Microsoft: with Steven Sinofsky gone, where does that leave Windows 8? - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft: with Steven Sinofsky gone, where does that leave Windows 8?

Microsoft yesterday announced that Steven Sinofsky, the head of the company's Windows and Windows Live division, left the company effective immediately. You may remember Steven Sinofsky from his rather lengthy post over at the Building Windows blog. While he did not wrote all the posts by himself, he was the front for that blog as all were signed by him personally, and the person responsible for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Microsoft's press release states that the decision for Sinofsky's departure is mutual, but even if that is the case, one has to wonder about the reason behind the move. What we do know is that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering effective immediately.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company and that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller retains her roles as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business of Windows. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

These changes are effective immediately.

One has to wonder if the departure has anything to do with Windows 8, the new Microsoft operating system that got released less than three weeks ago by the company. While there is no confirmation that the departure has anything to do with Windows 8, one has to ask whether the operating system's performance in sales had anything to do with the decision. Microsoft has not released sales figures for the operating system yet, nor for the Surface RT tablet that the company released alongside the operating system on October 26.

It is likely that sales are not the reason for Sinofsky's departure, as it is not a satisfying enough reason to justify the cloak-and-dagger departure. A power struggle on the other hand, as cliche as it may sound, is more likely. There may be other reasons, like health or taking care of family matters, but those surely would not have ended in such an abrupt departure after all.

But how will the public take it? Will it see Sinofsky's departure as a sign that Windows 8 is not being adopted as well as Microsoft had hoped for? That the new leader will turn the steering wheel around and make Windows 9 a classic desktop operating system again? I honestly can't really see Microsoft make that decision only weeks after the release of Windows 8.

The next couple of months will be interesting, that is for sure.  What's your take on the development?





  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

    Comments

    1. Kent said on November 13, 2012 at 9:03 am
      Reply

      Shocking…a bad news to both Microsoft and Windows 8, as well as the new Surface RT, no matter what the reason is. It’s the icon figure of Windows 8 that left the new Windows behind. How good would it be?

      1. Roman ShaRP said on November 13, 2012 at 10:02 am
        Reply

        MS: “Since 1993, _Larson-Green_ has worked on and led some of the most successful products for Microsoft, including the user experiences for early versions of Internet Explorer, and helped drive the thinking behind the refresh of the user experience for Microsoft Office. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 she was responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases.”

        Now I know who to blame for all that Metro madness, and you know that this figure is still there.

    2. Nerdebeu said on November 13, 2012 at 9:09 am
      Reply

      It seems he was in conflict with Ballmer (In French, at the end of the news):

      http://www.pcinpact.com/news/74755-la-division-windows-microsoft-entre-ruche-et-protectionnisme.htm

    3. Roman ShaRP said on November 13, 2012 at 10:00 am
      Reply

      Never heard of Sinofsky as of visionary and “cult hero”, so why should I care? I think that most people made up their mind about Windows 8 from reports and sources more credible than one exec leaving for God knows why.

      Let’s be real and look at features, not exec moves. In our everyday life we need solutions, not execs.

      1. ilev said on November 13, 2012 at 10:06 am
        Reply

        In our everyday life we need execs to bring those solutions. Ballmer & Sinofsky
        are the one.

        1. ilev said on November 13, 2012 at 10:36 am
          Reply

          Should be …are not the ones

        2. Roman ShaRP said on November 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm
          Reply

          I rejected or was very dissatisfied with most of their solutions/decisions since XP, — Ribbon, Vista, ditching Start menu, pushing UAC, Metro, Windows Phone OS, Windows 8, Windows RT…

          Don’t know, may be it could be worse with other execs, but Ballmer & Sinofsky won’t get kudos from me anyway.

    4. tiggerboy0301 said on November 13, 2012 at 10:33 am
      Reply

      I’ve only just read an article about Sinofsky that basically said he was great at his job but he’d left a wake of hate behind him.
      When I saw this, my first take was that the past had finally caught up with him.
      Windows 8 is not bad (it needs to happen for MIcrosoft to move forward) but the take it or leave it attitude in the press probably gave Ballmer an excuse to get rid of him.

    5. Wayfarer said on November 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm
      Reply

      I don’t suppose he’ll starve, so who cares?

    6. ilev said on November 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm
      Reply

      I want a picture of him escorted out of the building by armed guards, holding
      a brown box.

    7. Gonzo said on November 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm
      Reply

      I blame it on Windows RT and Surface. The hardware design (kickstand and keyboard) of the Surface are great. However, for Win RT to succeed they needed to offer a budget line of tablets. Win RT requires ~16GB to install and is obviously too bloated to run on lower end hardware. This product never should have been released. It will be abandoned by MS and once again leave customers upset.

      HP canceled RT and instead became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation. The MS branded Surface has upset many partners and the fallout is just beginning. Look for WebOS to be a player soon.

      Larson-Green likes ribbons and tiles, this doesn’t inspire confidence but I’ll hope for the best.

      Lots of FUD surrounding Microsoft, that’s for sure.

    8. Flyer said on November 14, 2012 at 3:00 am
      Reply

      Geeeeeeeeez
      “Larson-Green_ has worked on and led some of the most successful products for Microsoft, including the user experiences for early versions of Internet Explorer”
      The worst recommendation I have ever seen :D
      And if IE has been the most succesful product so what about its security vulnerabilities and this neverending need of patching?
      oh boy :P

    9. SubgeniusD said on November 14, 2012 at 10:18 am
      Reply

      Well regarding his departure motivations and the usual conspiracy theories about internal MSFT power struggles etc (which are often well-founded) here’s the explanation in his own words:

      http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57548767-75/sinofskys-memo-regarding-his-departure-from-microsoft/

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 14, 2012 at 10:51 am
        Reply

        Interesting, but that was to be expected. If he got thrown under the bus, he likely got a nice sum of money for that provide that he does not make a scene about it.

    Leave a Reply