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  (Source: Mashable)
Julie Larson-Green is working to fill Sinofsky's shoes

When Microsoft's Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky hit the road last month, Julie Larson-Green stepped in as the new sheriff in town (as far as Windows 8 goes, anyway). Larson-Green didn't inherit an easy role, so it's fair to ask: Can she fill Sinofsky's shoes?

Larson-Green, who has worked for Microsoft for 20 years and led the introduction of huge ideas like the ribbon interface for Microsoft Office, recently interviewed with Tom Simonite at MIT Technology Review in an attempt to offer insight on what it's like to grab hold of Windows' biggest redesign and attempt to bring everyone on board with the new look and feel.

According to Larson-Green, so far, so good. While Sinofsky was a strong force in the Windows environment with a brilliant mind and explosive personality, Larson-Green insists that "not much" has changed since she took over his position.

"I've worked directly with Steven for seven years but known him for the whole 20 years I've been at Microsoft," said Larson-Green. "We think a lot the same about what the role of Windows is in society, what computing looks like, and getting people on board with that point of view."

Getting everyone on board hasn't been easy. Windows has had a solid user interface design since Windows 95, which was the start of a more object oriented interface. Users had become accustomed to this for nearly two decades, and Windows 8 flipped that entire concept on its head.


Julie Larson-Green [Image Source: Microsoft]

Windows 8 features what was once called the Metro style user interface, with colorful live tiles and a repositioned Start button. The new design was mainly for touch purposes in mobile products like Microsoft's Surface and Windows Phone 8, but some have had a hard time digesting this new look for desktop use. So why the radical change?

"When Windows was first created 25 years ago, the assumptions about the world and what computing could do and how people were going to use it were completely different," said Latson-Green. "It was at a desk, with a monitor. Before Windows 8 the goal was to launch into a window, and then you put that window away and you got another one. But with Windows 8, all the different things that you might want to do are there at a glance with the Live Tiles. "

She added the importance of touch on desktops as well as mobile devices to enhance the experience of using Windows 8, while still giving users the option to have a keyboard and mouse. She said it takes people anywhere from two days to two weeks to get adjusted to all the changes in Windows 8, depending on how invested they were in the traditional versions.

This brings us to the Surface tablet, which is Microsoft's first homemade hardware running Windows. Larson-Green addressed the new product briefly (nothing about sales numbers or demand, which have been in speculation lately).

"It was a way to test our hypothesis of a new way of working," said Larson-Green. "It takes time for individuals to adjust, but it also takes time for the industry to adjust to new things—all the complicated things about the supply chain and issues like what sizes of glass gets cut. Surface is our vision of what a stage for Windows 8 should look like, to help show consumers and the industry our point of view on what near perfect hardware would look like."

Sinofsky, former president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live division, announced that he was leaving the company last month after a little over 23 years with the tech giant. It was reported as a "sudden" move that no one expected, but details about 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.

Source: MIT Technology Review



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RE: W9
By overzealot on 12/14/2012 7:55:01 PM , Rating: -1
Nope, memory usage was crazy.
I had been running 64bit versions of Windows for quite a while before it came along (XP64, Server 2003) and memory consumption was significantly better.
Don't get me wrong, Vista works fine once you get 8GiB of memory into it, and the SP's have made it much more workable with less than that. But considering most people were running 1/2/4GiB RAM at launch, it was *far* too bloated for the target market.


RE: W9
By ritualm on 12/14/2012 10:36:34 PM , Rating: 5
Memory usage was not crazy.

If your computer has 4GB RAM and the OS isn't taking advantage of most of that 4GB RAM, you're essentially wasting your money on things you don't need. The OS itself isn't using all 1/2/4GB, some of it can be made "free" on demand for other apps to use.

I've had Vista 64bit running on a desktop with only 4GB RAM and it never felt sluggish. PEKBAC.


RE: W9
By inighthawki on 12/15/12, Rating: 0
RE: W9
By damianrobertjones on 12/15/2012 9:35:59 AM , Rating: 3
Superfetch... read about it :)


RE: W9
By damianrobertjones on 12/15/12, Rating: -1
RE: W9
By LRonaldHubbs on 12/17/2012 6:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
XP that could run smoothly on under 128MB

BS.

XP is virtually unusable with 128MB; 512MB was the bare minimum to get reasonable performance. 1GB was the lowest I'd recommend to anyone, and 2GB was preferable for a smooth system. Yes Vista needed more to run smoothly, but your claim about 128MB on XP is utter nonsense.


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