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This article was published on May 20, 2011

Microsoft closes Pioneer Studios, ‘a hub for innovation’

Microsoft closes Pioneer Studios, ‘a hub for innovation’
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

With innovation one of the biggest buzzwords across the technological industries, it’s a little ironic that Microsoft has opted to close the doors to its Seattle-based Pioneer Studios, a ‘skunkworks’ initiative launched a little over three years ago.

A perhaps more Microsoft-esque moniker would be a Consumer Development Unit…which is what it was, and it was Microsoft’s attempt at creating a fertile breeding ground for new and exciting projects.

As reported on Zdnet, Pioneer Studios was the idea of former Microsoft man J. Allard, who was responsible for the original Xbox launch and was the CTO of the Entertainment and Device division. He jumped ship last year.

Microsoft never made a big song and dance about Pioneer Studios, and from what we can tell, nothing major emerged from the studio. It did produce the Microsoft Courier Tablet though, a pre-iPad project that was cancelled before it made it to market.

And so it seems, Microsoft’s attempt at nourishing early-stage innovation of the kind that Apple and Google have been churning out, seems to have ended before it really started.

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