President of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, amid what’s described as a broader restructuring that will effectively dissolve the division and give CEO Steve Ballmer more direct oversight of Microsoft’s consumer initiatives like Xbox and Windows Phone as of July.

Allard insists that he won’t be moving on to Apple, Google or any other Microsoft rivals — in fact, he’s staying on as an advisor to Steve Ballmer. Robbie Bach’s departure is equally curious — despite being just 48, his move is being described as a “retirement,” and he says that the decision was his own and that he wasn’t encouraged to leave. He’ll also apparently remain with Microsoft through the fall to aid in the transition.

This will be interesting to see if this will bring a new direction for the division.  It was rumored this was due to the CEO canceling the again rumored MS Courier, but apparently these were indeed rumors in the press making a shocking story out of nothing.

Do you feel this will be a  positive or negative for Microsoft?  We wish our best to Robbie Bach and J. Allard!