Former Siri Boss Joins Microsoft

Posted on August 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Cloud, Microsoft, Mobile with 8 Comments

Bill Stasior, who led Apple’s Siri efforts for several years, has joined Microsoft to lead an AI group under CTO Kevin Scott.

News of Stasior’s hiring was first reported by The Information, and has since been confirmed by Microsoft, which says only that “he will work to help align technology strategies across the company.” And, no, Stasior will not be in charge of Cortana, Microsoft’s failed personal digital assistant.

Stasior joined Apple in 2011, just weeks before his boss, Scott Forstall, was fired by Tim Cook for refusing to apologize for the poor quality of Apple Maps. Following Forstall’s departure, Apple quietly stopped working to improve Siri in any meaningful way. Indeed, Forstall’s successor, Eddy Cue, was so disconnected that he would fall asleep during Siri meetings. Cue was eventually replaced by Craig Federighi, who is more technical and, one imagines, more attentive.

Well, one doesn’t need to imagine: Under Federighi’s leadership, work to improve Siri accelerated, with the firm adding the Siri Shortcuts functionality to iOS 12 in 2018. Apple is adding more natural voices to Siri starting with iOS 13 this fall, as well.

Stasior stepped away from day-to-day management of Siri in December 2018 for unspecified reasons, but he stayed on at Apple until May.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Former Siri Boss Joins Microsoft”

  1. Pbike908

    Too Little, too Late. It's a two horse race (Amazon and Google) and I don't use EITHER one...

  2. skane2600

    Apple could have benefited more from the Cortana technology than Microsoft can from Siri.

  3. nicholas_kathrein

    It's hard to see this as a great pickup. SIRI has been bad for a long time and SIRI shortcuts was acquired. Maybe this guy couldn't get anything done at Apple because of Apple management but I'd rather get people coming out of Google's AI group.

  4. SenorGravy

    Why would this be a good thing? Siri is a pretty terrible assistant that very few people use even though it had a first mover advantage. Why not hire a few Palm or Blackberry executives, too?

  5. jrswarr

    I find it almost amusing that you can't help but drive the spike in a little deeper by referring to Cortana as "Microsoft's failed personal digital assistant" rather than just saying Microsoft's personal digital assistant. Enough already.