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Microsoft Operating Systems Software Windows Technology

Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft 417

CWmike writes with this excerpt from Computerworld: "Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind the new OS, is leaving the company effective immediately, Microsoft announced late Monday. Sinofsky was also the public face for Windows 8 and its new Metro interface, posting constant updates in a Windows 8 blog that charted its development. His last post, fittingly, was entitled 'Updating Windows 8 for General Availability.' The OS was officially launched at the end of last month. According to the All Things D blog, there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other members of the Microsoft executive team, who didn't see him as enough of a team player. But Microsoft's official position is that the decision was a mutual one. Sinofsky had only good things to say about his former employer." Also at SlashCloud.
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Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft

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  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:48AM (#41966597) Journal

    that the new interface in Windows 8 bombed at the box office....

    the beginning of the end, indeed.

  • Direction change (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:51AM (#41966631) Homepage

    I'd hope this was a personality or really an interpersonal thing and not a strategy choice. If Microsoft starts going squishy on Windows 8 i.e. Metro they will blow a crucial part of their strategy. I don't see how they pick a different OS strategy at this point than ubiquitous computing. Releasing another new paradigm in 2014-5 will be a complete yawn.

    The 2012Q4 x86 midlevel hardware has been really exciting stuff, innovative. As the hardware manufacturers start one another's ideas 2013Q1 laptops and even desktops are going to feel a 6 years ahead of 2012Q1. That's an impressive accomplishment and I'd hope that Microsoft doesn't walk it back because other divisions are getting cold feet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:56AM (#41966701)

    that the new interface in Windows 8 bombed at the box office....

    the beginning of the end, indeed.

    Actually no, since Microsoft let Sinofsky go and put in charge the woman directly responsable for the metro interface.
    I'd say it's going from bad to worse.

  • by modmans2ndcoming ( 929661 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:00AM (#41966739)

    Actually, people have been talking about Sinoffsky for a while. He insists on Windows being the driving force at MS and he is the reason that it took MS so long to get their products into a vertical integration....His departure has nothing to do with Windows 8 and everything to do with his ability to get on board the new vision.

  • by Ingenimus Prime ( 2632659 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:00AM (#41966741)
    As an MS SQL developer, I thought I'd already seen the height of IDE inanity, but with Win8 they managed to make it ever worse, requiring even more clicks to perform even the most basic tasks, and frustrate users who simply want to 'get back' to where they started. It's good they fired the guy, Win8 may be different than Win7 (which does not totally suck, but it's still heavily MS'd), but I don't see it as an improvement, or an innovation, just... different. They way I see it, MS will continue down this point-click-click-click-click paradigm, forever making things more difficult and frustrating to do. They should be trying to SIMPLIFY their interface and experience, not 'Techify' it with junk that only makes the user work harder to do the same work. It's a wonder they don't get that.
  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:01AM (#41966757) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is all about kissing the ass of big corporations.

    Metro is about as opposite of that as you can get.

  • Re: So.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:19AM (#41966935)

    Windows 8 is a very disciplined direction. Doesn't mean: a good direction, but a unified GUI and an answer to ARM-based tablets was the strategy. Good? The market will decide.

  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:21AM (#41966955)

    3. They've gotten over the moron factor. Apple used to be able to claim its GUI was so simple a child could use it, in contrast to Windows which was "complicated" and Linux which was "hard." Windows 8 is braindead simple as a GUI and has let wizards take over many of the less intuitive tasks of computer maintenance.

    It's hard for me to compete with a corporate PR department, but here I go...

    Windows 8 is braindead simple? How? It's exactly the same as Windows 7, except they added a whole new interface in addition to the old one. In other words, it is nearly twice as complicated! Worse, the two environments are nearly blind to the other. "Metro" apps don't show up on the taskbar and desktop apps don't show up on the (hidden) Metro taskbar replacement. Magic things happen when you move your mouse to certain corners, and some items don't come up unless you know the secret gesture. It is an unholy mess. You want to talk "computer maintenance"? There are now two places to find all of the various settings. How that got through your meetings, I'll never know. So now tablet users sometimes have to use the finger-unfriendly desktop interface to set up certain things (and to do file management), while desktop users have to go into the Metro interface for certain settings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:30AM (#41967037)

    The "modest" sales of Surface ("modest" being Ballmer's word, not mine) probably did not help. Surface + Win8 was a big investment/effort.

  • Re:Rats. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:42AM (#41967157)
    Sinofsky was a fuse. Ballmer sits next on line...
  • by MouseTheLuckyDog ( 2752443 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:46AM (#41967201)
    There is no way Balmer counts as the worst CEO fo the millennium. Carly Fiorina comes first. Follow by a very close second of "hey lets dump our hardware" CEO of HP who came before Whitman but whose name I can't remember.
  • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:46AM (#41967209) Homepage Journal

    I can completely understand Microsoft's drive to unify the user experience across phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and servers

    This is what MS have done every time they've brought out a mobile OS.

    And guess what? Desktop interfaces are shit on PDAs/tablets/phones, and these devices never sold that well.

    And guess what else? Mobile interfaces are shit on the desktop, and they're not going to sell that well.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:52AM (#41967287)

    While I personally think Win8 is going to be a Vista-level disaster, I think two weeks is a wee bit premature to be hanging any forecasts on.

    Nah, they learned from Vista. Last time they let OEMs keep shipping XP machines so people didn't have to buy Vista, this time I'm sure they'll kill Windows 7 ASAP.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:55AM (#41967327) Journal

    For Windows 8 -- we all pretty much knew it was going to happen -- there was no external testing at all. I guess after Vista's performance issues and the poor handling of 7, it was pretty easy for them to decide testers weren't helping them.

    Look, the logic is pretty simple. If no bugs were found during testing, it just means there are no bugs in the software. That means the software quality has improved and all the line managers, middle managers, executives, vice presidents and the executive vice president all deserve huge bonuses.

    The seeds for this was sown years ago. They came up with quality metrics for software. That quality metric was "number of bugs found during testing". That number is the metric. That is the number to watch. That number must drop for you to make bonus. First few years it works reasonably well. But a few managers fall short of the number, and they find unmotivated lackadaisical unprofessional people and move them to the testing group. Slowly the bugs found during testing drops, and they make bonus. It starts small, with just a few managers. But pretty soon everyone is doing it. Once everyone is doing it, the early "game the system" guys double down, and pretty soon, they cancel the entire testing program and meet the holy grail, "zero bugs found during testing".

  • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Will.Woodhull ( 1038600 ) <> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:58AM (#41967373) Homepage Journal

    There might be more to parent post than just "4+ Funny".

    Ballmer has become increasingly vulnerable. Basically, nobody much likes having a potty-mouthed, chair-throwing monkey dancer as a CEO, either inside or outside the corporation. He got the job not because he rose up through the ranks or had demonstrable skills but because he was Gates' chief sycophant, loyal to the core. It is long past time for him to be replaced by someone who can steer the monster resources of Microsoft in an appropriate direction, rather than just sitting there in the driver's seat while the huge earth-mover rumbles around without a definite direction.

    By encouraging his most likely internal replacement to leave the company, Ballmer has done the one thing he could do that most reduces his risks of getting tossed out like a chair. There is no question that Microsoft lost a valuable asset when Sinofsky walked, but his continued presence as Win8 becomes a success would have been a major personal threat to Ballmer.

  • Re:Rats. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:09AM (#41967501) Homepage
    Microsoft's profit was $16 billion first quarter. I wish my ship was sinking like that.

    Shall we compare that to Red Hat? It seems that every time someone leaves Microsoft we get this gleeful rats/ships metaphor on Slashdot going back decades, but Microsoft has been and continues to be a fantastically successful company.
  • Re:Rats. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @12:02PM (#41968275) Homepage
    Actually you're right, the source I found online said profit, but looks like that was just a mistake. The whole thing is Microsoft can keep trying and failing to be Apple in the consumer sphere because they just have enormous revenue streams from their business and server divisions, and wishful thinking on slashdot won't change that.
  • Re:Rats. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @02:38PM (#41970967)
    So, I take it that you would prefer descriptive names like Edlin, Excel, Outlook or Lotus123?
  • Re:Rats. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @02:41PM (#41971041)
    Sinofsky was fired for making a mess of Win8 just like the bloke who got fired for making the mess that was Vista. We'll probably be stuck with Win7 for the next 15 years and will have to keep 64 bit Win7 running in compatibility mode on 512 bit processors well into mid century.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson