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Julie Larson-Green appointed head of Xbox Hardware

Thursday, 11th July 2013 15:02 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reorganized the company, and has appointed Windows chief Julie Larson-Green as head of Xbox Hardware, formerly headed up by Don Mattrick.

Get to know Larson-Green

Has a degree in business administration and a master’s in computer science; a self-taught programmer.

Worked tech support and as a development lead for Aldus, creator of PageMaker Desktop Publishing Software which was purchased by Adobe Systems.

Joined Microsoft in 1993 as a program manager for Visual C++ before switching to the Office team in 1997.

Led the UI design for Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007.

Promoted to Corporate Vice President, Program Management, Windows Client.

Most recently led the product planning, design and delivery of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Larson-Green will lead the Devices and Studios Engineering Group, which puts her in charge of “all hardware development and supply chain from the smallest to the largest devices.”

She will also take responsibility for studio experiences including all games, music, video and other entertainment.

As reported earlier this week, Ballmer has reorganized other staff positions, putting Skype head Tony Bates in charge of developer relations and Terry Myerson, formerly head of Windows Phone, in charge of the Operating System unit, which includes Xbox One functions.

“One Strategy, One Microsoft”

Ballmer said this switch-up is part of the firm’s new mantra: “One Strategy, One Microsoft”.

“We are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies,” he wrote in a company letter. “Although we will deliver multiple devices and services to execute and monetize the strategy, the single core strategy will drive us to set shared goals for everything we do. We will see our product line holistically, not as a set of islands. We will allocate resources and build devices and services that provide compelling, integrated experiences across the many screens in our lives, with maximum return to shareholders.

“All parts of the company will share and contribute to the success of core offerings, like Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and our EA offer, Bing, Skype, Dynamics, Azure and our servers. All parts of the company will contribute to activating high-value experiences for our customers.”

Ballmer also stated in the letter that the firm will “reshape” how it interacts with customers, developers and key innovation partners, by “delivering a more coherent message and family of product offerings.”

“We will plan across the company, so we can better deliver compelling integrated devices and services for the high-value experiences and core technologies around which we organize,” he continued. “This new planning approach will look at both the short-term deliverables and long-term initiatives needed to meet the shipment cadences of both Microsoft and third-party devices and our services.

“Xbox and Bing will be key future contributors to financial success. As devices become further integrated into everyday life, we will have to create new, extraordinary experiences for our customers.”

“This means we will organize the company by function, [and] here will be four engineering areas: OS, Apps, Cloud, and Devices. We will consolidate our technologies coherently into these groups pulling together some things that have been spread out in our current BG structure like cloud infrastructure, operating systems, mail, and identity, to name a few.

“Undoubtedly, as we involve more people there will be new issues and changes to our current thinking as well. Completing this process will take through the end of the calendar year as we figure things out and as we keep existing teams focused on current deliverables like Windows 8.1, Xbox One, Windows Phone, etc.

“Xbox and Bing will also be key future contributors to financial success. As devices become further integrated into everyday life, we will have to create new and extraordinary experiences for our customers on these devices. We are going to focus on completely reinventing experiences… We are going to immerse people in deep entertainment experiences that let them have serious fun in ways so intense and delightful that they will blur the line between reality and fantasy. And as we develop these new experiences, we will also support our developers with the simplest ways to develop apps or cloud services and integrate with our products.

“We will make these high-value activities priorities in our strategy.”

It was rumored last week after Don Mattrick announced his departure for Zynga, that Larson-Green would be taking over his position.

It was also rumored Mattrick left Microsoft due to a planned reorganization of the firm, which turned out to be the case after all. Mattrick was said to have left due to being shifted over into a newly created hardware division.

Since Larson-Green’s new position was announced, stock in Microsoft is up 1.38% to $35.17 since closing last night at $34.70. Granted that is not much of jump, but still a jump nonetheless.

Xbox One is out this holiday season.

Breaking news

37 Comments

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  1. For Blood

    Here’s to hoping she does better than Don Buttersticks.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. MCTJim

    Congrats to her now bring back library sharing for digital games :D

    #2 9 months ago
  3. For Blood

    @2

    Must I remind you it was sharing of timed demos of full games.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. For Blood

    Oh and before anyone says it was not, let’s use some logic. If person A buys a game and shares it with persons B through J, there are 8 lost sales right there. The game therefore would be timed and you could choose to buy it, you would not be giving away 8 free games with no strings attached.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. super3001

    4

    shut up idiot

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Innis

    @4 I think you could play the same game simultaneously with 1 other friend or family member.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. MCTJim

    @3 where did MS say that?. @4 it was one at a time..not 10

    original way before the reversal

    • Buy the way you want—disc or digital—on the same day: You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.
    • Access your entire games library from any Xbox One—no discs required: After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games.
    • Share access to your games with everyone inside your home: Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console–regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.
    • Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
    • Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.
    • Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

    So it seems like you can share your games to up to ten people in your family, who can login to their accounts and play games that are in your shared games library. And it sounds like they’ll be able to see your entire shared library instead of just one single game.

    Trade-ins and resell of disc based games will be supported, but only at participating retailers. Despite previous reports, it looks like Microsoft will not charge a fee on this.

    What about loaning disc-based games to a friend? Xbox One will allow that too, but with some restrictions. There won’t be any fees associated, but it looks like you can only loan games to people that have been on your friends list for at least 30 days. Oh yeah, you can only give out each game once. Sounds like it pays to be someone’s best friend.

    Also, it looks like it’s up to third party publishers whether they want to support used games or lending. They can also charge fees if they wish. As it is listed on the page:

    #7 9 months ago
  8. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    What to take from this?

    That Steve Ballmer REALLY likes the word ‘strategy’.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. bradk825

    @7 THANK YOU. People are still bringing up DRM which had been badly misrepresented, and it was not at all the issue people made it out to be.

    Eventually it was properly communicated but the damage was already done.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. frostquake

    Well lets hope they get those Call Centers out of the Philippines, those people are HORRIBLE there! They have no clue how to take a call, handle customer service, or take notes.

    Every time I call now, I DEMAND someone in the USA, and usually get a Call Back.

    You want Call Centers in Third World Countries Fine, But Holy Stormtroopers, train them better. I’ve had so many service tickets issued for one item it is crazy. Only once it gets ESCALATED to the USA, does the problem get solved, and only after I retell the story for the millionth time!

    The Few times I had to call Sony, it was clear that I was at a call center somewhere, but they knew their shit and how to handle it, Microsofts customer service is ATROCIOUS!

    Lets hope that gets fixed!

    Stay Frosty My Friends!

    #10 9 months ago
  11. MCTJim

    shame..never had an issue…my 360 broke, called, they were polite and expedient. Box arrived 2 days later and had my box back in a week with a free game. My rep had a southern drawl to her voice….as a matter of fact the call center was in Texas..Laredo I believe.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    The message here sounds good, if realised it could introduce wind to their sails – but until I see it put into action in a compelling way, my opinion on Microsoft is unlikely to alter.

    #12 9 months ago
  13. fearmonkey

    Too bad Ballmer couldnt re-organize himself out of a job. MS has done such a wonderful job lately, the Xbone fiasco, Windows 8, Windows phone OS’s, Zune, Surface, etc, etc. Not all were bad products (surface), but they did a lousy job of making people want one vs an apple or an android.

    Time will tell if this is a good move, I still think they need an exec that knows games and has a great stage persona, mattrick was terrbile, and the other guys are meh. Say what you want about Sony, but Jack Tretton is a much better face for PS than any of the mS guys are for Xbox.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. tenthousandgothsonacid

    I’m counting the seconds until Frankie Boyle tweets about giving a dog an x-bone

    #14 9 months ago
  15. machy

    @2 there’s NO way in hell that 1 copy for 10 ppl that’s 10x worst then the used game market … simple logic

    sony had 5 active system per account, thn ppl start sharing account and now we only got 2/account

    #15 9 months ago
  16. MCTJim

    @15 not sure what you mean…the library sharing was 1 person at a time..not 10 people at a time. XBox live costs 60 bucks a year here and thats for each person.

    …PS3 is free and you could create x amount of accounts. People cant afford to have 5 xbox live accounts.

    #16 9 months ago
  17. laughing-gravy

    So someone else who doesn’t know or care about games. FFS. @#9 you have to be joking right?

    #17 9 months ago
  18. DSB

    Her record certainly looks a lot better than Mattricks.

    But then hiring EA executives to do anything is always the wrong decision.

    Hoping for the best.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. ChunkyLover112

    I hope she does well — although it’s quite impossible to do as well as Mattrick. Good luck to her.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. rainer

    I dont think it’s entirely accurate to call her Xbox boss, Microsofts re-structure is quite different and will take a year to be put into place.

    Miss Green is in charge of all hardware at Microsoft from tablets, mice to consoles. The internal game studios are a sub-group within this division.

    The Xbox OS and software platform however us under control of the operating system engineering group now lead by Terry Myerson.

    I would not be surprised at all if we never see Miss Green at any Xbox function ever.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. drewbles82

    no one mentioned how hot she looks.

    #21 9 months ago
  22. For Blood

    @7

    *gasp*People in your house can play the games on your system? That is exactly what they can do now and have been able to do for the last almost 30 years.

    *even bigger gasp*Giving your friend the disc so he can play it is unheard of!!!!! Oh wait that is exactly how it is now too.

    Trade in games???????*dies* Darn that is also how it is now. Microsoft sure has a way of telling people they can do things that seem new but in reality are pretty old.

    #22 9 months ago
  23. TrickyAudio

    The whole DRM issue is getting properly boring now.

    #23 9 months ago
  24. bradk825

    @22 The list in comment 7 was written to show that you are not losing these things with DRM, not to make features look new. That was written after all the misinformation flying around surrounding DRM.

    #24 9 months ago
  25. polygem

    working for ms: absence of self-respect

    #25 9 months ago
  26. laughing-gravy

    @21 Nah she doesn’t. To much botox, fish lips. Bonnie Ross on the other hand….

    #26 9 months ago
  27. MCTJim

    @22 I was referring to the sharing…my sister in California can play out of my library in New Jersey..that is what I was referring to..they are not demos, they were indeed full games. But I still want them to bring it back..the whole X1 DRM and accusations of spying were overblown from people not reading properly and getting their facts straight. I wish they just left it all alone the way it was, but majority rules and I lost.

    #27 9 months ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    @27

    They were going to be timed demos. At least if we are to believe the engineer at MS had said.

    #28 9 months ago
  29. For Blood

    @27

    In the case of the Xbone, rumors have been facts or pretty close to actual fact.

    #29 9 months ago
  30. RXTom

    Hmm, the word ‘Kitchen’ wasn’t mentioned once in this….is this a joke?

    #30 9 months ago
  31. For Blood

    @30

    Best comment in the article.

    #31 9 months ago
  32. Lengendaryboss

    @30
    Sexist, sterotypical joke: I like it :)

    #32 9 months ago
  33. DarkElfa

    Someone’s been sucking on the Botox and Collagen again….

    #33 9 months ago
  34. gargus

    They picked an attractive woman because nothing calms angry internet nerds faster than a pretty woman.

    I bet if she said exactly everything don mattick did the hatred for the xbox one would have been a great deal less just because she is pretty.

    Guys will automatically pay more attention to her, they will believe her more so, they will be more willing to listen and they will easily agree with what she says more because they are genetically and hormonally programmed to since she is pretty.

    #34 9 months ago
  35. Puggy

    Hm, I guess it was a smart idea to pick a woman as Figurehead for the recently rather badly presented XB1, considering most of the nay sayers were men and usualyl are more likely to forgive a woman than a man, it does make sense from a behaviouristical – statistical point of view.

    Looking forward to see on how it might work out for Microsoft. At least wo won’t see only guys on the news pictures about microsoft for now.

    #35 9 months ago
  36. redwood

    @35 yup people wont make gifs of her as much as they used to of poor don :)

    #36 9 months ago
  37. For Blood

    You guys saying she is pretty, must have low standards.

    #37 9 months ago