Microsoft has elevated two executives to important posts
overseeing projects related to mobile operating systems.
In a move that comes as the software giant races to gain
relevancy in smartphones and tablets, Andrew Lees has been elevated to a new
position overseeing the development of the Windows Phone software and Windows
8, the combined computer-and-tablet operating system the company expects to
release in 2012. Lees had previously been in charge of the unit developing
Terry Myerson will assume the vacancy created by Lees’
promotion. Myerson had been a corporate vice president in charge of engineering
for Windows Phone, according to a report in WSJ.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system for
smartphones received critical praise, but hasn’t gained traction with
consumers, who prefer phones running Google Inc.’s Android system or Apple
Inc.’s iPhone device. Microsoft has almost no presence in the tablet computer
In an email to staff, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft,
emphasized the urgency behind the moves, which are effective immediately.
“I have asked Andy Lees to move to a new role
working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact
in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. We have tremendous potential with
Windows Phone and Windows 8, and this move sets us up to really deliver against
that potential,” the memo read.
The company’s Windows 8 software, which Microsoft
disclosed last week will arrive in a test version in February, will be a key
technology for leading the company into the market for tablet computing. The
software will use a system of commands similar to its phone software and
support touch-screen applications on both tablets and PCs.
Earlier this year, Microsoft struck a partnership for
Nokia Corp. to use Windows Phone to power Nokia’s next generation of
smartphones. Nokia brought the first products to market in Europe in the fall
and will soon introduce them in the U.S.