Q&A: Microsoft’s Bach on His Exit, and Future of the Company

Robbie Bach may have been viewed at one point as a potential successor to Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief executive–but Bach says he never aspired to the job, and he and Ballmer have never discussed it.

That was one of the insights we gleaned from the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division president during a wide-ranging interview in conjunction with the news that he’ll be retiring after 22 years with the company. Among other topics, Bach explained why he’s leaving, discussed his post-Microsoft plans, defended the company’s prospects in the mobile phone industry, addressed the canceled Courier project, and described the upcoming Project Natal release as a “midlife kicker” for the Xbox 360 console business.

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