Steven Sinofsky has been the recent face for Microsoft. He’s the head of the Windows division and was front and center for all of the recent launches. He launched Windows 8 and the Surface and recently he was rumored to be the heir to Ballmer. And it seemed just like a Petraeus repeat with a great leader suddenly yanked from the top…but evidently it’s quite different. Patraeus will go down as one of the best leaders of all time of the US Army. Sinofsky’s sudden retirement (without the scandal of course) will not have the same legacy. Instead, Sinofsky is rapidly being villainized. Insiders have long complained that rather than grow Microsoft, he was consolidating power…namely, his power. When outsiders tried to expand Microsoft’s reach, it’s been said that Sinofsky would state that their project should be a part of the core Windows experience and if it wasn’t there, then it shouldn’t be anywhere. And over time that meant that projects were killed…code was killed…languages were killed. He seemed to excel at getting products released on time, and that is an incredible skill when you consider the size of the undertaking in Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 all dropping simultaneously. However, the cost of this was stagnation outside of his division and that leads to divisiveness and anger.
Shockingly, the noise on Twitter from developers is surprisingly optimistic about this move.
If you had asked me, he appeared onstage like a hero. But it seems internally that wasn’t the case. Insiders seem to be thrilled by the prospect of a new head…or a new set of ears. It’s almost impossible to ignore the noise at this point and accept the word of those that were closest – this is likely a step forward for Microsoft.
FYI the new head is Julie Larson-Green. We’ve seen her at recent launch events and now it’s her turn to take center stage and be the new face for consumer products.