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Windows boss Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

Windows boss Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

Steven Sinofsky is out, leaving Windows 8 - and its divisive new tile-based user interface - as his legacy for Microsoft.

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, the man behind Microsoft's recent changes to its Windows platform, has left the company - effective immediately.

Sinofsky started at the company back in 1989 as a software design engineer, and quickly rose through the ranks. By 1992, Sinofsky was sat at the right-hand of co-founder Bill Gates, acting as his personal technical assistant. In 1999, Sinofsky was moved sideways into the Office arm of the company, where he acted as senior vice president before being given the Windows group to play with. Most recently, in 2009, Sinofsky was promoted to overall president of the Windows arm in toto.

The appointment of Sinofsky to rule over Microsoft's Windows division was seen by many as a response to the poor showing from the company's Windows Vista release. Under Sinofsky, Microsoft launched Windows 7, generally recognised to be a significant improvement over the Vista mess and one with which most users are now comfortable - even if it didn't manage to convince the Windows XP stick-in-the-muds to splash out on an upgrade.

Sinofsky's departure from the company, during which it's worth mentioning he will not be working notice, comes hot on the heels of the launch of Windows 8. While benefiting from under-the-hood improvements, many buyers remain unconvinced as to the benefits of the once-and-former Metro UI, a touch-centric tile-based user interface which owes much to the company's Windows Phone products.

Officially, the split is amicable. 'I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,' claimed Microsoft chief and co-founder Steve Ballmer in a statement regarding Sinofsky's departure. The remainder of Steve's soundbite, however, is notable in its completely lack of mention for Sinofsky, concentrating instead on the company's achievements as a whole. 'The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.'

'It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft,' claimed Sinofsky. 'I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.'

The terse soundbites included in the official press release offer little in the way of context for the move, with leaked internal memos from Sinofsky and Ballmer providing only the claims that Sinofsky's departure was of his own volition. Coming so soon after the launch of Windows 8, however, it's hard to see the move as anything but a response to the luke-warm - and, in the case of a vocal minority, actively hostile - reception for Windows 8 and its dramatic new user interface.

Sinofsky is to be replaced by Julie Larson-Green, who is promoted to take charge of the development of Windows hardware and software, and Tami Reller, who adds responsibility for the business aspects of the role onto her existing jobs of chief financial officer and chief marketing officer.

26 Comments

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sniperdude 13th November 2012, 11:00 Quote
jumping the sinking ship.

windiows 8 fail
windows home servers fail

both due to not listening or asking what customers want.
dolphie 13th November 2012, 11:11 Quote
Sign offsky.
Gareth Halfacree 13th November 2012, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphie
Sign offsky.
Man, why didn't *I* think of that for a tagline?
Sub-particle 0.76 13th November 2012, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
jumping the sinking ship.

windiows 8 fail
windows home servers fail

both due to not listening or asking what customers want.


The BIG boss should go too for that methink no scratch that, be gone he must
dolphie 13th November 2012, 13:17 Quote
:D
Bloodburgers 13th November 2012, 13:44 Quote
Because it was too obvious? Causing your editorial skills to come into question.
Griffter 13th November 2012, 15:07 Quote
finally, the face of the devil! create **** and chaos and leave.
XXAOSICXX 13th November 2012, 20:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperdude
jumping the sinking ship.

Jumping before pushed, methinks.
Er-El 14th November 2012, 00:58 Quote
Traitor. How could he?
azrael- 14th November 2012, 06:26 Quote
Even though I'm thrilled to see Sign-off-sky (kudos to dolphie) leave (mainly thanks to the Windows 8 fiasco), I'm less thrilled having Julie Larson-Green taking over the reins. No offence, but the female gender tends to favour shiny over useful to a much larger degree than its male counterpart. There's a reason for the phrase "wife acceptancy factor", after all. ;)

Still, I will withhold final judgment until I see what the Windows team comes up with under her guidance. I really really really want to be proved wrong and shown to be the misogynistic old pig that I surely am... :p
SexyHyde 14th November 2012, 09:17 Quote
I, like the rest of the world, want Ballmer gone! He is largely responsible for the holding back of windows. Now I'm no big windows fan but if it wasn't for DirectX and companies using windows specific software more people would be on linux/osx. The financial secter have been after Ballmer's scalp since Gates left. In all honesty I really can't believe he still has his job.
impar 14th November 2012, 09:33 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
No offence, but the female gender tends to favour shiny over useful to a much larger degree than its male counterpart.
The right woman for W8, then.
SazBard 14th November 2012, 15:22 Quote
Goodbye mate, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Nexxo 14th November 2012, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Even though I'm thrilled to see Sign-off-sky (kudos to dolphie) leave (mainly thanks to the Windows 8 fiasco), I'm less thrilled having Julie Larson-Green taking over the reins. No offence, but the female gender tends to favour shiny over useful to a much larger degree than its male counterpart. There's a reason for the phrase "wife acceptancy factor", after all. ;)

Still, I will withhold final judgment until I see what the Windows team comes up with under her guidance. I really really really want to be proved wrong and shown to be the misogynistic old pig that I surely am... :p

Yeah, because a woman with a maths degree, business qualifications and a 20-year track record at Microsoft reaching the upper echelons of management must just be a pretty face who likes shiny things. Balmer must just be an idiot who coasts by running a multi-billion software company on pure luck. Sinofsky must just be suddenly bailing on Windows 8 because he had no idea what it was going to be like and he thinks it is rubbish, or being pushed because Balmer was disappointed with it. It was like, he saw Windows 8 for the first time at its launch event and went: "Crap, that looks rubbish! Sinofsky, you're fired!".

I mean, obviously Microsoft has no idea what it is doing. It's not like it is the number one software company or something. It just hires and fires people for no particular reason. It just fundamentally redesigns its number one cash-cow OS just on a whim.

Christ, I despair of this place.
SexyHyde 15th November 2012, 00:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Balmer must just be an idiot who coasts by running a multi-billion software company on pure luck.
There has been a large portion of investors that have wanted Balmer gone for a long time, but Gates always seemed to have his back. Since Gates has gone the calling for him to go is getting larger all the time. It is so widely believed that he is holding the company back that it is now regarded as fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I mean, obviously Microsoft has no idea what it is doing. It's not like it is the number one software company or something. It just hires and fires people for no particular reason. It just fundamentally redesigns its number one cash-cow OS just on a whim.

Christ, I despair of this place.

Remember when it spent two and a half years on developing it's cash-cow OS just to drop it and start from scratch?
Considering the monopoly it has, the size of its user base, the financial position it is in, why is it four years behind Apple with touch? Why do complaints with user interface in your alpha/beta still make it through to retail? If your trying to have a unified platform why is your 6 month old device (WP7.5) not supported by your new device (Surface)? If people and companies weren't so invested in the windows platform the company would be close to bust now.
Nexxo 15th November 2012, 13:30 Quote
And Apple hasn't made strange product choices in the past, or suddenly axed projects? Nothing new under the sun.

It's tricky to run a colossus like Microsoft. That's why the first thing Steve Jobs did when he came back to Apple is streamline its product range and the company. Microsoft may well be doing the same now. It is behind on commercially implementing touch (in the labs it is on a par with, if not ahead of Apple), but it also produced Kinect.
ShinyAli 15th November 2012, 13:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Christ, I despair of this place.

:D Yep, I've recently decided not to bother replying to a lot of posts, Oh right, I'll keep quiet then
SexyHyde 15th November 2012, 20:04 Quote
Yeah suddenly axing products can happen. Although I don't know any company that cancels its primary product after two and a half years. You have to have bad management to plough that long with your primary revenue maker and then decide to can it.

Why is Microsoft so far behind on implementing touch though? It has a large computer base and was the most popular smartphone os before iOS. This should have meant a 6 to 12 month gap if they were ahead in touch. Upto two years if they were on par. I'm not an apple fanboy or windows hater, I'm just pointing out that the leader at Microsoft is absolutely *rubbish* and needs to be replaced. He is always so far of the mark its unreal.
Nexxo 15th November 2012, 20:12 Quote
Why? Because nobody wanted it. The technology was not up to it and when Apple released an exquisitely balanced iPad to make up for that lack of power to battery ratio, people moaned that it was "not a real computer". Heck, most people on this forum slated the iPad (see what I did there? :p). That has always been Microsoft's target audience: people who want proper mouse-and-keyboard rigs with Windows OS.

As is proved by the same people going into spasms of paroxism at the recent touch-friendly changes in Windows 8.
Snips 15th November 2012, 21:39 Quote
I don't see a problem with Windows8 or RT and my Windows Home Server is running fine. What was it that failed again?

Everything Nexxo said +1. Again we agree Nexxo, some may begin to talk ;)
Nexxo 15th November 2012, 22:12 Quote
Shush! :p

I'm just calling it as I see it. I have praised Apple for its good products and criticised it in equal measure for its recent fails. I have criticised Microsoft for its past fails and recognised its successes and now praise it for its genuine innovations. Windows 8 is cheesecake, Windows Phone 8 awesome. As an ecosystem it's going to be very good indeed.
SexyHyde 16th November 2012, 02:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Windows 8 is cheesecake, Windows Phone 8 awesome. As an ecosystem it's going to be very good indeed.

So good Ballmer got rid of the man behind the changes your enjoying. Ballmer laughed at Apple when the iPhone came out because it had no keyboard. I don't think it's us that have said it needs m/k its Ballmer previously telling us that is what we are getting. It wasn't until business and consumers started leaving en masse that Ballmer obviously changed his mind late in the game AGAIN and brought out a competitive device numerous years later. Surface/WinRT is nowhere near a finished product.

WP# isn't for me as I left most microsoft services a few years ago and now have my digital life running very nicely on android with googles services. I may change in the future but it would be a lot of hassle for, at best. about the same experience. So in my eyes just not worth it, but worth a look if your getting into the smartphone scene late or leaving blackberry.

On the Win8 front, it's not bad. A definite worthy upgrade from Vista and before. From 7, I feel it's murky, you really need to try it. Some people are finding it works better for them. I find it makes me slower, I really gave it a good go but I like to multi task and do my tasks fast and the extra mouse drags and button clicks I need to perform, just irritate me. This irks me as I really want to use and like it.

WinRT - ??? I can see what they did, but I can't help thinking WP+ would have been better. We will see how it evolves. It definitely needs time, as it's currently very limited.

I use Windows primarily and so would like a quality product being a user. I can't stand Ballmer, he shows consistently, that he isn't up to the job.
Nexxo 16th November 2012, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
So good Ballmer got rid of the man behind the changes your enjoying. Ballmer laughed at Apple when the iPhone came out because it had no keyboard. I don't think it's us that have said it needs m/k its Ballmer previously telling us that is what we are getting. It wasn't until business and consumers started leaving en masse that Ballmer obviously changed his mind late in the game AGAIN and brought out a competitive device numerous years later. Surface/WinRT is nowhere near a finished product.
You are making a bunch of misattributions. When the iPhone came out there was no app store and nothing but the six or so apps that came on it as standard. There was no copy-paste. There was no attachment handling. No multitasking. No Exchange support. No MMS. No GPS or compass --in fact no maps, which was an afterthought three weeks before its official launch. It was decidedly "unfinished" compared to the current iPhone. Plenty of customers rejected it for the lack of a physical keyboard --even on this forum.

We don't know how much Sinofsky was instrumental in creating the Windows 8 and WP 8 ecosystem or was an obstacle in it. It is said that he did not play nice with other departments and does not think in terms of services but software in boxes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
WP# isn't for me as I left most microsoft services a few years ago and now have my digital life running very nicely on android with googles services. I may change in the future but it would be a lot of hassle for, at best. about the same experience. So in my eyes just not worth it, but worth a look if your getting into the smartphone scene late or leaving blackberry.

On the Win8 front, it's not bad. A definite worthy upgrade from Vista and before. From 7, I feel it's murky, you really need to try it. Some people are finding it works better for them. I find it makes me slower, I really gave it a good go but I like to multi task and do my tasks fast and the extra mouse drags and button clicks I need to perform, just irritate me. This irks me as I really want to use and like it.

WinRT - ??? I can see what they did, but I can't help thinking WP+ would have been better. We will see how it evolves. It definitely needs time, as it's currently very limited.

I use Windows primarily and so would like a quality product being a user. I can't stand Ballmer, he shows consistently, that he isn't up to the job.

I think that most people don't know what they want. They deride Windows 8 for looking gaudy while they put neon tubes in their modded rigs. Just search for the thread on this forum that discusses the launch of the very first iPad. I said it would be a huge success; almost everybody else thought it was rubbish and would fail for not being a "real computer", which to them meant a physical keyboard and an OS with windows and multitasking. Now we see that the iPad is a huge success, and Microsoft got it wrong? The only thing it got wrong is listening to its customer base too much. Most people don't have vision --they need someone like Steve Jobs to have it for them. The best thing Microsoft can do is hire its own visionary and ignore what everyone else says.
Ending Credits 16th November 2012, 08:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Man, why didn't *I* think of that for a tagline?

Because you don't write for The Sun.
Snips 16th November 2012, 13:47 Quote
Then I looked at a CNET profile of Steven Sinofsky. The article, which appears well sourced, talks of a brilliant but divisive figure, feuding with fellow executives and creating "a toxic work environment that has chased talented employees away from a maturing company that's in desperate need of innovative thinking."

This was from the BBC News Tech Correspondent, sounds like he needed to go?
ShinyAli 16th November 2012, 14:41 Quote
Hard to believe some of the things some people say about MS when they have no idea what's really going on in Redmond.

The McAfee story is just disinformation put out by MS's Black-Op's Dept to dissuade Apple from hiring him, rumour has it that McAfee has already developed an eye movement indicator sensory components thought controlled OS for MS, "Windows MC" (Mind Control).
Steve Ballmer was one of the early test participants, the results were promising but the side effects have proved to be severe and long term in some test subjects!

Makes sense to me
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