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Leak: Andy Lees swap is punishment for Windows Phone sales

updated 04:20 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011

Tips have Lees demoted for poor WP7 performance

Microsoft's decision to move Andy Lees to a new position was his punishment for Windows Phone 7's failure in the market, leaked details may have uncovered. The vague role he was given of creating "maximum impact" for WP7 and Windows 8 was described by The Verge's source as a sign that "he's been benched." Lees' public portrayal of how soon Windows Phone would get share versus real results was reportedly causing angst within the company.

The attitude may have also been the culmination of a number of problems after partly antagonizing a number of hardware partners. The Kin series may have been the chief example of this, as Lees supposedly rejected any help from Motorola on the software and ultimately spurred Motorola to eventually become an all-Android shop that today sells more smartphones the whole Windows Phone platform combined. A widely circulated leak pointed to Lees insisting on Windows CE code, rejecting work done by the former Danger team that delayed the phone, cost it a Verizon discount, and killed the devices after six weeks.

Lees might also have hurt the partnership with LG, which resulted in the Optimus 7 in 2010 but hasn't led to anything more than a special edition fashion phone this year. The November 2008 LG pact for Windows Mobile reportedly antagonized HTC, which too ended up leaning much more on Android. LG's deal with Microsoft is often considered representative of how many companies made assumptions that Microsoft's success on the desktop would automatically translate to mobile, only to watch the iPhone and later Android take Microsoft almost out of contention.

Microsoft might benefit from the shift, according to the tips. The new Windows Phone head, Terry Myerson, is believed to be "well-liked." Although an engineer more than an executive, this might work to his favor as the upcoming Tango update focuses primarily on hardware support to reach more areas.

Lees may have significant work to do if apparent clues of unification efforts in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are correct. However, the shift is characterized as reducing damage and might see him either take a new role or quit shortly after Windows 8 is finished.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Larene

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2011


    Fall guy

    The all powerful Windows/Office czars did not allow him to do his job, and now throw him to the wolves. In the Ballmer era, MS must be a really fun place to work.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why not punish the used-car salesman?

    Talk about cutting off a person's hand when the thinking is flawed. Lob the head off!

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Give it away

    Do what Google did. Give it away! Let's see what happens.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Except Microsoft is a device tax company, not an adware company.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Poor Andy!

    I certainly hope he gets a lot of money. No one can sell MS Windows Phones. Of course the guy they need to get rid of is Ballmer.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Kin?

    Interesting revisionism blaming Lees for the Kin's failure, and completely brushing Roz Ho's main involvement completely under the table.

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