Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has tasked senior vice president Robbie Bach with revamping the company’s digital music strategy, in order to better compete with Apple, adding to his already significant role overseeing the Xbox, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although no formal statement has been made, Bach is expected to remain as the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, and may even start to oversee additional consumer markets. As well as his formal senior vice president role with the Home and Entertainment Division, 43 year old Bach is also co-chairman of an executive committee that steers consumer strategy.
Bach is expected to set up a team focused solely on digital music, reorganizing product groups and/or acquiring companies. The Xbox’s ability to store music and connect to a PC and other devices is also expected to be emphasized even further in the future - early demonstrations of the Xbox 360 have hinted that consumers may be able to buy music albums directly via the console and then easily transfer them to portable media players.
According to Microsoft insiders talking in the Wall Street Journal report, Bach, who has been with the company for sixteen years, was given the new responsibilities after demonstrating the creative and marketing processes behind the Xbox 360 to Steve Ballmer. The idea is that these experiences would prove useful in attacking Apple’s market share in the music business, with the iPod's dominance continuing to worry Microsoft.