Microsoft heavily recruiting for Windows Phone Hardware Engineering team

Microsoft just posted some job new job opportunities and one theme has surfaced: they're actively recruiting for what appears to be a new Hardware team, a sub-group in the Mobile Communication Business (MCB). The MCB is tasked with improving Microsoft's

...focus and processes to rapidly commercialize the new Windows Phone (WP) OS, software and services with our OEM and Mobile Operator partners. One component of this evolution is the Hardware group which is responsible for helping drive rapid commercialization of WP by active management of relationships and technical direction with key hardware partners.

No, it's not Microsoft building a self-branded Windows Phone, but rather a stronger hand in guiding the future evolution of Windows Phone hardware, working in conjunction with OEM partners for rapid deployment.  A few of the jobs for this Hardware group include:

  • Director, Hardware Engineering
  • Technical Senior Program Manager "to help us design world-class hardware products"
  • Senior Engineer 1; Senior Engineer 2

Such high level positions sounds to us like this is a new undertaking for Microsoft (or a lot of key personal went missing recently). In addition, the director will:

... lead a team of hardware developers that design, develop, and test multi-protocol wireless implementations for mobile applications, with an eye toward cost reduction, power consumption and performance improvement, whilst maximizing re-use and minimizing time to market. You will work with business, industrial design, user experience, hardware, and software teams to understand, identify and drive requirements and identify the emerging technologies that will enable new user scenarios.

Call us crazy, but if this whole group is new (or at least being revamped), it sounds to us like Microsoft is going to become more strict and focused on hardware for Windows Phone, to the point of nearly directing key OEM partners on new devices (but we're sure they'd call it "collaborating"). If so, it's an interesting approach of using Microsoft's vast resources and research capabilities to do a lot of hardware engineering, without committing to making the hardware themselves. Thoughts? Sound off in comments.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • This might have something to do with the expected partnership between Microsoft and Nokia, as well with pushing things forward in a faster pace regarding all other manufacturers too. People love bragging about hardware specs in their phones, no matter a better user experience or not. I guess Microsoft recognizes this and wants to be up-to-date with the demand since they only compete in the high-end area of mobile phones - an area where the best hardware is having a lot of weight on the decisions coming from money-spending customers that don't just buy a phone for ridiculous amounts of money, but also the ability to prove themselves better than everyone else (using the phone as leverage/penis enhancer).But I welcome Microsoft to give it a shot, it's step in the right direction!
  • They should just build a phone already... their partners all are focused on Android or another OS (Nokia will most likely be keeping Symbian or Meego).Their phone should copy Apples release schedule; build 1 phone and let the partners license to diversify the platform. Even Google is doing something similar with the Nexus line. MS has not been fast enough to keep up with the current trends and they should be leery of their partners right now.
  • I personally think that Microsoft SHOULD build their own hardware, very much like Apple.What better way to ensure that your software does not begin to have the same fragmenting problems that Blandroid has. MS surely has the resources and the skills.. If Nokia becomes the sole manufacturer of Windows Phones it would be GREAT. Nokia is known for building premium handsets and has a GREAT reputation. OR....Microsoft should build their own....HINT, HINT, M$..give Apple a run for their money. I don't think any other company can. I already left iPhone behind because I love the new Windows Phone operating system. My computers are going to be the net to go. Just don't neglect your users..
  • I agree w/ Henripple, if this whole Nokia thing winds up panning out, it is likely that they need more support for getting the WP7 up, and running on Nokia hardware in a timely fashion. Also for keeping up w/ hardware developments that the market has been demanding for some time now, and is starting to get from Apple & Android. (e.g. Compass support, FF camera support, Tethering support, etc...)Just sayin'...
  • This is probably nothing more than hardware for testing and expanding support to so that OEMs don't have to, or even carriers. One way to get updates and new OS versions out to new devices faster is if MS can do all the testing up front so the OEMs/Carriers don't have to.They're trying to do that now with WP7 but as we've seen it seems something poped up and now we're still waiting for the first update. On the other hand a new ZuneHD2 with a bigger screen and maybe some slideout controls for gaming would be great, specially if they finally sell them outside the US where they sell WP7 as well.
  • If these sounds like "high level" positions to you, you must not read very many job descriptions around Microsoft. The director gig is reasonably senior, but the others are not.
  • Let's not forget that Microsoft also bought an ARM license last year.