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Submission + - Microsoft picks new leader for Windows Phone (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Microsoft on Monday replaced the head of its Windows Phone division, which has struggled to gain traction in the mobile phone and device market. Rob Sanfilippo, a research vice president with independent analysis firm Directions on Microsoft, said it's too early to tell exactly what the move means. "I think there's some reorganization going on to further the development of Windows 8 and the release of that, which is expected next year, as well as trying to align the strategies of Windows 8 and Windows Phone," he said.

Microsoft hasn't announced what Windows Phone 8 (if that's what it will be called) will be like. There could be a new model for developing applications on Windows Phone 8 that would bring it more in line with developing applications for Windows 8, Sanfilippo said. Windows 8, which is expected to be released in beta in February, employs a "Metro"-style tile-based user interface similar to that of Windows Phone 7 (and its updated version, Windows Phone 7.5). But underneath, the two are a bit different. Developers use Silverlight and XNA to create applications on Windows Phones. And Microsoft is de-emphasizing Silverlight right now, Sanfilippo said. For Windows 8, Microsoft is emphasizing other technologies developers are using to write apps on that platform.

"It would make sense for Microsoft to have a single set of technologies that you use on both Windows Phone and Windows 8," Sanfilippo said. The Windows Phone operating system has had a hard time gaining market share since its debut more than a year ago. Despite the well-reviewed Mango update (officially called Windows Phone 7.5) this fall, as well as the debut of the first handsets resulting from Windows Phone's partnership with Nokia, the platform has been struggling.

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Microsoft picks new leader for Windows Phone

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