Microsoft appoints new hardware chief

The Microsoft Corp executive in charge of relations with PC makers is moving to a new job just two weeks after the software company broke with tradition by announcing it would manufacture a tablet computer, ruffling feathers of some hardware partners.

Steven Guggenheimer will move from his position of corporate vice president of Microsoft’s original equipment manufacturer unit July 1, the company said, to take up an unspecified new senior leadership job within the company.

The move was the result of long-term planning, Microsoft said. Guggenheimer will be replaced by another Microsoft executive from the unit, Nick Parker.

Microsoft broke with more than 30 years of focusing on software last Monday when it announced it would make two new devices called Surface to run its new Windows 8 operating system, in an attempt to directly counter Apple Inc’siPad and lightweight laptops.

Some hardware makers complained they were kept in the dark about the move, which potentially puts Microsoft in direct competition with PC manufacturers.

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Microsoft appoints new hardware chief