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Microsoft OEM Chief Steps Down

According to a Bloomberg report on Saturday, Microsoft's Steven Guggenheimer, who has served as corporate vice president of the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) division for four years, is leaving his position for a new role within the company.

"As a result of long term planning, Steven Guggenheimer will move on from his current role as CVP of the OEM Division effective July 1, to coincide with the start of Microsoft's fiscal year," Frank Shaw, Microsoft corporate communications executive, told Bloomberg. "He is taking on a new senior leadership role at the company, and further details will be provided when finalized."

According to his LinkedIn profile, as corporate vice president of the OEM division, Guggenheimer was responsible for "worldwide sales, marketing, and licensing of preinstalled software on mobile phones, embedded consumer and commercial devices, PCs, and servers produced by [OEMs]. These include: Large OEM's that distribute multinationally, local manufacturers, System Builders and the distribution channels that support them."

Replacing Guggenheimer is Nick Parker, previously the vice president of OEM sales and marketing at Microsoft.

While the announcement of Guggenheimer's move came less than two weeks after Microsoft launched its Surface tablet, Shaw told Bloomberg that the timing "is unrelated."

The Surface, which will run Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT, is Microsoft's first self-manufactured tablet PC. Its launch was a surprise to even some of Microsoft's closest OEM partners; Reuters reported that while some partners were told of the launch three days before the event, others -- like Asus and Acer, both of which already have Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets in the works -- were kept in the dark until the launch event itself.

The Surface pits Microsoft directly against its hardware partners, though the company promised that it will not undercut OEMs when it comes time to announce pricing. "Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC," Microsoft's announcement said. "OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT."

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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