You can have a rock-solid OS, but poor partner support and lack of polish can ruin its public perception. Steven Sinofsky realized that and he worked hard to transform Windows 7 into one of the most highly anticipated Microsoft operating systems to date. As a reward for his exemplary work, Microsoft is promoting him to Windows President.
Mr. Sinofsky previously had been in charge of the development of Microsoft Office. He also served as a former technical assistant to Microsoft's founder Bill Gates, a stepping stone position. When Windows Vista turned into a sour experience in terms of PR and failed to outsell its predecessor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shuffled staff and brought Mr. Sinofsky aboard. Internally, Microsoft blamed much of Vista's problems on two years of delays, which made it harder for software programmers and computer makers to plan for compatibility.
As senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group, Mr. Sinofsky indeed righted the ship, making sure that Windows 7 stayed ahead of schedule. He also worked diligently to communicate with the public, as one of the two co-editors of the Windows 7 blog.
Matt Rosoff, an analyst at the Kirkland, Washington-based research firm Directions on Microsoft praises, "He runs a tight ship. He always did a good job getting Office out on time, and he appears to have done the same thing with Windows."
Mr. Sinofsky's former fellow Windows vice presidents -- Bill Veghte and Jon DeVaan -- will now report to Mr. Sinofsky, rather than to Steve Ballmer, the former arrangement. Mr. Veghte will be assuming new responsibilities, while Tami Reller is being moved to the Windows team as the manager of sales and marketing.
Windows 7 is set to release on October 22 and should be one of the most polished software releases in some time, with thousands of bugs captured and fixed thanks to an extensive public testing period and a refocused Microsoft.