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Xbox design head steps down - report

Sources say Don Coyner replaced by Emma Williams, lead on the recent dashboard redesign

Microsoft's Don Coyner has stepped down from his position at the head of the Xbox design and experience group, CNet reports.

According to two unnamed sources within Microsoft, Coyner will be replaced by Emma Williams, who oversaw the recently launched redesign of the Xbox Live dashboard.

Coyner joined Microsoft in 1995, and began working on the first Xbox console as director of marketing in 1999. He assumed responsibility for user experience during the development of the Xbox 360, and is widely credited for improving the aesthetic standards of both the console and Xbox Live.

The sources claim that Coyner will remain at the company, though they did not reveal the nature of his new position.

Williams will be responsible for evolving design strategy for the Xbox group's new console, which the sources confirm will launch in 2013. Microsoft has so far declined to comment on the matter.

The Xbox Live dashboard update implemented the tile-based Metro interface used on Windows Phone 7, expanded the service's multimedia content, and integrated multiple search options.

It is widely regarded as evidence of Microsoft's desire to challenge the idea that the Xbox is primarily a gaming device, eliciting accusations of neglect from the Xbox Live Indie Games community.

Earlier this week, a Bloomberg report suggested that Microsoft is also actively seeking a television executive to produce original content for Xbox Live.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.