Windows chief Sinofsky steps down

Microsoft said the head of its flagship Windows division and the driving force behind Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, will be leaving the company with immediate effect, shortly after the software giant launched the Surface tablet.

This seems odd to me. It doesn’t have the feel of a planned departure.

  • Digital Possibilities


    I agree – it seems too weird. Even if they wanted to part ways with Sinofsky, after Xmas or Q1 would seem better. Windows 8 would have at least the start of a story to tell.

    Feels like an internal dispute. Only other explanation is that all those Surface tablets are being returned…

  • Agree. I think the long letter from Sinofsky and the long letter from Ballmer will only bite them in the ass if people uncover it’s all BS and he really was removed. But given the not so great reviews of Win 8 or Surface, I’m not surprised. The only surprise is how Ballmer is still there.

  • Microsoft is just continuing to drive their innovation forward in the most aggressive way possible. They don’t let internal politics simmer for years like Apple did, damaging employee morale and the quality of products before they arrive in the hands of a single consumer.

    • You forgot to append “j/k” at the end of your paragraph.

      • No. I forgot: developers, developers, developers.

        Every developer I communicate with is very excited by the approach Microsoft is taking with the Windows 8 platform.

        Stick a fork in small, niche market Apple, because they are surely done.

        • rattyuk

          “Stick a fork in small, niche market Apple, because they are surely done.”

          Shame they have such niches as the iPhone – over 60% sales in the main carriers last – “the bad” – quarter. The only company actually selling tablets as opposed to giving them away. The only company actually growing PC sales while every other company on a major decline. Niche, indeed.

        • GTWilson

          Sounds like you got your crystal ball from Michael Dell.

    • Nonsense.

      Sinofsky has been “simmering” for years, and the new Windows head is one of his people from his Office days.

      And Microsoft employee morale…not exactly stellar for most of the past decade.

    • Clearly you jest. Otherwise, you show that you don’t know much about the internal wars that have happened at Microsoft for as long as Sinofsky has been the head of the Windows division. This has been simmering for years. Employee morale has been in the toilet for years. See Kurt Eichenwald’s article in Vanity Fair for reference. As far as the quality of products, Windows 8 is better, but is it far enough along to challenge what Apple and Google is doing? I’m not convinced. As far as Apple’s “decline”, it hasn’t shown in reduced sales yet. Far from it.

      • MacsenMcBain

        Surely you jest. Gotta set up the “I never jest. And don’t call me Shirley” response. (Granted, the pun doesn’t work as well in print.)

  • It’s too late; the damage is done.

  • After spending a week working with a Surface and a brand new Win8 notebook, I’m not surprised. Haven’t seen this many crashes, design flaws and QA oversights in a new product since the Sinclair QL in 1985.

    • rattyuk

      Loved the QL tape drive – if you formatted it after a week of use you’d get more storage as the tape stretched over time.

  • Quite strange.

    Also, the new head of Windows was a Sinofsky acolyte, at least she was back when he ran Microsoft Office, so it isn’t exactly that they are betting on a different faction/philosophy.

    Back in the days when Sinofsky ran Microsoft Office, there was concern that Sinofsky wasn’t an “innovator.” He was fantastic at delivering new version Office on schedule, but they weren’t exactly anything anyone got excited about, because he did it by cutting anything that threatened the schedule. When he moved to Windows after Vista, it made perfect sense, they brought someone in who could get things running smoothly again after the Vista debacle.

    One might argue that Windows 8, particularly the RT version on Surface, was a classic Sinofsky release. He got it out the door more or less on schedule, but he did so by leaving lots of glaring remnants of classic windows.

  • Is it possible that this has happened as a result of poor initial Surface sales?