Xbox 360 lead designer departs but stays with Microsoft

One of the main people in charge of the design of the Xbox 360 console, both inside and outside, has apparently left his leadership position at Microsoft's Xbox division. News.com reports via unnamed sources that Don Coyner, who until now was the leader of the Xbox design and experience group is no longer in that position. There's no word as to why he left although the story does say he is still with Microsoft in some unknown capacity. Microsoft officially won't comment on the News.com story.

Coyner started with Microsoft in 1999 in the newly created Xbox division as its director of marketing, two years before the first Xbox console was launched by Microsoft in 2001. Later, he headed up the design and experience team for the Xbox 360 console where he helped to create a unified design for not just the Xbox 360 console, which launched in 2005, but also for the design of its user interface.

Coyner's replacement will apparently be Emma Williams who helped lead the team that designed the new Xbox Dashboard user interface. That new design, which incorporates the Metro-style UI in Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, launched to all Xbox 360 consoles earlier in December. It's likely that Williams will be leading the team to help design the next version of Microsoft's Xbox console.

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so basically MS said switch to metro, he probably disagreed, replaced him with the person who pushed it... that's what I get out of this story

I really do hope they are putting him in some Microsoft Courier Project. I hope they do realize the potential for Dual Screen Tablets. Excellent for Students and Businesses and much more productive than current tablets. Come on Microsoft, you can do it.

AndrewC208 said,
I really do hope they are putting him in some Microsoft Courier Project. I hope they do realize the potential for Dual Screen Tablets. Excellent for Students and Businesses and much more productive than current tablets. Come on Microsoft, you can do it.

I still love the idea of the dual-screen form factor. It would be a great way to distinguish from the pack of smaller tablets that exist now.

... as long as it wasn't also twice as expensive.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
Lot of staff movement at Microsoft all of a sudden - wonder why?

Prelude to a bloodbath in Redmond? Ballmer to be fired?

With all the pressure on Ballmer over the share prices staying fairly static it does make you wonder if they are planning something drastic. Yes Microsoft has missed a few opportunities under Ballmer, but it's also produced some of its best products as well.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
With all the pressure on Ballmer over the share prices staying fairly static it does make you wonder if they are planning something drastic. Yes Microsoft has missed a few opportunities under Ballmer, but it's also produced some of its best products as well.

Ballmer can't order people to pay more for the stock (wish he could). While he's certainly not in the Jobs league of five-years-from-now product vision, at least the company has become much more diverse, profitable, and increasingly cohesive during his tenure.

Some folks aren't satisfied with that. They're content to put MSFT in the "tech companies more than ten years old" pile whose stock never goes above 25 or so. It's tough to break that mentality no matter how many successful products or years of revenue growth they provide.

Pygmy_Hippo said,
With all the pressure on Ballmer over the share prices staying fairly static it does make you wonder if they are planning something drastic. Yes Microsoft has missed a few opportunities under Ballmer, but it's also produced some of its best products as well.

Personal note: Ballmer is a fool

Ballmer has been facing pressures inside and outside Microsoft that started growing with the fumbling of Vista, which was sad as Microsoft had restructured for security throughout the organization, which is why when companies have issues, like Sony gets hacked, Microsoft is the leading expert they seek out for help.

So with all this good forward momentum, Ballmer is a business person and starts cutting off funding to things that don't turn instant profits.

After enough people have enough, this is when Gates starts being involved more, going back to last year, and continuing through the Skype purchase, which was a Gates order.

The Gates involvement to get Ballmer away from the profit motive starting to strangle Microsoft, and move back to the Gates modality is also where and why all the Gates rumors of 'returning' to Microsoft have come from.

Gates will probably offer more counsel and shove control when Ballmer becomes errant in decisions, but this doesn't mean he will take an active role back at Microsoft unless Balllmer can't do as Gates wants.

The Gates security blanket is what the people inside Microsoft and the investors are wanting right now, and sadly it is from Ballmer.

Gates almost always pushed for putting out ideas and technology even if they didn't create Microsoft $$, as he truly tries to adhere to his early ideals of getting technology into the hands of everyone. (Computer on every desk and in every home.)

During the 90s up to when Gates left, this was happening far more than even 'tech insiders' seem to realize,with Microsoft having a full hardware engineering team helping shape technology and releasing the 'ideas and technology' freely to the ecosystem of computing and technology, along with the software concepts they created and gave the ideas away.

When Gates left, Ballmer shifted a lot of these 'charity' innovation projects to the side and killed them. Which is why the TabletPC market was relegated to the side when it would have set the example of a proper Tablet for Apple, instead of the lower featured iPad catching the worlds attention as touch screen costs dropped. And on and on are examples.

Ballmer is a $$ minded goof, not a technology person. He is like Steve Jobs in his technical understanding and abilities; however, Jobs at least wanted projects to look good and work well, Ballmer just wants them to make big money or die.

Gates is a technology person, still CODING on projects the year he left Microsoft. Sadly, Microsoft needs Gates or a person that gets his vision and has the technical understanding to run the 'business' side as well.

For a good example of the contrast between Gates and Ballmer... Go look at the political elections in Washington State in 2006, 2008, 2010.

Ballmer put up personal money to shove to save and increase tax breaks for the 10 Million plus people at the expense of the poor people in Washington State. Gates fought on the opposite side, putting up money to directly oppose Ballmer politically,

Gates is very vocal, not being liberal or conservative, but he believes in a concept set by Teddy Rooselvelt called th commons, and what is sufficient to survive well in the world.

This means that if you are eating cat food to live, an extra $1000 to you will make a big difference in your life; however, an extra $100,000 to people like Ballmer and Gates is worthless to their general survival.

It is also not going to create new jobs, at best a few more yachts will be bought, which is worthless to how the US economy works, 100 spending 1000 dollars is far more beneficial to smaller business and communities than Ballmer spending 100,000 on a boat or shoving it into an overseas investment.

The top 1% are NOT the job creators, it is the small business and corporations like Microsoft that create jobs, which these type of taxes have no relevance.


---

Side note: In terms of actual philosophy and implementation, Gates always has been more progressive in the sharing of ideas than the OSS community. Instead of even 'licenses' Microsoft has introduced 'ideas' that shaped the technology world, not asking for a license or even credit for them. This covers everything from software concepts and programming concepts and compiler technologies to even hardware technologies and designs that are essential to Apple existing today, and Google existing today...

Yet Microsoft's PR is not to even reference 'what we did for you' like BASF use to do, which may not make as much money or get the Stock numbers Apple does, but it does share ideas with the world and increases the technology knowledge of society considerably.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the windows phone cheif. Perhaps Ballmer is putting together a team for better integration of their products and a stronger push towards a cohesive UI across all platforms.

Casanova89 said,
I wonder if he is responsible for the great cooling design of Xbox 360.

For the 360 Slim? Probably - good thing too, since it doesn't red ring.

Casanova89 said,
I wonder if he is responsible for the great cooling design of Xbox 360.

You mean the flexing of the support housing that created the RROD, that was technically a supplier problem that Microsoft never publicly revealed, instead taking the PR beating?

Or the advancement in CPU/GPU technology, where MS hardware engineers developed the first high end/desktop class unified APU/SoC beating Intel and AMD in solving the issues, that also helped advanced many ARM SoC designs, specifically the Cortex that Apple enjoys?

*(Check out how the CPU/GPU works in the newer XBox 360, this why why a the G5 class CPU that Apple said would never be power efficient runs more efficient than the same performance from Intel or AMD even now.)

Ya, what a goof to have given the world all that advancement...

(Maybe if Microsoft did big PR stunts like Google or Apple and then charged for their advancements, idiots like you might realize how even the freaking XBox changed the technology world.)

thenetavenger said,

You mean the flexing of the support housing that created the RROD, that was technically a supplier problem that Microsoft never publicly revealed, instead taking the PR beating?

Or the advancement in CPU/GPU technology, where MS hardware engineers developed the first high end/desktop class unified APU/SoC beating Intel and AMD in solving the issues, that also helped advanced many ARM SoC designs, specifically the Cortex that Apple enjoys?

*(Check out how the CPU/GPU works in the newer XBox 360, this why why a the G5 class CPU that Apple said would never be power efficient runs more efficient than the same performance from Intel or AMD even now.)

Ya, what a goof to have given the world all that advancement...

(Maybe if Microsoft did big PR stunts like Google or Apple and then charged for their advancements, idiots like you might realize how even the freaking XBox changed the technology world.)

Yeah I'm pretty sure the cheap low rpm fans in the back had nothing to do with xbox overheating. And what do you know it only took them a couple of years to put a cpu cooler in it finally.

Blackhearted said,
The lead designer eh? So was he the idiot who thought it was a good idea to stick with dvd9's in the 360?

Were any alternatives even ready when the 360 went to manufacture?

~Johnny said,

Were any alternatives even ready when the 360 went to manufacture?

On March 31, 2006 Toshiba released their first consumer-based HD DVD player in Japan at ¥110,000 (US$934),.[22] HD DVD was released in the United States on April 18, 2006,[23] with players priced at $499 and $799.

The first BD-ROM players (e.g. Sony BDP-S1) were shipped in mid-June 2006

wikipedia says no.

Blackhearted said,
The lead designer eh? So was he the idiot who thought it was a good idea to stick with dvd9's in the 360?

Let me stir the hornet's nest:
Sony didn't do any better for not being able to take advantage of Blu Ray and filling most of the discs up with 25GB of junk data and using capacity as a marketing tactic for the 2006 launch.

Sonic. said,

Let me stir the hornet's nest:
Sony didn't do any better for not being able to take advantage of Blu Ray and filling most of the discs up with 25GB of junk data and using capacity as a marketing tactic for the 2006 launch.

BOOOOOOOOOOOM sucker punch. 360FTW! <--my inner troll.

To Blackhearted.

Anyway don't know much about all of this stuff. I heard that BR reads slower, and I also heard that most games play on both consoles regardless of dvd format so how is he an idiot..

DARKFiB3R said,

On March 31, 2006 Toshiba released their first consumer-based HD DVD player in Japan at ¥110,000 (US$934),.[22] HD DVD was released in the United States on April 18, 2006,[23] with players priced at $499 and $799.

The first BD-ROM players (e.g. Sony BDP-S1) were shipped in mid-June 2006

wikipedia says no.

I'm sure working drives existed well before they were finally put into set-top boxes.

Sonic. said,

Let me stir the hornet's nest:
Sony didn't do any better for not being able to take advantage of Blu Ray and filling most of the discs up with 25GB of junk data and using capacity as a marketing tactic for the 2006 launch.

Boom
DARKFiB3R said,
wikipedia says no.

Boom

Some trolls should learn to research their trolls before trolling

Blackhearted said,

I'm sure working drives existed well before they were finally put into set-top boxes.


Where do Set-top box's come into this?

brent3000 said,
Where do Set-top box's come into this?

You'd know where those come into this if you were actually capable of reading the post i quoted.

Blackhearted said,
The lead designer eh? So was he the idiot who thought it was a good idea to stick with dvd9's in the 360?

Skyrim fits quite nicely on a single DVD. So does Red Dead and GTA4.

Also who are these guys that are so against multi-disk? It's not like the game asks you: "To continue this level put in disk 8." to only 5 minutes later request disk 3.

Or the alternative that I like, put the game on disk 1 and if you want there's hi-res textures, etc on disk for hard drive install.

DVD's will die when Micro SD cards reach 100's of gigs and/or they figure out the whole buy a copy online/stream it model that works for everyone.

Sonic. said,

Let me stir the hornet's nest:
Sony didn't do any better for not being able to take advantage of Blu Ray and filling most of the discs up with 25GB of junk data and using capacity as a marketing tactic for the 2006 launch.

For some strange reason I've had to install far more games on my PS3 than I have on my Xbox

Blackhearted said,
The lead designer eh? So was he the idiot who thought it was a good idea to stick with dvd9's in the 360?

Ya it was horrible, all the XBox users that still load games faster than a PS3, even with the PS3 requiring the game to be installed to the hard drive to be fast enough to be playable.

With Sony's 'betamax' of the 00s shoving out HD-DVD so they could get more licensing was a disaster and the end of optical media that could have gotten another few years.

Why did BluRay win? It didn't have a complete or full interface of features like HD-DVD did, it cost more for no reason just to use the blue spectrum laser, and it was and is horribly slow.

Apple still rejects BluRay, Microsoft rejected it with generic support in Windows, and the world is moving on to digital downloads and SSD/Flash as the new media replacing BluRay.

I hope he is going to teach the other people at MS how to make the Metro UI work for them. The implementations I've seen range from great (Zune/Xbox/WP7) to poor (Windows App Store, some of MS's own WP7 apps). Of course the Windows 8 stuff isn't even beta yet so I'm sure they'll fix it before release.