Steven Sinofsky steps down as Windows chief

Windows is under new management.

In a surprise executive shakeup earlier today, Microsoft announced that Steven Sinofsky has stepped down from his post as Windows and Windows Live President, "effective immediately."

Two executives have taken over Sinofsky’s former duties: Julie Larson-Green, who is now in charge of "all Windows software and hardware engineering," and Tami Reller, who is leading the "business and marketing strategy for Windows devices, including Surface and partner devices." As before, Reller will also continue to fill in as Microsoft’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.

I haven’t heard much about Larson-Green before, but Microsoft says she’s been an employee since 1993. The company credits her for the UI design of early Internet Explorer releases as well as helping to "drive the thinking behind" the Office UI refresh. (Presumably, that means she was involved with creating the infamous ribbon interface, which spread to the File Explorer in Windows 8.) More recently, Microsoft says Larson-Green was "responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases" for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

According to the folks over at CNet News, Microsoft’s official stance on Sinofsky’s departure is that it was a "mutual" decision. The site says some considered Sinofsky to be potential CEO material, but the executive was known for being "divisive" and "not working well with executives in other divisions." That has led to speculation that perhaps the shakeup wasn’t so mutual, after all.

This all sounds eerily similar to the recent departure of iOS chief Scott Forstall, whom sources say had a tense relationship with other executives. Apple didn’t get into details about exactly why Forstall stepped down last month, but word is that he was let go after refusing to apologize for the Apple Maps fiasco.

Comments closed
    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 7 years ago

    Since everyone else is focusing on the product aspect of this, let me start talking about Marketing.

    MS must have the worst marketing department of any company half it’s size or bigger. Their commercials for surface are awful, their commercials for IE9 are awful, their commercials for Win7 were awful.

    Whoever is in charge of XBox marketing should be in charge of all marketing for MS.

      • Spec4
      • 7 years ago

      I believe you mean advertising, not marketing.

    • bjm
    • 7 years ago

    It’s funny reading these posts that Sinofsky’s removal is somehow related the desktop decisions or to the Modern UI/Metro fiasco when his replacement is Julie Larson-Green. Do you folks not know that the Metro was her contribution to Windows 8? Or that both Sinofsky and Larson-Green were both on the same Office team that put out the Ribbon? They are both responsible for the Ribbon and the Modern UI. Larson-Green was more directly repsonsible for the UI vs. Sinofsky’s overall management of Office and Windows.

    In other words, the direction of Windows 8 is unchanged. As such, the most likely scenarios are: 1) He actually wanted to leave as per his own letter or 2) He pissed off enough people with his management style that caused him to get the boot. Neither of these two scenarios have anything to do with the success/failure of Windows 8 — it’s too early to declare such anyway.

    I think it’s likely a mix of things. The man spent most of his adult life at Microsoft and rose to the highest engineering level position there. The next step was CEO and perhaps he didn’t want it. If he had to burn enough bridges on his way to releasing Windows 8, he probably wanted to leave on a good note of having put that product out. That’s all speculation of course, but it is what it is.

    Anyway,regardless of his reasons for leaving, if you hate Windows 8 and it’s UI changes, then you have no reason to celebrate. You now have a person who is even more directly responsible for the Metro and Ribbon UI sitting at the helm.

      • streagle27
      • 7 years ago

      “It’s funny reading these posts that Sinofsky’s removal is somehow related the desktop decisions or to the Modern UI/Metro fiasco when his replacement is Julie Larson-Green. Do you folks not know that the Metro was her contribution to Windows 8? Or that both Sinofsky and Larson-Green were both on the same Office team that put out the Ribbon? ”

      Then I guess they should fire her too.

      I know lots of people who detest the new UI and who still hate Ribbon, and they’re not techs, they’re REAL users who do REAL work and they HATE that their productivity was negatively impacted by those changes.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Sinofsky was a jerk who didn’t listen to feedback. I don’t feel that vibe coming from LG, who might have left in the start menu and Aero as an option instead of totally removing it. We’ll see the difference when win9 turns out.

      • suprem1ty
      • 7 years ago

      I quite like the Ribbon actually, and miss it when using Linux/OpenOffice. Modern/Metro UI on the other hand clearly needs some more thought (perhaps even just thought) put into it.

    • oldog
    • 7 years ago

    Just so I understand the direction of the comments by most of the posters on this site. Win 8 is a good tablet UI and a lousy desktop UI. Most posters seem unwilling to accept an OS that is unified and flexible enough to be used on a touch screen or legacy desktop PC.

    Using the “I hate Win 8 logic” I can see the SKUs now…

    Win 8 desktop
    Win 8 tablet
    Win 8 pro
    Win 8 server
    Win 8 rt
    Win 8 basic
    Win 8 european edition
    Etc.

    Office 2013 Home and Student rt edition
    Office 2013 Home and Student desktop edition
    Office 2013 Home and Business desktop edition
    Office 2013 Home and Business tablet edition
    Office 365 Home Premium tablet edition
    Office 365 Home Premium desktop
    Etc.

    I don’t think I’ve exhausted even half of the permutations.

    Unification of the OS was critical for MS across all devices for a uniform experience and to try and simplify the OS on a burgeoning array of devices each with the need for a different interface.

    Disclaimer – I happen to be someone who owns both a Surface and a desktop running Win8. I am not having any trouble with the OS at all. Maybe I’m just not as smart as the rest of you guys.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe you just don’t have 15 apps on 2 monitors at any given time.

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        No, admittedly I do not. Are you saying that can’t be done on Win 8?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          he’s pretending it can’t be.

    • alternety
    • 7 years ago

    Win 8 SP1 – remove the interface previously known as Metro.

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    Sinofsky has made himself rich, is now burned out, and essentially has little else to offer Microsoft at this stage. IE, he’s decided to sit back and enjoy life for awhile, chew the cud, and contemplate something else. I’m guessing this is something he’d worked out in advance with Ballmer a while ago. Anyway, in the first place, Ballmer is where the buck stops for Windows–not Sinofsky. There are two people going in there with distinct responsibilities, so it seems certain that Sinofsky alone was insufficient for the task. Perhaps it’s as simple as Sinofsky being unable to share the limelight. We could speculate endlessly.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      speculating is fun.. but we have facts.

      Surface might be a failure with a 40% drop in estimated sales.
      Windows8 received terrible reviews by desktop users, most if not *all* criticism was known during the consumer preview.
      Developers have NOT embraced ‘modern’ and the app store.

      And if Sinofsky was burned out, he would take a sabbatical…

      What we know for sure : Sinofsky wanted out and Microsoft wanted him out.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] Windows8 received terrible reviews by desktop users [/quote<] citation needed. and not the newegg reports where 80% are not owners. REAL reports, FROM A REAL SOURCE.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          Its not just newegg that show pissed off desktop users.
          Look around on this site alone.

          And I’m not an owner of windows8, but I used it for 5 month.
          Does that disqualify me from having an opinion?

            • oldog
            • 7 years ago

            Capital idea! Put it to a vote. Who on this site uses Win8 or plans to soon? Say in the next six months.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            this is a small segment of society. it’s hardly consistent with the general population. Scott likes it, so does cyril. you can have an opinion, just stop pretending that it’s verified as being correct. it’s an opinion, and one that some, not all, maybe most, maybe not, people share.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            Sadly, that’s an all too common mistake of people: “I think this, therefor everyone does; if someone [i<]somehow[/i<] doesn't think it, then they are an exception (and wrong too)". Too many people live in their own reality-bubble. The great Win8 UI catastrophe has proven to be -- at least by all current measures -- a bust. Instead of being heartened by reports that it isn't as bad as expected, these people are despondent that others disagree with them*. * Actually, I ponder: just how many of the people railing against Win8 use it in any significant way? Not just strolling through a retail store and playing with it for 5 minutes, or installing it on a VM, but actually have it as the primary OS of a computer that they use frequently? I expect there's quite a few that haven't used it in any meaningful manner at all. I haven't had the chance to use it in such a way myself.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            “reality-bubble” Pot meet kettle. Watch Sinofsky’s early interviews of Metro, he is the very definition of living in a reality bubble, with nonsensical statements like 1+1=11. This whole win8 fiasco is a reality bubble combined with advertorials, shills, and apple style marketing. Microsoft is attempting to RDF-ize it’s marketing with sweater demos and buzzwords.

            It’s very much like those books you read about picking up chicks in bars. It may work for some, but everyone else thinks you’re a complete ass, and that’s exactly what Microsoft is doing with win8. Enjoy the failure, regardless if you think it isn’t, because it is a failure. It just may take a little while for reality to sink in and then the zombies will wake up.

            8 may be great on a tablet, but not properly supporting desktop users is insane, and I don’t care if you think otherwise because the people have spoken. Wake up.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            ok… so l33t, honey, your point is that “yes, it doesn’t make sense, BUT HE DID IT FIRST!!!!!”? seems kind of childish to me.

            as for picking up chicks in a bar, i have no idea. i’ve never read such a book, nor been in a bar (for longer than 5 minutes to get Halloween candy when i was a sweet young lad), so i have no idea. plus my wife would probably get upset if i was doing that.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Voila! The stereotypical Win8 fanboy poster child, and generally speaking this is the “reality-bubble” zombie mindset that I am referring to, as nothing you say makes any sense. It’s just blind faith and devotion to a failing cause of trendiness, which can only be overcome with time, much like any other stupid fad of past generations. Once you personally witness first hand the destructive results your path has taken you, then and only then may light shine upon your hazy eyes, and perhaps that will be enough to stimulate a near death neuron which triggers a dormant and repressed idea that perhaps Metro isn’t such a great desktop GUI after all. Of course, all that excitement could also cause a stroke, but either way is a win in my book.

            Metro is nothing more than a trendy fad like:
            Bell Bottoms
            Eight-Tracks
            Troll Dolls
            Zoot Suits
            Pet Rocks

            Personally, I equate Metro with saggy pants. Looks in your face ugly, and is completely nonfunctional. Thug life YO! (Try running from the cops in those pants, lol. I think the trendsetters had a great sense of humor here.)

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            what? i said you were a hypocrite. that’s what i said. then i babbled. you have a tough time with reading.

            also, your post is insane.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            No, liking Metro is insane, and my post is sarcastic hyperbole, mostly because I’m so diametrically opposed to using Modern UI, and it is a polarizing issue, whether or not you admit it to be. Your ignorance, feigned or not, is your own downfall, because the stubborn refusal to admit there is something wrong with Metro on the desktop pits you against the majority of actual windows users.

            That’s the very definition of a reality-bubble mindset, and Sinofsky coercively created this monster by dictating his ideas over cooler heads, and he even admitted doing so in his pre-release interviews, which are sickening to watch because of his smug attitude. He knew exactly what he was doing, and it was to be done that way regardless of if it actually worked or not. That wasn’t the point. Making a trendy OS capable of competing with Apple, and forcing the use of the app store was the point. This was done at the expense of everything and everyone else, and because of that Metro will fail.

            Windows users use Windows over OSX because it’s a stable open platform, and has used a standard CUA GUI for over 10 years. Throw that out and those users will jump ship, because the reason they used Windows no longer exists.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<] something wrong with Metro on the desktop pits you against the majority of actual windows users. [/quote<] citation needed. nobody questions the app store as being the point. don't be dumb. OF COURSE that's the point. and it's something MOST people want. why do you think EVERY OS now has a store? because nobody likes them? as for metro, your [quote<] I'm so diametrically opposed to using Modern UI [/quote<] rdf is just as arrogant. you pretend you know what other people want. i just say i like it. not that EVERYONE does. that would be silly. your position is hypocritical. you criticize them for having an opinion and then spreading it out over everyone, but you do the same thing. ALL THE TIME.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            The app store is terribad, because that’s the ONLY way available to install metro apps. This doesn’t sit well with developers that previously used other methods of distribution and don’t like being forced into using Microsoft. If Microsoft wasn’t forcing people to use the APP store, then this wouldn’t even be an issue. The app store by itself is fine, what’s wrong is that it’s a gatekeeping monopoly.
            [quote<]i just say i like it. not that EVERYONE does.[/quote<] Liar. You INFER EVERYONE does. EG: "citation needed. " You want a citation? I'll give you a statement of PURE FACT. Microsoft has used a CUA GUI with a START MENU for OVER TEN YEARS. EVERYONE who uses a PC is accustomed to the start menu. This is a statistical fact, yet you run around claiming all these users suddenly want to have Metro shoved in their face. LOL. Metro isn't going to go down as planned. I think it's pretty obvious how much people hate Metro with all the alternative start menu programs popping up. The only people who need Metro are tablet users, while desktop users couldn't give a flying duck.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            By suggesting that you need to cite you’re ridiculous claims, I’m extending my position how does that even make sense to you?

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            What? WTF are you even asking? Are you claiming Windows hasn’t had a start menu for over 10 years? Or that there are somehow more 8 users than 7-XP now, and I have to prove you wrong? Apparently so, since that’s how far you’ve descended into shill land.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            no. you’re pretending that because you don’t like it, and because you WANT the start menu, everyone else does. your opinion is no more valid than my own. you attack MS for their “arrogance” in assuming what people want, then you assume people want the same thing as you. it’s hypocritical. i’m not sure what’s confusing about this. it’s essentially the same thing geist is saying. you’re being silly.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            See, when I said “reality-bubble”, this:

            [quote<]I don't care if you think otherwise because the people have spoken[/quote<] Is exactly what I was talking about. All I've seen as examples of "the people" are some very loud people on the internet that won't shut up. People that I expect to be objective, instead of emotional, in their analysis of Win8 have come up with a resounding "it's not actually so bad, there's some stuff I rather like". Just because you can point to some people on tech sites like here doesn't mean "the people" have spoken. It means that a subset of a minority has spoken.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Wrong. The majority of people don’t use Windows 8, and that is a fact. There is no way you can claim anything about the popularity of 8 until you can come up with numbers that prove it is liked. Right now, that’s not the case, and the USERS, not reviewers, are saying they don’t like it.

            None of you can claim impartiality exists with windows 8, because if it did, the start menu would still be available, and the app store wouldn’t be vendor lock-in. There is no objectivity here, only an agenda of profit fueled by arrogant blind shills who think nothing for the opposing argument, let alone admit it exists.

            Let me be clear, I’m not saying I’m ignoring you or your position. I’m saying YOU”RE ignoring and patronizing US without acknowledging an opposing position, and that completely invalidates any claim of objectivity you might put forth. I still hear your argument though, even if it is all mindless fanboy tripe.

            Windows 8 will be a complete disaster, since the writing is on the wall even if it is too early to call. It’s a pretty easy prediction though, because 8 is such a huge joke, and the momentum is already going downhill. Would Sinofsky have stepped down if 8 really was a success? I don’t think so.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            That you continue to claim that a majority of people dislike Win8 is exactly why you are ignoring everyone else’s position. I have never claimed that there aren’t people who don’t like it. What I have claimed is that you have no evidence that a majority of people that have used Win8 in a meaningful way don’t like it. You can easily determine how popular something is before it hits majority consumption: Apple’s map fiasco exploded long before a majority (or even plurality) of iphone users were using it. There has been no wide reaching rebuke of Win8, so you can not claim some mandate from “the people” — only from yourself. This doesn’t invalidate your opinion, but it does mean that you can’t claim that “the people” agree with you.

            If you were willing to get off your high horse and stop pretending that your view was held by everyone, then people might take it into serious consideration.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            HAHAHA.
            [quote<]You can easily determine how popular something is before it hits majority consumption:[/quote<] Yup, and I think this has already been determined. Desktop users don't care for Metro, while tablet users love it. Regardless, nobody can make any valid statical claims until more people use the OS, and the majority of users still use older OSes. The start menu has existed for over ten years, so predicting this will go over well with them is bat guano insane. [quote<]There has been no wide reaching rebuke of Win8, so you can not claim some mandate from "the people"[/quote<] Have you ever watched Sinofsky's interview? He explicitly stated that he did not care about the opinion of the people, and that he worked in a isolated environment with no repercussions from his actions. (lol) Microsoft clearly does not care what people think, and they believe they can get away with anything because of their monopoly status. We're not going to see any change until Windows 9, and that will be their true reaction, although it may be too late. [quote<]If you were willing to get off your high horse and stop pretending that your view was held by everyone, then people might take it into serious consideration.[/quote<] More condescending garbage, and another poor attempt of writing off everyone who opposes 8. This is why I say your opinion is worthless. If you don't want to acknowledge the existence of the opposition, you're nothing more than a worthless joke. I think this mindset was pretty prevalent in the Romney camp this election. Can't say that helped them. Ignoring the opposition is a fools errand. Good luck with that though, because it won't pan out.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            So before I go ahead and respond to anything else here: you still won’t present any proof behind your positive claim that “desktop users don’t care for metro” ? Not just some, but a significant majority. It’s your claim, back it up with proof.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Your proof is Start8 doesn’t exist because you say so, and there are more windows 8 users than 7/Vista/XP combined, and that everyone automatically loves Metro and doesn’t care the start menu disappeared, all because you say so. OK, dude. You’re so totally right. I’m sorry for using common sense to make claims, insanity has a much better perspective. Steven Sinofsky was so totally right, and his mindset didn’t affect his job status at all.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            Umm.. How is any of that relevant to what I’ve said?

            Your claim: “Desktop users don’t like Win8”
            My claim: “You don’t have any proof that this goes beyond some people raging on tech sites”

            I know people have made widgets to put the start menu back, I know many people don’t like Metro, I know that the entire user base of Win7 hasn’t shifted over to Win8 overnight (I’m still on 7…). I don’t care what Sinofsky said at all. I care about your positive claims (that a majority of users don’t like Win8), and how you don’t have [i<]any[/i<] evidence to support that claim.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 7 years ago

            Here’s an idea, why don’t you just go read this article:
            [url<]http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/14/microsoft-has-failed/[/url<] I'd say that wraps things up quite nicely. [quote<]I care about your positive claims (that a majority of users don't like Win8), and how you don't have any evidence to support that claim.[/quote<] Dude, shut up. You're not going to get a damn thing. Ever. You know why? Because I don't take polls, and real polls cost money. When polls cost money, only the people willing to spend money have polls. That means you're only going to see data when it serves the purpose of a corporation with money. Microsoft isn't ever going to release numbers about how bad it's doing. That type of data is going to have to come from independent studies, and they still need funding to conduct those studies. The only data you're going to see is perhaps sales, until Microsoft concedes it's failure. Here's what I know on that: [quote<]To the surprise of no one, Steve Ballmer just described Surface sales as, “modest”Mr Ballmer is not one to understate anything, modest for Stevish means abject failure in English. Surface sales are said to be roughly four million after about a month of sales, hardly modest. Then again, to put the number in perspective, Apple was said to sell five million iPhone 5s on the first day[/quote<] Windows 8 is a failure, and if you want to play numbers and semantics, go ahead, but you're no different from a Romney supporter claiming Obama supporters need proof Obama would win. Or Karl Rove. Reality is available for the willing, but you need to accept it.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t see anything in there that supports your claim that the majority of users don’t like Win8. If you think there is something that I missed, go ahead and quote it for me.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            you likely know that that balmer statement was taken out of context. he wasn’t talking about sales, he was talking about their selling model. you likely know that, but your so obsessed with your ideology, whether political or tech, that you would purposefully confuse people.
            [url<]http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-surface-sales-2012-11[/url<] geist is right. you're wrong. you'll survive. that charlie article is great. not only do large parts of it make no sense, there are numerous out right falsities. eg. that office only runs on windows. lol. that's an awful article.

            • LostCat
            • 7 years ago

            you know, I was under the impression that almost everything at theinq and semiaccurate was a load of crap

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            Cyril spent 6 days.. 6 days when he wrote his underwhelmed review.

            Windows8 is a novelty for the first few weeks.
            Give it time and Cyril might change his tune to be even more negative.

            Still using Windows 8 Cyril?

            What is frustrating is that only a few usability tweaks and windows8 would have a been a workable upgrade to windows7 . But as it stand , if windows8 was diagnosed it would come down to “Dissociative identity disorder” .. its a messed-up design.

            Metro start screen on tablet.. good
            Metro start screen on desktop.. nightmware
            hot corner charms bars on tablet .. good
            hot corner charms bars on desktop.. freaking stupid
            start menu on tablet.. nightmeare
            start menu on desktop.. good

            Microsoft solution ? pick only what work on tablet, ignore all design sense that apply to desktop.

            I have no idea why people like you defend blatant design mistakes.

            I bet Steven Sinofsky was like too “No guys, its great, you just dont understand”
            Well, the first rule of design, if you have to explain why your design is good, its bad.

          • streagle27
          • 7 years ago

          I’m a desktop user, I really do dislike Windows 8 and actually removed the previews from my computers and have installed Linux Mint and Ubuntu as alternative OS’s.

          Btw, no one I know likes Windows 8.

          I’m real, but your deliberate attempt to deny this real report, along with many other first-hand reports from REAL users, who are REAL sources, marks you as a shill.

          And people wonder why Sinofsky is no longer around. I”m pretty sure they had groups of testers who came up with the same criticisms of the new interface that everyone else would later have. Instead of listening to those REAL users, and instead of listening to the beta testers and reviewers, these brainiacs went forward with what is turning out to be a LOSING proposition.

          Bring on Windows 9… duh.

          I’d almost expect some brainiac at apple to have the same brain phart as another new lead brainiac at Microsoft, and come up with new paradigm to make user’s work flow even longer and MORE complicated… something like say.. a white font on a white background and a white on white UI wouldn’t be too far off the mark!

          Gimme a break.

          Have a nice day!

      • streagle27
      • 7 years ago

      Nice way of saying he was fired for making what is turning out to be Vista II.

      And the really sad part is, Windows 8 doesn’t have real bugs, it just has a horrible and badly put together DESKTOP (not TABLET) interface.

      They could have had a winner if they had come up with something better, or just simply IMPROVED on what they had, instead of thinking desktop and laptop computers can be run like tablet or phone devices.

      Someone at MS had a really bad case of target fixation… All he (and she) could see were tablets and phones, and they forced that on desktop users, to their and our detriment.

      • clone
      • 7 years ago

      I believe it’s way to early to call Win8 the Vista II of new Os’s.

      HP’s criticisms should be concerning to MS but Win8 isn’t a failure yet, it just got released for heavens sake and apparently it works.

      I’m sure the desktop segment is being quite vocal but overall desktop doesn’t matter anymore…. which might be MS’s fault to be honest but regardless desktop no longer matters.

      • TakinYourPoints
      • 7 years ago

      Short post from you, which is nice to see for a change.

      It is still filled with stupid personal conjecture though, that hasn’t changed.

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    apple should hire sinofsky to replace forestall, and microsoft should hire forestall to replace sinofsky.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      …and everyone gets a chair when the music stops.

        • James296
        • 7 years ago

        wait.. when did the music start ? 😛

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Anybody else getting the feeling that Microsoft is taking a note from Coke-Cola’s playbook?

    Windows 8 = New Coke

    “Windows 9” or whatever it will eventually be called = Coke Classic

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      We haven’t learned yet if they indeed want a more classical approach for Windows 9 but since this guy got axed we can only hope.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      I do think he’s the fall guy for all the failings of this Windows 8/RT/new Office model/Surface launches. I think they realize now these launches are not going to have the net positive effect they were hoping for and they need someone to blame when they backpedal to more user-friendly options for all the above.

      For example, an Atom-based Surface. Or a Windows 9 that offers more options to change Metro, more options to disable Metro, more options to multitask with Windows Metro apps alongside standard applications. Basically, simple stuff that should have been obvious and easy to do, but they just flat out refused to do for no discernible reason other than FORCING everyone to do things their way and only their way.

      That’s probably why Cnet just had an article about how a totalitarian dictator Sinofsky was. It helps sell the albatross.

      • cphite
      • 7 years ago

      That’s what I for one am hoping will happen.

      I keep expecting to get used to Win8 but it’s not happening for me. Granted, it’s getting easier to get around the interface, but it still feels as clunky and forced as it did in the beginning. It’s just not the ideal way to use a keyboard and mouse, and I have no interest in a touch screen on my PC.

      My hope is that Windows 9 makes the whole Metro (or Modern or whatever) UI an option that can be turned off completely.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    More recently, Microsoft says Larson-Green was “responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases” for both Windows 7 and Windows 8

    —> it doesn’t look as if they’re killing of W8

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      good. it’s a great ui

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        W8 is a stupid idea.

        Windows desktop users are the casualities of MS’s smartphone and tablete wars.
        MS already lost the browser war.

          • Bauxite
          • 7 years ago

          Not only that, but they are gnawing on their very-profitable leg (enterprise) for the threat of a bear trap on their hand.

          The win8 train wreck is part of SERVER 2012. SERVER. Did I say SERVER? Yeah, SERVER.

          Just wait until you hear the cursing in the aisles in between racks, they are already loud just to be heard over the fans.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          Microsoft will have to work a lot harder to lose the browser war. As of July, they still had nearly 50% marketshare and more than double either of the second-place competitors:

          [url<]http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/firefox-fights-back-holds-on-to-second-place-in-world-browser-shares/[/url<] Meanwhile, the Win7-style desktop still works just fine in Windows 8, and any non-app program launched from the Start Screen will immediately switch to it.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      That said, Sinofsky has recently been portrayed as a totalitarian dictator. Given that, I think the PR spin being that, it seems to suggest Windows 9 will be about giving control back to the user where Windows 8 basically told users, “You can do it any way you want as long as you do it OUR way and only OUR way.” Contrast this to prior versions of Windows where new usage models were usually system-customizable back to an older way if you preferred. Y’know, without downloading another application to add back something like a Start button. If all these third parties could make a Start button in their spare time, then I think MS probably could have provided the one they already had as an option for users who didn’t want to adapt to their new model.

      Instead, they force the issue. That’s something Windows 9 could right and bam, you’d have Windows 7-like levels of love for a new version of Windows. So much about Windows 8 is great. Fix some niggling UI issues, Windows 8 would have been unanimously beloved, worshipped, and recommended. Hell, if you can adjust to the UI, it’s already a great upgrade. It’s just the haphazard Metro UI design (and not being able to do everything from it for touch users, not being able to avoid it when it’s not super optimal for kb/m users) that really keeps people crapping all over Windows 8 for standard PC’s.

      Meanwhile, for touch devices like tablets, there’s a whole sea of other issues (and a lack of apps).

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        Well, I hope you’re right, but I’m afraid SS has not been “fired” because he wanted to much W8, but because he didn’t want it enough.
        That’s why I quoted: ‘More recently, Microsoft says Larson-Green was “responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases” for both Windows 7 and Windows 8’
        MS has seldomly really gone back.
        And about the ‘totalitarian dictator’, SJ has been protrayed like that very often too. If you can read between the lines…

    • Tristan
    • 7 years ago

    So, Sinofsky was too good for MS. Other managers were blind from Sinofsky superiority. Also, Steve Ballmer feared of Sinofsky, so he decided to drop Sinofsky and use his obedient dolls to restore rotten climate inside M$. We can except Windows 9 to be at level of Vista, but with happy management.

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Did you correct his last name or what?

        • torquer
        • 7 years ago

        Hilarious!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Great, some execs at MS realise that forcing W8 on enterprise and desktop wasn’t such a good idea after all. Can we have Windows 9 already please, with a proper desktop UI this time?

    [i<]edit: Just because I hate W8 on the desktop doesn't mean I don't think it's a great tablet interface, but we need an OS split to handle the different roles, just like the iOS and OSX split. You [u<]cannot[/u<] use the same interface to cover tweets about sports results on a 4" screen as you do to multitask Microsoft Project, Outlook and AutoCAD across three screens (whilst running twitter and some other 'productivity' software in the background, ofc).[/i<]

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Check who replaced him……you might not feel that optimistic about renewed support in the areas you mentioned. We shall see.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        I didn’t think the ribbon was a disaster; Perhaps I would have done it differently but something needed changing and you could definitely have done worse than the ribbon interface.

        You could also argue that the basic UI formula of earlier IE releases are the unbroken fundamentals that have stayed true to today (back/forward/refresh/address bar and fullscreen reading)

          • Wirko
          • 7 years ago

          Chrispy, please, don’t talk aloud about those unbroken fundamentals. MS designers may read your post and say, hey, how could we forget to change that, let’s make these controls skydriven and ribbonful and charmy and Modern too, whatever that means!

          As for the ribbon, I’m a hater, yet I must admit that what MS has done in W8 File explorer is pretty usable and not too intrusive. It’s already halfway there where it should have been five years ago.

          • Ringofett
          • 7 years ago

          I agree on ribbon, and once I learned to use some UI features of Win8 some changes are half-way decent. We don’t need Win9 yet, we just need a quick Win8 SP1 that removes the forced integration of Metro and provides an option for a start menu on the desktop to compensate for people that drop Metro.

          Even Metro could be more useful with some tweaks (like being able to have it on one monitor while you work on the desktop on another), but its implemented on the desktop in the dumbest way possible. But again, its all a service pack away from being fixed, if MS just realizes its error and decides to fix it.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Agreed. Basically, if Metro was window-able on the desktop it would be brilliant.

      • oldog
      • 7 years ago

      So how do you propose to open, edit and save Office Docs on a tablet interface? It would seem to me that the desktop interface is absolutely necessary in this circumstance.

      Until these most basic of MS apps can be completely ported to the Modern UI, the current interface is necessary.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Heads are rolling.

    Windows 8 is entirely Steve’s baby. He had little to do with Windows 7/Vista. Steve wanted to make a “MS version” of Mac OS X environment from UI standpoint, but the problem is that MS’s primary customer in OS market is SMB and enterprise users. They have no reason or interest to adopt Windows 8. The app store makes little sense for these customers. Moving onto the new UI schema doesn’t make sense either for this group especially when it involves additional retraining costs with little or no returns.

    Shareholders are going to question why are you alienating your primary customers? So you can chase after another market (Mainstream) which is highly contested? You are risking current marketshare for dubious returns. Somebody is getting themselves into hot water.

    I’m sure that there’s internal politics at work between Steve and other suits within MS.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, and it’s not just you that thinks that;

      I would imagine it’s every person in every corporate IT deparment around the globe, as a bare minimum.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I'm sure that there's internal politics at work between Steve and other suits within MS.[/quote<] Say it ain't so.

      • Metonymy
      • 7 years ago

      Now you’ve done it: You’re going to have SSK shouting at you about how wonderful WIn 8 is, and of course it’ll be stated as fact rather than preference.

      But regardless of whether one thinks well of Win 8 or doesn’t, I’m surprised how few people seem to realize that for enterprise (or any large organization – I work for a university) an OS change has to be seen as having huge benefits to go through the cost of upgrading and retraining. The hardware costs and the license upgrade cost (if any) are so negligible compared to the ‘people costs’.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        IT’S SCIENCE

      • bitcat70
      • 7 years ago

      Did you mean “other sweaters”?

      • shaq_mobile
      • 7 years ago

      I got one word for you, Krogoth.

      DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS

      • Alexko
      • 7 years ago

      Basically, you’re not impressed.

      • TakinYourPoints
      • 7 years ago

      The problem is that MS wasn’t even trying to make an MS version of the OS X environment. OS X is far more austere, stripped down, straightforward, and functional than even Vista or Windows 7.

      As for what Microsoft was thinking with Win8 on desktops, no idea…

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    he got fired for being too fruity

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      He’s at the Charms Bar every Saturday night. Go hit on him.

        • torquer
        • 7 years ago

        Gold.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          If it wasn’t for the petty unsolicited attack on link626, implying that he might also be “more flamboyant” than the average guy, then it would have been gold. Right now it’s just Meadows at her best (or is that his best? I always forget).

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Oh, I disagree. link626 was casting aspersions on Mr. Sinofsky and Meadows turned it about just perfectly. Fairly played.

            • torquer
            • 7 years ago

            You’d enjoy life more if you weren’t taking everything so seriously. Its pretty clear what Meadows’ intent was. Spend less time looking for ways to be offended and more time laughing at the ridiculousness of life.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            I think it’s more the fact that i generally dislike Meadows.

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t see why. Forests are much more dangerous. Scary things hide in there.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            I’m the best thing you’ll ever happen across.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Wrong. I have sliced bread!

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            I’m better than that, and I can also be buttered both ways!

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            WTF GUYZ. DID YOU BOTH FORGET I EXISTED?!?!?1?

            • no51
            • 7 years ago

            MEADOWS FAN CLUB ASSEMBLE!!! DOWNVOTE THIS HERETIC!

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            “His”, actually.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            lies.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            …Nonsense, sweatshopking!

            • TaBoVilla
            • 7 years ago

            now I’m confused =(

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i will concede as you did use my full title. thank you, squire.

        • tay
        • 7 years ago

        amazing….

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Speaking of fruit, he should go work for Apple instead.

    • kmieciu
    • 7 years ago

    disclaimer: I work for some small unknown software developing company in some country across the pond in the middle of the thing called Europe you would not recognize anyway. I am not using my real name because you would need an UTF-8 font to display it properly and you would not spell it correctly anyway. My opinions … who cares about my opinions anyway ? And I am not writing this disclaimer because of some rules but because it looks cool.

    Well I had something to say but I forgot it in the middle of writing the disclaimer.

    ( no offense to anybody I simply could not resist 😛 )

      • LostCat
      • 7 years ago

      You got your disclaimer in your disclaimer in your disclaimer

      Inception style!

      • Wirko
      • 7 years ago

      Come on, Mr. Šleževičius from Mirčiškėje, not all Americans are 8-bit Americans these days.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Windows 9: Ribbon Tiles

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      …and charms. Oh, i think i’m going to be sick

        • Archer
        • 7 years ago

        Tiled ribbon charms.

        We’ll be rich.

        I’ve been using W8 since general release and I still don’t know what a charm is.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Is it just me or do these software guys just love wearing sweaters? I guess if you’re working for one of these big American tech companies like Apple or Microsoft, you’d better not dress like a stiff tech executive from Taiwan or something.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Cupertino, California (Apple) has a martime climate with average temperatures ranging from roughly 40-80F (5-27C) and about 50 days per year of precipitation. Redmond, WA (Microsoft) has a cold-climate rainforest environs (rain nearly half of the year) with slightly lower average temperatures at 35-75F (2-24C).

      So, I assume they get in the habit of wearing sweaters for practical reasons.

        • Metonymy
        • 7 years ago

        Oh for crying out loud, he wasn’t looking for a rational answer.

          • ronch
          • 7 years ago

          Some folks just LOVE shelling out Fun Facts. 🙂

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          A bottle of warm milk should take care of that crying out loud.

      • sluggo
      • 7 years ago

      Wearing a sweater here constitutes “dressing up”. Anyone wearing a suit in the valley can be safely ignored.

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    In other technology ‘where are they now’ stories:

    John McAfee is wanted in questioning for a homicide in Belize.

    [url<]http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/12/world/americas/belize-mcafee-killing/index.html?hpt=hp_t3[/url<] I guess Intel is glad he wasn't part of the deal.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Sorry, double post. It’s my Android tab’s fault.

      • Archer
      • 7 years ago

      Actually, it’s my fault. I ran past your window naked.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like Scott Forestall isn’t gonna be drinking alone this weekend.

      • anotherengineer
      • 7 years ago

      Are you going to be with him at his villa on his private island, drinking a bottle of something that costs more than your annual salary? 😉

    • henfactor
    • 7 years ago

    Let’s see… Julie Larson-Green-

    I.E. early interface: Ugly.

    Ribbon: Unintuitive.

    Win8: Let’s go with Unified?

    I guess it’s just about looking better than the next guy- I hate to see what the app pile looked like for that job.

      • vaultboy101
      • 7 years ago

      True her UI design credentials are sketchy at best and Windows will become an even worse nightmare for desktop users…

      But, Julie Larson Green is one hot MILF. I know SSK would agree with me!

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    So was he planning to leave or was he fired? Considering that he was replaced with two people indicates to me that he was pretty important at Microsoft. Either that or maybe Ballmer decided that his job would be better carried out by two separate positions. Either way, seems like the guy leaving isn’t small news.

    • davidbowser
    • 7 years ago

    disclaimer: I work for VMware. My opinions are my own and not those of my employer. I also started posting using my name when Scott instituted the anti-astroturfing rules.

    I have no inside knowledge on this, but based on some previous speculation and how I have seen these things tend to work, I think Sinofsky made Win8 personal. I think he may have burned bridges to get his way in the mistaken view that everyone that told him he was off the mark, was somehow not seeing the brilliance at work. Everyone that said he was wrong was telling him his baby was ugly. I have seen this at several companies I worked for, and folks that behave that way usually get marginalized, demoted, or outright fired.

    Why now? I would be willing to bet this decision was made some time ago. I think MS needed to get Win8 (and Server 2012) launched and agreements in place with PC makers BEFORE they made this public. If PC makers had balked as badly as some media reviewers had, MS would be in some serious poop, and their stock would likely take a beating. Having media-types say bad things is one thing, but having Dell or HP say, “Nah. We’ll stick with Win7 for now.” would be disaster. I still think the stock will hurt mildly, but nothing crazy will happen to it until MS announces how the first month or so went. As long as MS sets expectations for the Wall St analysts, and they meet them, it should be fine.

      • mkk
      • 7 years ago

      Sounds quite plausible. I guess we won’t be able to tell if this really changes much for the operating system until a good while down the road. But for some reason I can’t immediately think of a scenario where Microsoft would end up hurting much from this move. At face value I’d say it’s good news. In fact i think I’ll even have a toast to it after work.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      MS might miss their official target by 40%.. thats really bad.
      [url<]http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20121112PD219.html[/url<] If the investing community see MS tablet as a flop, and see the barrier of adoption in windows8 MS stock will plummet. And all the investor that didn't get the memo will be easy picking. If Apple can drop 30% in 4 weeks, MSFT could be <19$ by year end. Even if Microsoft makes a killing selling office on ios devices.. 30% of all that revenue will go directly to Apple. And just imagine if Apple decide to release a next Gen apple TV device before the next xbox ? Financial press will hammer microsoft to its doom, creating so much fear that no one would want to touch MSFT. And for Sinofsky being disliked... I dont think it was personal. He was hated for what he did to the desktop franchise. The refusal to make a pro OS and a consumer OS, but instead make a Frankenstein blend of both came out pissing of the pros. Good luck Mr. Sinofsky, 'thanks' for the mess you left behind.

        • MFergus
        • 7 years ago

        I really don’t think appletv and xbox are real competitors. I doubt many people buy an xbox just for its media capabilities, its still a gaming device first and foremost. Appletv is a mediabox first and way down the list a gaming device.

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          Not today, but thats short sighted.. a new Apple TV would pack some serious HW punch and come with an ARMY of starving game developers , ready to take over the living room gaming world.
          (And created thousand of ground breaking apps, like they did on tablet and phone)

          Console will all converge to be media devices and I think Apple is in the better position to be #1.

          Speculation, but apple amassed an army of GPU designers, some of the brightest mind from ATI.
          If those guys are working on a next gen GPU architecture for Apple.. Expect the next xbox and ps4 to get steamrolled. (pun intended)

            • oldog
            • 7 years ago

            That “ARMY of starving game developers” is not starving because there is no new magical Apple TV.

            And I bet they won’t be fat cats by selling their wares on the Apple App Store.

          • FuturePastNow
          • 7 years ago

          While that’s true now, only the lack of a controller prevents the AppleTV from running every iOS game ever made. On your TV. Granted, that wouldn’t equate to a hardcore gamer experience, but it would probably appeal to a much larger audience than existing game consoles.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            I think an iPhone or iPod touch would make for a pretty good wireless controller. Obviously not as good as a real hardware controller, but iOS games aren’t really designed for one in the first place.

        • jihadjoe
        • 7 years ago

        gogo Windows 8!
        (i’m actually rooting for MSFT to drop so i can maybe buy into it just before they change the UI back)

    • Pan Skrzetuski
    • 7 years ago

    Okay, so has Windows 8 been out long enough for this to be related?

    A part of me hopes that this is Microsoft realizing that they are not entirely on the rails. This seems too soon though…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      It’s too soon to be based on anything like sales or success of Windows 8 I think, but there’s probably some inside story about his ‘divisiveness’ that’s related to Windows 8.

        • StuG
        • 7 years ago

        You don’t think it could be related? May have almost been like AMD was with Bulldozer. Still try to ramp it up and claim it’s good, when they know it’s a piece of crap. Microsoft might just have the foresight to can the guy now, since Windows 8 hasn’t hasn’t been “ground breaking” in any major way with the consumer base.

        Or not, I just don’t know if I would rule it totally out of the question.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          Related perhaps, but not in the simplistic WINDOWS 8 = FAILOLOL way that people will make it out to be, it’s been just over 2 weeks from the launch.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 7 years ago

    my gosh, Modern UI creator replaced by the Ribbon creator. MS is doomed!
    you heard it here first!

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      What is it about companies formed by great founders that tend to not do too well after they move on?

      I doubt MS is doomed but still, it doesn’t look good when you have pretty important people leaving. If it’s a low level executive, then who cares but apparently Sinofsky was responsible for much of Microsoft’s predictable execution.

      Uh-oh! lol

        • LocalCitizen
        • 7 years ago

        i don’t think you are asking me a question. but here are my 2 pennies.

        sounds like Sinofsky the ‘predictable execution’ is long gone and replaced by a schizophrenic mad man. from this and related reports, it seems Sinofsky is overly protective of his own ideas, failed to listen to advises, and not working well with others at all. was Vista his fault too? He just had to go.

        He’s left a huge void, no doubt, and the replacement is no saint either. But there doesn’t seem to be any good choices to pick from. Give it some time to let the people settle in their roles and see how it goes.

        now, when will Ballmer leave? ha

        companies not too well after the founders leave? the founders got replaced by mba bean counters who put themselves far far ahead of the company and its employees, trashed real innovation to fund their own entitlements… cough hp cough

        these are my own opinions, and does not represent my employer’s. hee hee hee

          • Sam125
          • 7 years ago

          Um, anything to back up Sinofsky being a “schizophrenic mad man”? That’s some pretty severe potential slander dude and not something you say lightly. Well, unless you consider your thoughts as throw-away opinions.

          Anyway, it’s pretty clear to me that he was a threat to Ballmer which is why he was likely forced out. Didn’t Ballmer sack some other executives a few months back for no apparently reason? Perhaps a possible consolidation of his position?

            • LocalCitizen
            • 7 years ago

            Hi Sam,
            “schizophrenic mad man” is a bit harsh, but it’s the image i got from reading the flood of articles on the subject. until now, i actually don’t know who Steven is, other than he’s important at ms, so i don’t have any rosy / dark glasses on.
            it just sounds like in order to achieve his vision of the metro, he was suspicious of everyone around him, and didn’t hesitate to put pressure on people, and thus created a lot of friction around him. it could be that i was visiting all the wrong websites and it was biased view.
            i’ll read up on wiki and see if there’s anything to change my mind.

            Ballmer consolidating his position? see that’s exactly the type of political games that helps no one except themselves. it’s the kind of activities you won’t see if the original founder still has control of the company.

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