‘Bach’ to the future as Ballmer heads Microsoft consumer division

26 May 2010

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the new head of the technology giant’s powerful Entertainment & Devices division after its two top senior executives Robbie Bach – once tipped for the CEO job at Microsoft – and J Allard have left the company.

As reported on Siliconrepublic.com yesterday, all is not well in the Entertainment & Devices camp, which is responsible for Microsoft’s successful Xbox gaming platform and which is readying itself to launch the hotly anticipated Project Natal motion device.

However, concerns have been raised – especially since Microsoft canned the potentially game-changing Courier new computer form factor – that the company has failed to fight off the rise of new smartphone competitors iPhone and Google Android, which are selling around 100,000 devices each per day worldwide.

The company now has to face off other threats in the consumer market, namely the Apple iPad which is understood to have put a serious dent in netbook computer sales in the US.

It is understood that Ballmer will himself take over the reins of the Entertainment & Devices division with gaming chiefs set to report to him. Ballmer has in the past taken over Microsoft businesses when he wasn’t happy with their performance in the past.

Microsoft’s Zune player, for example, has failed to dent sales of the Apple iPod and Microsoft’s Windows platform for mobile phones Windows Phone has a lot of work to do to catch up with Android and iPhone smartphone sales.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years