Ralf Groene Has Left Microsoft

Well, this can’t be good…

Microsoft Surface team loses another big player – is it game over for the company’s Apple-beating hopes? (msn.com)

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Hear Thurrott mention this yesterday - there goes the last advocate for innovation in the Surface line - is he joining Panay in retirement:

“His new role as a retiree is “helping friends to design things” going by his LinkedIn profile.”

PS - This does put an end to Microsoft design chops. I say that because everyone raves about Ive and Apple design, but what did they give us except ever thinner devices that stood on the shoulders of others’ ideas. Ralf and Panos brought us “smart watches” before they were cool; Surface Pro with two in one design AND kickstand; a separating laptop; “studio” design in a desktop all in one and a laptop; innovative two screen smartphone with REAL productivity enhancement; the vision of Neo; Hololens.

What has :satyarr: done - strangled Surface Mini two minutes before its birth; killed Neo and Duo; wasted HoloLens; but by god he will force feed us AI if it kills him…


I mean I hate it, but it might have been the best course of action for shareholders. Would it have had any benefit for MS if they they spun off / sold their hardware division, and would such a thing have been feasible?

I don’t think a sale would be any help - who’s going to buy and why? Just steal (sorry, Jobsian “influenced design”) the existing designs and go their own way - no need to pay. I still think we are going to see the shutdown, but maybe 2026 instead of next year. If other vendors successfully launch Snapdragon X, it will be sooner than later…


As much as people hate Ballmer for his bull-in-the-china-shop-meets-man-child attitude, you’ve got to give him one thing. He had the vision and the nerve to let Ralf and Panos just do their thing.