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Ballmer and Gates recognized that Microsoft needs to be more united internally across different divisions, and that change would be difficult with Sinofsky around

It turns out that Microsoft software head Steven Sinofsky's departure wasn't so sudden, and none other than Bill Gates was onboard with the decision. 

Sinofsky, former president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, announced that he was leaving the company yesterday after a little over 23 years with the tech giant. It was reported as a "sudden" move that no one expected, but new details behind the departure show that the decision was contemplated for a while and even backed by Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates. 

While Sinofsky was seen as a brilliant figure at Microsoft, his downfall was that he didn't get along with others within the company. He was notorious for picking fights with other executives, including current CEO Steve Ballmer, and even pushed former executives like chief software architect Ray Ozzie to quit. 

Sinofsky was key to the development of Windows 8, which was released October 26 and features an entirely new look and feel from the traditional Windows experience. However, Ballmer recognized that Microsoft needs to be more united internally across different divisions, and that change would be difficult with Sinofsky around. 

Typically, in other company disputes, Ballmer and Gates would back up Sinofsky. But that doesn't seem to be the case this time around. Microsoft is looking to change and integrate teams across various units within the company. Ballmer saw Sinofsky as an obstacle to getting to that point, and with Gates' support, decided to part ways with Sinofsky. 

All Things Digital heard rumors about Sinofsky's departure over the last few weeks, both from inside and outside of Microsoft's walls. 

While the decision to part ways with Sinofsky was a good thing in terms of moving Microsoft in a new direction, it also means the loss of a great mind that had a strong handle on Microsoft's software and innovation. Sinofsky may not be a team player, but he was great at what he did. Losing that sort of creativity and completely revamping the inner dynamic of how Microsoft's teams work will not be an easy task. 

Julie Larson-Green, who has worked with Microsoft since 1993, is replacing Sinofsky. She played a key role in program management, and UI design/research for Windows 7 and Windows 8. So we'll see if Larson-Green can stand up to the challenge and fill Sinofsky's shoes while complying with the new integrated direction Microsoft is looking to take. 

Sinofsky's leave is eerily similar to that of the recently departed Scott Forstall, Apple's former VP of iOS Software. Forstall was let go in late October after 15 years with Apple due to recent issues with iOS 6's maps and his tendency to not get along with other Apple execs. 

Source: AllThingsD



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By stm1185 on 11/13/2012 3:08:50 PM , Rating: 5
They could make a version of Linux with a UI that is not horrible and can actually be used as a Windows/OSX replacement.




By Nortel on 11/13/2012 3:53:49 PM , Rating: 1
A good GUI for Linux you say? Good thing Ubuntu + Gnome or KDE has been around for years to fit the bill. OSX is for the masses, prepackaged and ready to go and is arguably the best looking Unix (BSD) out there.


By stm1185 on 11/13/2012 7:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
Gnome and KDE... lets see ugly, poorly laid out, more then likely have you going to a command line to get something done... and so on and so forth.

Linux hasn't even gotten to the point that it is worth using over Windows XP!

These guys with their backgrounds, they could do that.


By vignyan on 11/14/2012 12:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
Try cinnamon on Ubuntu. It is as good as win7. Unified search, non confusing UI.


By augiem on 11/14/2012 6:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not true. Yes for launching apps. HELL NO for any system config. Windows is 1,000 times deeper than any Linux GUI. That's Linux's major failing in my mind. It needs a GUI that gives you as much power over the nuts and bolts as Windows does. The problem is, that would take millions and millions to develop.


By Xplorer4x4 on 11/14/2012 9:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Like what? I am using the latest Kubuntu with the latest KDE and for system config, I have never had to drop to the cli. I do drop to cli for certain tasks purely out of preference and/or convenience, but never for system config that I can recall.


By augiem on 11/15/2012 5:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Like much of Administrative Tools and whole lot of Control Panel. MS even gives you GUI tools for the deepest level stuff like Regedit. Sure, the basics are there in all the linux distros, and some tools can be added with downloads if you even know what to look for, but Windows just goes so, so much deeper.


By FastEddieLB on 11/21/2012 2:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
I've been able to alter my system configs just fine with Cinnamon on Linux Mint, but then again I don't exactly have a great deal of tweaking that needs to be done so take from that what you will.


By Wolfpup on 11/15/2012 1:48:27 PM , Rating: 3
IMO Linux needs ONE GUI, needs the ability to install programs similarly to Windows or even OS X, i.e. not through some company sponsored pakage manager or something-it's a *PC* we want control over it ourselves.

Right now...there's 9 billion distributions, at last 2 major interfaces, no normal method of installing programs, no official (legal?) DVD support and I guess no Blu Ray support at all, worse compatibility etc...

I'm a HUGE fan of open source software and have used Firefox (and before that Mozilla) since the 0.x mozilla beta days, but...Windows is awesome, and Linux is confusing mess, even for power users like me.


By FastEddieLB on 11/21/2012 2:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
You should take a look at Cinnamon (comes with Linux Mint, also available for Ubuntu) it's a very Windows-like desktop.


By BifurcatedBoat on 11/13/2012 8:42:05 PM , Rating: 5
No, none of the existing GUIs fit the bill, unfortunately.

Just try explaining to Grandma how to install a driver for a new piece of hardware she just plugged into her computer.

When some software fails to install, explain the process of how you go about figuring out what packages are missing and then acquiring them.

Until you can do everything that an average user can do in Windows in Linux without using the commandline, it will not fit the bill.

I actually do think it is great that you can do all of the things that you can do from the commandline. I also think it's great that you can compile the operating system from source code if you want to, and tinker with customizing it, if you want to. But you simply cannot expect the average user to have to learn how to do that.

Some simply don't have the aptitude, but even among those who do, most people have other aspects of their lives that are more important and pressing than trying to get their computers to work on a basic level.

I'm a software developer, so I understand a lot of the concepts in Linux that would be completely foreign to an average user who doesn't understand how software is made. But even for me, I don't want to have to dig into advanced configuration up front. I want the OS to just work, and have a nice smooth learning curve to ease my way into it, having a working machine with no driver or software installation problems along the way.


By aegisofrime on 11/13/2012 9:54:01 PM , Rating: 5
I totally agree.

I installed Ubuntu recently because I wanted to dive into compiling Cyanogenmod for my phone.

I had to do everything from the command-line. It doesn't help that there seems to be an irrational hatred for GUIs from the Linux community. From my POV, a GUI can do everything a command-line can you; A GUI can expose commonly used flags and parameters, and offer a text-field for more obscure options.

When I brought this up to the XDA forums they responded with "This is how it has always been done" then proceeded to call me a noob and use search. :/


By cyberguyz on 11/22/2012 6:14:31 AM , Rating: 1
Why should grandma even have to know a terminal exists? Why should grandma need me to explain how to set up drivers for that new wutzit video card she will be playing Diablo 3 on (oh wait, you can't play that on Linux... my bad)? In the Windows world she pops in the viddy card and windows will search for a driver for it. If it cant find one it asks her for the driver CD/DVD and continues once she pops it in.

Does Linux do that? Hell I couldn't even get some linux distros to understand my 2x brand new ATI GT 7970 viddy cards in crossfire and Asus Xonar sound card. Lol, heaven forbid you run an older distro a year or two old. Try and get Grandma to do that!! Talk her thru it? Yeah, right. (grandma loves playing Skyrim on crossfire & 5.1 THX sound)

By the time you can play her Diablo 3 on linux, I'm afraid grandma will be long gone...

Back on topic: So Sinofski is responsible for that travesty called Windows 8 that he foisted off on us? If I were Balmer I would have turfed that jackass before he could do his damage.

In order to make Windows 8 work the way I want it to, I have to use customization programs to get that "Metro" interface out of my face. Still can't do anything to get the Aero theme + 'blur' transparency back. The current theme with its bland graphics sux donkey balls.


By Argon18 on 11/14/2012 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's the thing - you don't need to explain to Grandma how to install a hardware driver under Linux. Hardware, for the most part, just works. Linux is different from OSX or Windows in that it employs a monolithic kernel - all the hardware drivers are in the kernel, typically as loadable modules. Even obsolete hardware that only works under Win9x, is plug-n-play on Linux. I've been using Linux for many years, and I can't even remember the last time I had to manually install a hardware driver for anything.

That said, I agree with some of the other comments, that the current Linux GUI's suck. They took the Windows Eight approach i.e. make the GUI radically different for no good reason at all. And it sucks. I use RHEL, which still uses the older Gnome 2 interface - which is very very nice IMO, rock solid stable, and very logical and intuitive. Unfortunately, Red Hat seems to be the only distro vendor that still uses Gnome 2.

Maybe with the new Wayland stuff, they'll clean up their act and get back to a solid usable GUI, instead of trendy eye-candy that looks "cool" but is clunky to use.


By FastEddieLB on 11/21/2012 2:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunately, Red Hat seems to be the only distro vendor that still uses Gnome 2.


Linux Mint brings you the MATE desktop which is a clone of Gnome 2. If you want to try something other than Red Hat check out Linux Mint+MATE.


By andrewaggb on 11/29/2012 4:09:19 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly just video card drivers that I have to manually jack around with.

I think linux has a bunch of major problems that are all really the same problem.

They need, 1 package format
They need at most 1 production kernel/year (it can have updates, but no api changes) and modules should be compatible across distros running that kernel.

Likewise GCC/libc/blah need to be frozen for at least a year from breaking api changes.
They need 1 audio subsystem
Configuration should be handled the same in different distro's.

If they could do these things (and they could), then we'd have binary compatibility between distributions. Stuff like proprietary software and drivers would work better. People would make more closed source apps for linux. And things would be better.

This is basically what redhat does. They make a stable release, maintain compatibility for years, backport new drivers, and then when the time is right, make a new release and maintain that for a few years. If all the main distro's could agree on a common core package set, things would be better. You could still have a somewhat custom experience (like android does), but maintain compatibility.


By tecknurd on 11/14/2012 5:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Windows does have its moments of faults. Install a program like Adobe Flash plug-in can be a nightmare. Computer manufactures usually have it installed, but I found cases that it does not work. So it is best to uninstall it and download it from a reputable source. Well this not easy to do over the phone. Also using remote desktop can work, but that may not be easy to get it to work. The end result is best to work on that system in person to fix the issue.

There are other times that installing Windows programs are foreign. Why does a program need "something .NET" to be installed first and then the main program. Windows can be just as foreign to install programs like it is in Linux. I am a semi-software developer, I know why .NET is required for some programs, but other people does not.

Pre-compiled distributions are the worst way to try Linux. These type of distributions make sure the user does it the distribution way, but it may not be the correct way or safer way. There is no way to be certain that you are downloading a package from a reputable source. I have used Ubuntu and Linux Mint which show the worst of Linux multiple times. They make using proprietary drivers harder to use compared to other distributions like Gentoo. Also they do not correctly manage proprietary OpenGL libraries. They instead over write Xorg OpenGL libraries with the proprietary OpenGL libraries. Gentoo manages OpenGL libraries by separating them, so you can select which ones to use.

When I built my new computer last month and installed Linux, I did not have to configure anything from the command line. I installed Calculate Linux (a ready-made Gentoo based distribution). Setting up my network printer was easy through CUPS web interface. CUPS web interface is far more easier than setting up printers in Windows especially network printers. The time it took me to answer the questions that the Calculate Linux installer asked is about the same time to install Windows. After it booted in Linux, everything worked. I had to adjust sound card settings using alsamixer. There is a GUI program that comes with Xfce that acts like alsamixer, but I did not use that. I did install PulseAudio because I wanted more control for programs handling my sound card. The install process was straight forward from the gentoo-portage.org wiki page for installing and setting up PulseAudio. Then I got back doing what I stop an hour before, so I Linux gives me more time for other things that are non-computer related compared to Windows.

Linux does have GUI tools, but few distributions have it. Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, and Linux Mint has them. I think Linux Mint GUI tools are better because it has a an app-like store for installing applications.


By Spuke on 11/16/2012 11:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just try explaining to Grandma how to install a driver for a new piece of hardware she just plugged into her computer.
How many Grandma's even know that they need or want to install new hardware? LOL!

quote:
Some simply don't have the aptitude, but even among those who do, most people have other aspects of their lives that are more important and pressing than trying to get their computers to work on a basic level.
BAM!!!! Right on target!


By Donkey2008 on 11/29/2012 7:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
"Some simply don't have the aptitude, but even among those who do, most people have other aspects of their lives that are more important and pressing than trying to get their computers to work on a basic level"

AMEN!

I have worked with way too many "tech" people over the years who fail to grasp the concept that computers are not in and of themselves. They are simply tools to get other things done.


By bull2760 on 11/14/2012 10:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
Get over the linux crap already. Linux has more issues than just having a decent UI. For the average user out there it is far to complicated to get hardware to work. It's nut plug and play and driver install is way more complicated than Windows and OSX. Linux is a GEEKS OS and that is it, not designed for the masses.


By FastEddieLB on 11/21/2012 2:50:24 PM , Rating: 1
OSX is a Linux variant. True story.


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