As Microsoft struggles to get traction in the consumer market, senior executives have started fighting with each other over the allocation of resources with several divisions refusing to support each others projects.
Last week the giant software company was forced to dump a multimillion dollar phone project after only 48 days in the market. According to new reports the circumstances that led to the death of the Microsoft Kin handset suggest it was endemic to the project.
Project Pink was originally led by famed Xbox leader and now departed J Allard, but was effectively hijacked by the Windows Mobile team’s lead, senior VP, Andy Lees. He was “jealous” of the resources he saw being drawn away, according to Engadget sources, and not only took control but forced a change to a Windows CE foundation that conserved resources but doomed the project.
Engadget said that from then onwards, Lees is believed to have only given Kin the bare minimum of consideration. He allegedly ignored calls by the team to add important features like an app store as he simply wanted to complete the phones and return more focus to what became Windows Phone 7.
The web site said that corroborating dialog between Microsoft employees supports the idea of infighting at the company but has put some of the blame on Windows Phone engineering head Terry Myerson, who shared the same attitude as Lees. One supporter of Myerson and Lees has characterised Kin as a distraction from the main goal of shipping Windows Phone 7.
Later this year Microsoft is set to try and resurrect their Windows Mobile offering up against strong offerings from Google Android vendors, Apple with their iPhone and RIM with their Blackberry.
A failure by Microsoft in this market will have a serious impact on the company’s overall consumer business which is also set to be hit by the launch later this year of Google TV.
To date no major TV companies have offered support for Windows Media Centre on their TVs due to the flaky performance of the Microsoft software. By December Sony, Samsung and in 2011, LG, are expected to be selling a Google TV offering which runs Android based software.