Back to Lees, I wonder what could the time-critical opportunity be in 2012, in relation to Windows Phone and Windows 8. The obvious opportunity I can think of is a common kernel (MinWin?) between the two, thereby enabling app extensibility from phones to PCs of various form factors. Throw in the supposed Xbox SDK rumored to be based on Silverlight and the just announced Live (SkyDrive) SDK, and you see Microsoft’s vision of three screens and cloud finally coming together. Perhaps Lees is given the responsibility of driving that vision, starting with the next major release of Windows Phone software? After all, he successfully got rid of Windows Mobile and rebooted Microsoft’s mobile efforts in the form of Windows Phone 7.
Until we know what exactly Lees is going to be leading, it will be pure speculation as to whether this move is considered a promotion or a demotion for Lees. Myerson has not been designated as a President yet, which is a bit surprising, but it could also leave the room open for Windows Phone division to get rolled into the Windows division under current President Steve Sinofsky. If Windows Phone shares the core with Windows, it would absolutely make sense to have one President for both the products.
2012 is clearly shaping up to be the most crucial year in Microsoft’s history. Nokia’s upcoming launch in the US, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, ARM Windows, Office v.Next, Skype, iOS Office, Xbox apps, Kinect 2, Kinect for Windows, all are slated to launch some time in 2012. It is a long list and one that does not include anything on the Enterprise side of things. The stakes for Microsoft, which is on the brink of becoming irrelevant in the post-PC era could not be higher. Perhaps this move kicks off the biggest year for Microsoft?