Firm puts hardware man in charge of TV unit

Staff move suggests Microsoft TV device

Management changes at Microsoft has renewed speculation that the firm is working on a TV hardware product to rival those from Google and Apple.

ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley noticed that Tom Gibbons, former corporate vice president of mobile device strategy is now Microsoft’s chief of TV & Service Business in the Interactive Entertainment business unit.

Business Insider said that as the man overseeing the group that produced reference designs for Windows Phone 7 handsets, the role change was the clearest sign yet that Microsoft is "working on an answer to Google TV and Apple TV."

"With Gibbons now leading the charge, the company is probably trying to find hardware partners to build boxes to run the service — just like it did with Windows Phone 7," wrote Business Insider’s Matt Rossoff.

However Rossoff also speculated that rather than being evidence of a new Microsoft hardware device, the company may be working with TV manufacturers to build a Microsoft service into new sets.

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