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Steven Sinofsky  (Source: ABC News)
Sinofksy wasn't seen as a team player according to reports

There seems to be something afoul in the tech industry in recent weeks, and the stench seems to be coming from the executive ranks of two of the computing industry's top players: Apple and Microsoft.
 
Earlier this month, we learned that Scott Forstall, Apple's Vice President of iOS Software, was shown the door after 15 years of service. According to reports, Forstall was the most "Jobsian" of Apple's executive team and was notorious for being hard to deal with. It was also reported that Forstall often butted heads with Apple design guru Jony Ive.
 
Now it appears that Microsoft has its own executive shakeup in the works. Steve Sinofsky, President of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, left the company today. The move comes somewhat as a shock considering that Windows 8 just launched last month.
 
“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company,” said Sinofsky of his departure in an email to Microsoft employees.
 
I. First Forstall, Now Sinofsky

While the timing of Sinofsky's departure is a bit startling, the writing has been on the wall for some time with regards to his chemistry with other Microsoft employees. Sinofsky's inability to be a team player is cited as a major reason for his departure, and is reminiscent of Forstall's dismissal.


Sinofsky (left) shows off Microsoft Surface [Image Source: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
 
AllThingsD reported this afternoon that there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other top Microsoft executives. This news comes weeks after CNET ran a piece detailing Sinofsky's rise to power at Microsoft, and his rather combative style of leadership. CNET's Jay Greene had this to say about how former and current Microsoft execs viewed Sinofsky:
 
Most requested anonymity because they feared potential repercussions. They paint a picture of an executive who is incredibly smart and passionately driven to ship quality software on time. But some also say Sinofsky can create a toxic work environment that has chased talented employees away from a maturing company that's in desperate need of innovative thinking.
 
Sinofsky's leadership style and compartmentalization of tasks and "reporting lines" within the Windows division lead his approach to be labeled as "Soviet Central-Planning." In fact, the toxicity within Microsoft was humorously detailed in an organizational chart comic by Manu Cornet:

 
[Image Source: Manu Cornet]
 
II. Steve Ballmer heaps praise on Sinofsky, points to new leadership

Microsoft CEO Ballmer sent a memo to his staff regarding the departure, and praised Sinofsky's 20+ years of service:
 
As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of the Microsoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface. I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company. [Full memo here]
 
Sinofsky will be replaced by Julie Larson-Green. Larson-Green has been with Microsoft since 1993 and has had a hand in program management, and UI design/research for Windows 7 and Windows 8.


Julie Larson-Green [Image Source: Microsoft]
 
“Leading Windows engineering is an incredible challenge and opportunity, and as I looked at the technical and business skills required to continue our Windows trajectory — great communication skills, a proven ability to work across product groups, strong design, deep technical expertise, and a history of anticipating and meeting customer needs — it was clear to me that Julie is the best possible person for this job, and I’m excited to have her in this role,” said Ballmer of Larson-Green.

Sources: Microsoft, The Verge, AllThingsD, CNET



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RE: HOT woman as a Windows President *thumbs up*
By Milliamp on 11/13/2012 2:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
My guess is Windows 9 will give people the option to use it pretty much like Windows 7. The enterprise will skip 8 and deploy 9. This direction was predicted as soon as people saw Windows 8.

Using a touch UI with a keyboard and mouse is just as stupid as using classic UI with touch screen.

Declaring the normal windows UI is "legacy" and will be supported in a non-native way (and moved away from in the future) is just stupid.

Bundle Metro but let people choose which UI they want to be using at that time. One the desktop I want classic and if I undock I can switch it to Metro, is it that hard to figure out?


By ShaolinSoccer on 11/13/2012 3:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. Touch is "popular" so MS is trying to take advantage of it. If anything, they need to make an OS that is built for touch AND mouse/keyboard and give you the option to boot into either/or/both (when I say built for touch and mouse/keyboard, I mean to the point where noone complains about it). We should all have touch screens where we have apps/games that are built for both touch and mouse/keyboard so that IF you feel like touching your screen, you can. If you feel like using the mouse/keyboard, you can. Hell, if I want to wave my hand or move my eyeballs in a certain way and make the computer do what I want, it should do it. This is the future and the future should be "now". Just be glad that companies like MS, Apple, Google (and Linux) are striving to make their OS's as good as they are. It's only getting better and thanks to competition. MS may not hit a homerun with Windows 8 but I think they are definitely moving in the right direction!


RE: HOT woman as a Windows President *thumbs up*
By Milliamp on 11/13/2012 4:03:18 AM , Rating: 3
>You're missing the point. Touch is "popular"

It doesn't appear that I missed the point that touch is popular to me. I only said it was important not to abandon the traditional UI because many people still prefer it for keyboard and mouse which I am assuming you disagree with?

>Hell, if I want to wave my hand or move my eyeballs in a certain way and make the computer do what I want, it should do it.

Should they neglect the hardware people are using today to support this utopian hand waving eye ball reading future? My opinion is no but if you disagree you are welcome to throw away your mouse and keyboard and type your response to me with your eyeballs. Maybe Microsoft just created an opening for a man of your talents. You should eyeball a resume over to them right away.


By NellyFromMA on 11/13/2012 3:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
How did they abandon the traditional UI? That's exactly what they did NOT do.


RE: HOT woman as a Windows President *thumbs up*
By Arsynic on 11/13/2012 9:25:47 AM , Rating: 1
Touch isn't just "popular" it's the new standard and won't go away. Microsoft doesn't want to create different interfaces for each form factor. Their vision was of a consistent interface across multiple devices which means that users won't have to relearn Windows as they go between devices.

This is a good long-term strategy as users will go with what they're familiar with when it comes to new devices. I see the Desktop as an olive branch from MS. It will eventually go the way of the DOS prompt.

These people whining about the Desktop remind me so much of the DOS geeks.


By schnazzer on 11/13/2012 8:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
I actually got my hands on a Windows 8 machine over the weekend while out shopping.. I've had 8 in a VM for quite a while now but what really got me interested is when you have not only the traditional keyboard and mouse (which work just fine) but also a touch monitor as some of the machines on display had. forget tradition, what it does is changes the dynamics of how a computer is used, PC or otherwise. Did not though get to play with a Surface since they did not have any available.


By MrBungle123 on 11/14/2012 5:14:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsoft doesn't want to create different interfaces for each form factor. Their vision was of a consistent interface across multiple devices which means that users won't have to relearn Windows as they go between devices.


Thats a great idea but anyone with 2 neurons to rub together knows that every form factor and interface has been designed differently because the devices are used in different ways. There is a reason why a bicycle, a bulldozer, and a 747 all have different interfaces and unifying them is a bad idea.


By Moishe on 11/14/2012 3:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
Continuing to ignore the fully functional desktop begs the question of whether you are really clueless, or just choosing to act clueless?

I agree that metro should be a choice on all PCs except tablets.


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