Shares of tech stock Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) are up 2% today on news that the company has promoted two executives to help improve the software giant’s footprint in the smartphone and electronic tablet markets.
The company plans to unveil two new products in 2012: new Windows Phone software and Windows 8, a combined computer-and-tablet operating system, in 2012. Today Microsoft assigned two executives – Andrew Lees and Terry Myerson – to oversee the projects. They will be tasked with improving Microsoft’s minimal presence in the mobile market.
Sales of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 system are currently dwarfed by Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android and Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone. At a time when smartphone sales are through the roof, sales of the Windows 7 phone in the third quarter actually dropped from the same quarter in 2010.
But now that Microsoft has stuck a deal with Nokia (NYSE: NOK) that will put Windows software and applications in Nokia’s phones, Microsoft is hoping to gain traction in the mobile arena. The Windows 8 e-tablet software, meanwhile, is set to debut in February.
News of Microsoft’s personnel changes rubbed off on Nokia’s stock, as the phone maker’s shares were also up nearly 2% in mid-day trading.
Microsoft stock is trading at $25.99 a share, up 48 cents from its Monday close.