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Elop’s New Job

Todd Bishop for GeekWire:

Julie Larson-Green, the former Windows executive who most recently led Microsoft hardware development as the top executive in the company’s Devices and Studios Group, is moving to a new role in the company’s Applications and Services Group.

[…]

Her role leading the company’s Devices & Studios Group will be filled by Stephen Elop, the Nokia executive who is rejoining Microsoft as part of the Redmond company’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business.

Oh boy. I’m trying hard to imagine a world where this is a good idea. Remember that Elop was the one who during the CEO search was saying that he would spin off the Xbox division—the only thing at Microsoft that’s really trying to innovate in services—away from Microsoft itself.

Nokia’s hardware approach has been a disaster for some time now and I’m not too thrilled about that track record coming to Xbox, which is a brand I love quite a bit. On the other hand, this has the potential to give the “Windows Mobile should be a fork of Android” idea a bit of an internal push, which would be great to see.

The article goes on to quote an internal email that was sent as part of this transition from Larson-Green. Some choice quotes:

As you will read in the notes below from Qi and Satya, I’ve accepted a new challenge, leading the My Life & Work team in ASG and serving as the Chief Experience Officer (CXO).

This appears to be an actual team and position name. I have no joke that is better than the real thing.

I want to thank each and every one of you for welcoming me and supporting me as the leader of Devices & Studios over the past 7 months.

7 months is hardly enough time to grasp the relationships in a team as big as that has to be, let alone effectively drive them to innovate. I’d love to be wrong here, but that kind of short executive tenure with a group doesn’t sound fun.

Our opportunity to grow as a world-class devices and experiences company is greater than ever, and I have every belief that as One Microsoft we’re on the right path. The addition of Nokia Devices & Services into the DnS family will add tremendous scale, talent and opportunity for our future.

And it will probably add a tremendously enjoyable turf war that is not likely to make any products better.

You are all in great hands with Stephen and already we’ve shared a lot with him and his LT from Nokia regarding all of the fantastic people, teams and products in DnS. I also know many of you are looking forward to welcoming the Nokia team and working more closely with them.

By which is meant, “I know none of you are really thrilled about an entirely new team merging with yours, but you should probably start coping now.”

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$99 Xbox Live Gold Family plan available this November

With Kinect, Microsoft is trying to get the whole family playing games. Now it hopes to get the whole family paying for Xbox Live as well, through a discounted “Family” offer. The Xbox Live Gold Family plan, available this November, offers a year of Xbox Live Gold membership to four different family members for a total cost of $99.99, half the normal cost of four individual memberships.

It’s about time.

(via $99 Xbox Live Gold Family plan available this November | Joystiq.)

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Let’s Get Ready To Rummmmbllllle (via Penny Arcade)

This E3 has been difficult to observe usefully from afar, because merely watching doesn’t convey the data it used to: so much of the offering is directly experiential. People are waving things, or they’re waving their arms in front of things, or they’re looking at magical screens that shit is popping right out of. It would be like if a person came out and started talking about chocolate, and then ate some chocolate, and then walked off stage. That is not data. There’s so much conjecture that whatever you come up with is almost hopelessly attenuated.

This is very true of what I’ve seen of E3 from here. Motion controllers, insanely expensive 3D setups for your living room, and other insanity are ruling the day.

There will be more posts on this—of course—but hardware aside, the games that are being revealed make me very interested in the next 12 months or so.

As a bonus, the comic from yesterday is quite vulgar but also quite funny, and is a very apt description of what the three major press conferences were like at E3.

(via Penny Arcade – Let’s Get Ready To Rummmmbllllle.)

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Do you think Steve Jobs wants to be a se…

Do you think Steve Jobs wants to be a serial entrepreneur? Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? Larry Ellison? All these guys put big stakes in their life’s work. Companies that they built from scratch, that they’ll champion until they can champion them no more. Sure, they may have hobby companies on the side, but for each of them, there’s one defining business, one spectacular legacy to leave behind when they’re gone.

DHH, Signal vs. Noise: “Not for sale”

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I love the unintentional humor of this dialog. Can you spot what’s wrong here?

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The full version of RDC has been out for something like four or six months. I refuse to upgrade to it simply so I can see this dialog every few days and get a laugh out of it.