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Sinofsky Dismisses Trying To Take Over Windows Phone, Developers 70

Nerval's Lobster writes "When Steven Sinofsky stepped down as head of Microsoft's Windows division earlier this week, multiple publications cited friction with other executives as the primary reason behind the departure. Whether or not that's the case—neither Sinofsky nor Microsoft has offered an official explanation, aside from the usual platitudes—someone with connections to Microsoft is claiming that Sinofsky's departure stemmed from a failed attempt to bring additional parts of the company under his control. 'Steven had apparently lost recent battles to bring both Windows Phone and the Developer Division under his control,' Hal Berenson, president of consulting group True Mountain Group and a former Microsoft executive, wrote in a Nov. 13 blog posting. 'I suspect that he saw those [losses] both as a roadblock to where he wanted to take Windows over the next few years, and a clear indication that his political power within Microsoft had peaked.' The departure, he added, was the 'outgrowth of conflict.' Berenson's claim was enough to draw Sinofsky himself into the discussion. In the comments section below the posting, Sinofsky left a short note suggesting that rumors of a multi-product takeover were, frankly, malarkey."
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Sinofsky Dismisses Trying To Take Over Windows Phone, Developers

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  • by Aphrika ( 756248 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:07PM (#41995119)
    Visual Studio 2010 was awesome. Visual Studio 2012 is a sea of all caps menus, grey and such a minute dash of colour that makes partially sighted people like me wonder if they hallucinated it or got up too fast...

    Seriously MS, fix it, along with the Coal Bunker/Snow Blindness colour schemes. I am not on a beach in Malibu, or the cockpit of a B2 on a bombing mission FFS!
    • I agree. I had VS 2012 Express installed for about a day before I backed it out and reinstalled VS 2010 Express. I tried to give it a chance but the menus gave me a headache.

      Having said that, VS 2010 is a very nice product to work with. I say that as somebody who uses a Scintilla-based editor and who also has the Eclipse IDE installed. My complaints about VS are few and far between.

    • by Kawahee ( 901497 )
      I agree with this as well. I've gotten used to VS2012 but I fired up VS2010 the other day and did a double take when I saw colour again and menus without all caps (yes, I know about the registry change). For me the metro interface on Windows 8 isn't too bad, but applying it to an application as complex as Visual Studio is silly. I hope Microsoft uses Sinofsky's departure as an opportunity to refocus on traditional desktop applications so that desktop apps can complement the tablet ones.
      • you want to see TFS 2012... its one large blank canvas with a few bits of text here and there, no rhyme or reason for it, just minimalist and unhelpful. It also doesn't help that the menus are deliberately hidden away with no real hints that there's something to click on (on the web view that is). In the explorer, the menu items are scattered all over various menus - try setting security on the iterations.. hint: its not in the "security settings" menu item.

        Microsoft will take this opportunity to focus on t

    • Visual Studio 2010 was awesome. Visual Studio 2012 is a sea of all caps menus, grey and such a minute dash of colour that makes partially sighted people like me wonder if they hallucinated it or got up too fast...

      Seriously MS, fix it, along with the Coal Bunker/Snow Blindness colour schemes. I am not on a beach in Malibu, or the cockpit of a B2 on a bombing mission FFS!

      You know you can change the color and font scheme with an extension? []

      • by Kawahee ( 901497 )
        My biggest usability gripe is the monochromatic icons. This does nothing to address that, there's an extension available that grafts in the icons on top of the VS2012 binaries but I can only imagine the fragility of that, across updates and hotfixes and the like.
    • Let's not forget the disaster that is the new "Pending Changes" window...
  • Sounds like ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:16PM (#41995197)

    ... the story Raoul Silva [] told about putting all the rats in one barrel.

    There are no growth opportunities left (look up MSFT), so the rat next to you starts to look mighty tasty.

  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:18PM (#41995223) Homepage Journal

    There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.

  • He got caught banging some intern on Ballmer's desk.

    Or maybe he was just an ass hole

    Or maybe....

    this could go on for ever.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Maybe he had all the chairs removed from Ballmer's office as a prank.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )
      If he was

      caught banging some intern on Ballmer's desk.

      Chances are all his boss saw

      was just an ass hole

  • Malarkey? (Score:1, Troll)

    by macbeth66 ( 204889 )

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

    I have to tell you, I am almost feeling sorry for MS. They were the evil empire for so long, now they don't even rate as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

    What is all that noise? It must be all that barking from the seven seals...

  • Given the wording of the link, I thought it would take us to the actual post and comments in question. Instead I was tricked into visiting slashcloud. That's almost as bad as a rickrolling.

    • At least it wasn't a slash bi-curious posting. And at least slash bi-curious doesn't have cowboy neil videos. yet.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:34PM (#41995393) Journal

    "Sinofsky left a short note suggesting that rumors of a multi-product takeover were, frankly, malarkey."

    I suspect that he also denies being a reptoid, craving the taste of raw human flesh, or having grown from spores. Why would this be any different?

  • Jobs reincarnate? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AwesomeMcgee ( 2437070 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:35PM (#41995411)
    I can't help but think this whole thing sounds eerily reminiscent of Steve Jobs (not in every way but..) in that this guy presided over the release of Windows 7, the best windows we've seen in a long time (I'm withholding judgement on windows 8 unlike many until it's had time in the market to prove one way or another, could be awful iduno), and the personality traits that are attributed to him sound very much in line with Jobs, and now he gets the boot... Will we see him come back in 5 or 10 years just to run MS to a new glory day? Who knows, if so, let's just hope he doesn't DRMurder all the consumers in the future like Jobs did...
    • Wouldn't it be funny if he went and started a company (let's say 'After') which implements his ideas for an OS based on a BSD kernel, completely uninhibited by MS bureaucracy. A few years down the track MS is floundering and Ballmer has been booted. Sinofsky comes back and replaces Windows UI with that from After and the rest becomes history?

  • Put your self in his position..
    You have been with MS for 24 years.. you pull down roughly 8.5 mill a year with pay and stock options []
    He probably has a nice pile of cash and stock to last him a lifetime or two.

    The stress may be higher than the rewards and you got that last major release off your solders.

    Time to step back, have fun with the family and find a new direction.

  • by jbeach ( 852844 ) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @04:52PM (#41995551) Homepage Journal
    It might be that Sinofsky was actually causing friction by trying to get different divisions to work together - and that this was viewed internally by some people as a 'power grab' - i.e., something that would loosen the reins of their own power.
    Big companies can get very silo'd off, and the different silos can then become little empires. So then when someone comes along whose work and position touches a few different silos and tries to get some actual inter-silo planning and less duplication of effort, territoriality, etc. then pushback can happen.
    • A lot of people say that - Sinofsky is seen as "being difficult to work with", but given that at various places where he gave tech presentations and was ready to answer any question, you have to think "difficult" means "an effective leader who actually does stuff" (besides brown-nose superiors and empire-build that is) and that pissed off the political arse-lickers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My experience working with WinDiv in Windows 8 was that their idea of collaboration was: You! Lackey group! You will do this random thing I want right now!

      What? No, I don't care about your schedule, I am WINDOWS!!!!

      No, we won't tell you what we want, we'll just tell you it's wrong after it's too late to change it!

      Now bow, bow before WINDOWS!

  • Personality clashes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sources also told The Verge that Sinofsky was “abrasive and off-putting, aggressively maintaining his control over products and putting up roadblocks.”

    Ah, the smell of a fresh character assassination. How lovely.

    I know nothing of Microsoft politics, but the wording of this is suspect. I expect what it really means is that Sinofsky was effective, had a clear vision and there were lots of people at MS who wanted to interfere with it. All too often in large organizations "abrasive and off-putting"

  • is it really that hard to read between the lines?
    • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

      The question then becomes: Is he responsible for the abortion, or is Windows 8 the way it is due to the people who considered him to be abrasive and controlling?

      If he is responsible, as well as being controlling and abrasive, I'm hoping he was kicked out so fast that his ass left scorch marks on the pavement.

      If he was forced to compromise with fools who forced that outcome, then he may well be better off somewhere else, because those idiots apparently mistook trying to keep control over his own projects as

      • Windows 8 can be seen a a lot of things, and I doubt Sinofsky was the sole dictator who had everything made to his personal design. that's not quite the way things work, however....

        guess who the new head of Windows div is? Julie "Ribbon" Larson-Green..... also the same person who was responsible for... well, guess. []

        "Unlike other companies that maybe have one person at the top, we don't have a [design] czar at Microsoft," says Julie Larson-Green, VP of program management for Windows. Of Metro, she adds, "Its not like Steve [Ballmer] decreed it." One former longtime Microsoft manager put it bluntly: "I don't think Steve could even spell the word design." And unlike Steve Jobs, who was infamous for meddling in every detail of Apple's product launches, Ballmer didn't go to any of the rehearsals at Milk Studios for the unveiling of the Surface; his part was played by a stand-in till he arrived on the day.

        So if the brass were so indifferent to design, how did this thinking emerge at Microsoft at all?

        In May 2009, Julie Larson-Green corralled 150 thought leaders from various Microsoft groups (Office, Phone, Bing, Xbox) in the Redmond, Washington, campus conference center to kick off planning for Windows 8.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner