Claim: Heads are rolling at Microsoft over Surface tablet

Last week we reported that PC vendors – including Hewlett Packard (HP) – were up in arms over Microsoft’s recent decision to enter the lucrative tablet market with its indigenously designed Surface device.

And now SemiAccurate confirms Redmond has transferred Steven Guggenheimer, the CVP of the OEM Division, to “parts unknown” within the vast Microsoft machine.

“Microsoft obviously got caught with their pants down by HP and other OEM reactions to Surface. The panic in Redmond was obvious and palpable late last week,” explained SemiAccurate’s Charlie Demerjian. 

“A professionally managed company would work tirelessly to placate the OEMs and do whatever it takes to make sure the people responsible for the overwhelming majority of their sales are happy.”

Indeed, according to Demerjian, Microsoft chose to ditch a professional approach, instead deciding to pick a scapegoat in the form of Guggenheimer’s scalp. 

“Surface was a top secret project at Microsoft, and the few OEMs that were told about its existence were told late on Friday before the Monday launch. Basically, Guggenhiemer was either not told about or not allowed to mention the Surface project to the OEMs he managed,” said Demerjian.

“When they found out about it, OEMs understandably went ballistic and pulled back from Microsoft, hastily kissing up to Google en masse. It was a disaster, and those responsible are still in power, a ludicrous cover story has been floated, and purchased press lapped it up.”

Demerjian also opined that Microsoft Surface proves Redmond has no real plans for the mobile space, as it is simply “rank management incompetence” to think the surprise announcement wouldn’t effectively alienate the entire OEM community.

“This is Windows Phone 7 part II, everyone knows it. Instead of learning from that debacle, the same geniuses who took Microsoft’s phone operating system share from above 10% to below 2% were let loose on the tablet space. Their harebrained master plan blew up in their face once again, and took the entire OEM community with it. 

“Microsoft then panicked and took a public scalp instead of holding those responsible to account. There is no plan on where to take things from here, Microsoft’s tablet hopes and dreams are stone cold dead. If upper management is allowed to survive this, the company has no chance,” Demerjian added.