Just a few days ago, I blogged about the recent news of Andy Lees’ removal as head of Windows Phone. I stated that I didn’t think Windows 8 was going to end up on the phone, and the WP would continue to use the CE kernel, at least for a little while longer.
Well, I might have to eat my own words after all, if many of the prediction floating around the net come true.
InfoWorld is one of these sources that believes that Windows Phone and Windows 8 will merge in some form, and even as soon as late 2012.
Beyond this merger of kernels, the InfoWorld article talks about what it calls the real reasons behind Andy Lee’s removal as head of Windows Phone.
According to the article and many other opinions out there, moving Lees wasn’t about having Andy help Ballmer out on some time sensitive project. It was instead about moving him out so they could work on changing WP and actually bring it a level of success that Lees promised but didn’t follow through on.
We will know this is completely true if we hear that Lees ‘retires’ or switches to a new company a few months.
So what made them bench Lees? There are many different reasons that have been speculated on throughout the net. For example, the Verge claims that he was removed because he claimed Windows Phone would gain a momentum quickly in public, but he hasn’t really lived up to expectations.
Other ideas tossed around has to do with alienating hardware partners and early bugs/issues associated with Windows Phone.
No matter the reason, one thing seems clear. Andy Lees wasn’t the man for the job, at least Ballmer doesn’t seem to think so. Right now Microsoft is finding itself in a position where it needs to make major changes to evolve into the mobile and tablet market in order to continue to be relevant in a future that is less and less “PC-centric” than it was even a decade ago.
Failure isn’t an option, and if Lees can’t do the job right, then they will find another route. This is just smart business on Microsoft’s part.
The InfoWorld article’s take on the matter was that Myerson will report to Stevevn Sinofsky. Through this reporting they will essentially replace the CE kernel with a stripped version of Windows 8.
Although I may soon eat my own words, I still don’t know if this is going to happen any time soon. If Microsoft is really working on many new projects like pushing Metro functionality in Xbox 360 and its successor, working to finalize Windows 8, and making improvements on Window Phone, is now the right time to switch kernels?
I have said in the past that it is certainly possible, but it will need to be done delicately. Windows Mobile hasn’t been perceived as a huge hit, although it had its niche group certainly. Windows Phone has yet to pick up moment as well, so if Windows throws out the CE kernel before picking up more Windows Phone momentum I’m afraid it will hurt the overall reputation of Windows on the mobile front.
Right now, Microsoft should instead focus on building up Windows Phone momentum. Recent drama surrounding malware on Android has given Microsoft a window to start pushing its own mobile platform, and so far it seems they are using this window wisely.
Now, in 2013 or 2014, if Microsoft has grown a following with WP, would a switch to W8’s kernel turn out a wise investment? Very likely, I just feel right now isn’t the best time. Could Microsoft prove me wrong, make the change, and have it become a wild hit? Of course, I never claimed to have magical divining abilities.
How about you? Do you think Microsoft should base Windows Phone on the NT kernel now or instead wait and focus on building up platform support? Share your thoughts below!