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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: Wow
By wordsworm on 11/13/2012 8:08:09 AM , Rating: 5
Windows 8 on my machine with a regular 7200 rpm hard drive boots faster than Windows 7 on an SSD. So, I have to click on a program I want to use to get into desktop... wow, so tough to do.

W8 takes a little getting used to... but, I would have to say I'm very impressed with a lot of the ways it handles apps and programs. The desktop now seems more like a virtual desktop... which isn't a bad thing, imo.

Considering all the negative reactions I've read about W8, I have been pleasantly surprised at how good it actually is. IMO, it is the best OS MS has made to date. The power stuff *is* there, you just have to dig around for it or pick up a book to figure out where the power goodies are.


RE: Wow
By wasteoid on 11/13/2012 10:18:58 AM , Rating: 3
Why should users have to dig around for stuff they already know how to use or pick up a book to figure out where the goodies are? Your argument actually proves that the new Windows 8 interface was a bad idea.


RE: Wow
By inighthawki on 11/13/2012 12:13:30 PM , Rating: 1
Right, we so we should never switch operating systems either, because once you learn how to use Windows, Linux, or OSX, you should never switch to another, it'll take WAY too much work to figure out the differences.

If you don't like the changes in Windows 8, the concept is simple, stick to Windows 7. Otherwise if you want all the new features of Windows 8, just spend 10 minutes to adapt to your new environment instead of expecting everything else to adapt to your wants and needs.


RE: Wow
By wordsworm on 11/13/2012 8:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
You must be new to the Microsoft party. I've been onboard since MS DOS. Every major iteration has required folks to relearn how to do things. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Don't be afraid of books; they're good for you.


RE: Wow
By MrBungle123 on 11/14/2012 5:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes that is how its been... It's also adds to the stereotype of PC's being difficult to use and could very well cause them to lose users... if you gotta completely relearn everything why not try something else.


RE: Wow
By wordsworm on 11/14/2012 8:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think that reputation is old. I don't think people under the age of 35 would say that. Most people at that age and younger have had experience with word processors, games, and the Internet.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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