Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft's Windows division leaves the company

By on November 13, 2012, 9:00 AM

Steven Sinofsky who had been running the Windows division at Microsoft since 2009 has left the company, effective immediately, without clear explanation on the reasons. Sinofsky’s departure comes shortly after the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface, products that were developed right under his wing.

An official press release this morning gives a cold farewell to the former Windows chief – though it includes quotes from Sinofsky and CEO, Steve Ballmer, unlike in the recent Apple managerial shake-up that was clearly one-sided. It’s also being announced that Julie Larson-Green has been promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering, while Tami Reller, the company’s CFO and CMO is set to take on the business side of Windows.

Larson-Green has been with the company since 1993 and is no stranger to the platform, having worked in the user interface, program management and development of international releases of Windows 7 and Windows 8.

“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company,” Sinofsky said.

Sinofsky joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software design engineer and a few years later was appointed as the director of the Office Product unit. He was involved in the product management and integration of the suite components since Office 95. Subsequently he led the development of several revisions of Office from 2000 to 2007, when the ribbon UI was introduced.

In 2009 (post Vista), he joined the Windows division and was in charge of turning the machine around for a successful release of Windows 7. It's said that "Windows Everywhere" (phone, tablet, PC) is a vision that he shared and went above and beyond to permeate the rest of the company with that philosophy.

The sudden departure of Sinofsky evidently leaves a wide gap for speculation considering Windows 8 is barely out of the door and it’s not an ordinary release in the history of Windows. Whether he had decided to leave shortly after launch or not, it’s been rumored that an internal brawl between him and Steve Ballmer could be the real motivation for the departure. “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said in the official release.

Most recently it was speculated that Sinofsky was already working on the next generation of Windows and that he could be the most logical successor to take the reigns of Microsoft as CEO if Ballmer was to step aside.




User Comments: 21

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2 people like this | Guest said:

Wow....! Is Win 8 that bad?

2 people like this | Jack Thompson Jack Thompson said:

Win 8 is a mess, instead of slapping a new UI on the same old code, they should have build the freakin OS from the ground up.

Selling a 32GB Surface RT tablet from which 24GB are reserved for the limited OS tells you that Win 8 is one bloated piece of... Fire Balmer! he's been driving MS into the ground since Bill left.

R3DP3NGUIN R3DP3NGUIN said:

Maybe this guy left in frustration, because Microsoft spent a Billion or so in marketing without much explaining about the difference between Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro. I'm constantly telling people that the Pro version is different to the RT in that it is a full COMPUTER. Something Apple cant directly compete with, unless they eventually release OSX on a tablet.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

And so it begins...

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

Eureka! I knew Ballmer was teasing this one. So pissed..,

2 people like this | sivador sivador said:

Still happy with Win XP pro 64bits

VitalyT VitalyT said:

That says it all.

TechMancer TechMancer said:

Thank God it's Tuesday X(...

1 person liked this | lipe123 said:

Ever tried multiple monitors on metro - what a joke?!

How about doing anything but just have one stupid app open at once?

I got win8 for the "better" code behind the scenes but the new metro UI is a piece of JUNK for desktop use and should only be used on tablets. (When I get a popup "tap here to.." on my desktop I feel insulted)

I don't blame this guy for leaving tho, quit while you are ahead applies here for sure.

TechMancer TechMancer said:

Ever tried multiple monitors on metro - what a joke?!

How about doing anything but just have one stupid app open at once?

I got win8 for the "better" code behind the scenes but the new metro UI is a piece of JUNK for desktop use and should only be used on tablets. (When I get a popup "tap here to.." on my desktop I feel insulted)

I don't blame this guy for leaving tho, quit while you are ahead applies here for sure.

Amen.

RH00D RH00D said:

Ever tried multiple monitors on metro - what a joke?!

How about doing anything but just have one stupid app open at once?

I got win8 for the "better" code behind the scenes but the new metro UI is a piece of JUNK for desktop use and should only be used on tablets. (When I get a popup "tap here to.." on my desktop I feel insulted)

I don't blame this guy for leaving tho, quit while you are ahead applies here for sure.

Amen.

What do you two dislike about how multiple monitors function? I run multiple monitors with Windows 8 and I have no problems interacting with the Modern UI and desktop UI seamlessly and they've added improvements such as each monitor getting a dedicated taskbar and natively allowing wallpapers to be spanned across two independent displays.

1 person liked this | Lionvibez said:

Still happy with Win XP pro 64bits

We will all pray for you and hope you get better soon.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Where's that pesky resume of mine...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

OK Ladies, what's wrong with this picture?

Mr. Sinofsky isn't wearing jeans. Nor is he wearing a turtleneck

Nor is he working in front of a dramatic black background.

Nor is he holding a pristine white gadget of one sort or another.

Nor is he likely spewing forth a sales pitch in a monotonous baritone, in an attempt to hypnotize the audience into believing they will, "awake feeling refreshed, with an overwhelming desire to buy a Microsoft product"! (1*)

What he IS doing, is standing there looking like his mother dressed him for school, while holding the gayest pink tablet his board of directors could provide.

This looks more like an episode of "Punked", than an honest attempt at a sales presentation.....

(1*) Granted that Apple would likely sue him for "bullshit infringement", were he to do those things.

TechMancer TechMancer said:

What do you two dislike about how multiple monitors function? I run multiple monitors with Windows 8 and I have no problems interacting with the Modern UI and desktop UI seamlessly and they've added improvements such as each monitor getting a dedicated taskbar and natively allowing wallpapers to be spanned across two independent displays.

That still doesn't change the fact that they have no real purpose.

avoidz avoidz said:

I don't blame the guy. Ballmer's probably the one pushing for that stupid flat Win 8 look and single screen "apps".

1 person liked this | captainawesome captainawesome said:

How many of you dislikers of Windows 8 actually spent more than an hour with it before drawing your conclusion? I Installed win 8 at the weekend and after about 2 maybe 3 hours I get the idea of the new ways productivity should flow. In fact, because of the fullscreen view, I find myself getting less distracted when typing and email or researching something.

Not to mention, MAN it's fast. wow. mine boots from the press of the switch to the desktop in 14 seconds (vertex4 128GB) .

Lionvibez said:

How many of you dislikers of Windows 8 actually spent more than an hour with it before drawing your conclusion? I Installed win 8 at the weekend and after about 2 maybe 3 hours I get the idea of the new ways productivity should flow. In fact, because of the fullscreen view, I find myself getting less distracted when typing and email or researching something.

Not to mention, MAN it's fast. wow. mine boots from the press of the switch to the desktop in 14 seconds (vertex4 128GB) .

I've used every prerelease version of it. Still have it loaded on a spare drive and forced myself to use it for 2 weeks. I hated metro can live without a start button because I installed start 8 but metro is awful.

I still dual boot into it just to test some apps from time to time but most of my time being productive is in windows 7 and that won't change anytime soon.

And all this OMG it boots in 10 seconds doesnt' mean much to me my computer is either in sleep mode or on. I'm lucky if I shut it down once a month.

1 person liked this | TechMancer TechMancer said:

I've used every prerelease version of it. Still have it loaded on a spare drive and forced myself to use it for 2 weeks. I hated metro can live without a start button because I installed start 8 but metro is awful.

I still dual boot into it just to test some apps from time to time but most of my time being productive is in windows 7 and that won't change anytime soon.

And all this OMG it boots in 10 seconds doesnt' mean much to me my computer is either in sleep mode or on. I'm lucky if I shut it down once a month.

I almost always hibernate my PC.

TJGeezer said:

Maybe this guy left in frustration, because Microsoft spent a Billion or so in marketing without much explaining about the difference between Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro. I'm constantly telling people that the Pro version is different to the RT in that it is a full COMPUTER. Something Apple cant directly compete with, unless they eventually release OSX on a tablet.

I wasn't even aware there WAS a version appropriate to the desktop. Which might prove your point, lipe123. Now I'm going to look for some reviews of the Pro version - it might change my mind about trying the new version. Maybe.

OortCloud said:

Personally, I was expecting to hate using Windows 8 on a desktop but to my surprise I rather like it. It still does all the things Win 7 did, you just do them differently. People love to complain about change, but if you keep an open mind and think about working differently it starts to make sense.

I'm a developer so make fairly high demands of my PC, often running multiple copies of Visual Studio, plus Eclipse, Firebug, IIS and a bunch of tools as well as multiple browsers, email and music apps etc. At first some things annoyed me and took some working out, but once you get over that it's a solid OS with some nice features and a much needed facelift!

The 'wheres the start menu' mantra is wearing thin and just announcing that 'Metro is awful' is unconvincing. Personally I find Modern UI a very slick front end with a crisp contemporary feel to it. Gone are the hackneyed glass effects and grey shaded bezels, but that's just my opinion! Everyone's entitled to one!

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