Zune: "timid". As Yoda would say, "Do or do not, there is no try!". Right now games on the Zune seem like an experiment, and I think that sends a lot of mixed messages about how seriously Microsoft is taking this. I enjoyed reading the interview, and I found Bach's response to the issue of GameStop not selling the Zune any more to be utterly priceless:

"It’s not like they sell iPods either. GameStop saw it as a place to expand. We tried. It hasn’t gone as well as they’d like so they decided to stop selling them. It doesn’t say a lot. It was a channel expansion opportunity and it didn’t work out. It was a good thing to try. But it’s not called GameStop for nothing. It’s not called MusicStop. We have good traction with Best Buy, Circuit City and elsewhere."


It's so true - I grew very weary of blog after blog, media outlet after media outlet, making a huge deal about this when GameStop announced they'd stop selling the Zune. Were the same blogs and media outlets making an equally big deal out of GameStop selling the Zune when they first started because GameStop was such a huge an influential retail channel? No. Some people can be remarkably hypocritical when it comes to talking about Microsoft and it truly gets tiring sometimes. At any rate, check out the interview for more Q&A.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Robbie Bach Talks Zune Video Offerings

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 10:38 AM

http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,62010072,00.htm

"In an interview with CNET News.com, Bach said Microsoft is looking at other areas where it can combine consumer devices with online services, such as its community site Windows Live Spaces. Later this month, it plans to let Xbox Live users share their "buddy" lists with people who use its Windows Live Messenger. "Ultimately, the idea of us going to create one social community throughout Live services is a very powerful idea," he said. Separately, Bach said that Microsoft is considering ways to offer video delivery services for its Zune media player. He said certain video types, including TV shows, comedy and user-generated content, work well on small screens like Zune's, but not feature-length movies. Microsoft is contemplating which business models are best suited for these content types."

None of this is shocking news, but it's the closest I've seen to Microsoft actually saying "You'll be able to purchase episodic TV content, the same stuff on Xbox Live, for your Zune." We all knew this was coming, though many were surprised it wasn't ready right out of the gate - I suppose it's an infrastructure issue in part, having to have 320 x 240 versions of the TV shows available for download. When you purchase a show in HD via Xbox Live, they also give you access to the standard definition (SD) version for free. So I'm going to hope that the price of Zune shows are going to either be less expensive than the SD versions, or the same price but you'll get the Zune + SD version of the TV show for the same price. Are you willing to pay to watch TV shows on your Zune?


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