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Windows head Steven Sinofsky might have been fired, not leaving voluntarily

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Windows head Steven Sinofsky might have been fired, not leaving voluntarily
The announcement that Steven Sinofsky, the head of Windows, left Microsoft came as a shocking surprise for the industry. Mere days after the release of Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface, two of the biggest products Microsoft has ever released, Sinofsky, the brain behind the two, abandoned the company. Or was he pushed out of there?

The official story is that Sinofsky decided to leave Microsoft, but many have expressed doubt at such an abrupt move with no back story. And now ExtremeTech joins in with its sources adding fuel to such a fiery possibility. The publication says that Sinofsky and his team were also surprised, which basically means that the other Steve had had enough.

Steve Ballmer might have fired Sinofsky for a number of reasons. You’ve probably already heard the story of the Windows head being a drag for teamwork. Not just that, he was also arrogant and many sources have republished a story where instead of giving a presentation on Windows features he just tossed a link to his blog to an audience full of Microsoft engineers, took questions and left.

That pretty much summarizes all the negative about him. On the flipside of things, he was punctual. So punctual people described him as being able to “make the trains run on time.” Sinofsky was the man who fixed the Vista mess with Windows 7.

That is the kind of executive Microsoft lost. As a consequence, Ballmer might be hoping to get a stronger focus on the touch and mobile side of Windows. Sinofsky for once might have had a chance to get Microsoft early on the tablet and touch side of things with Windows 7, but he did not. Whispers crawling around the web also attribute the death of the Microsoft Courier tablet to Sinofsky.

Not all of this has to be true, even if just a fraction of it was, that seems to have been enough to tip the patience of Steve Ballmer. And we know he does not have a lot of it. Does something in Sinofsky’s departure smell fishy, do you agree that he could have been fired and not leave voluntarily?

source: ExtremeTech

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posted on 21 Nov 2012, 09:41 6

1. Aeires (unregistered)


Early reports of W8 integration point to less than expected sales. MS just found their scapegoat.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:18 2

6. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1059; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


oh man its nothin like that.
this guy was leaving even before wp8 started rolling into all markets...wp 8 is a great product but i dont doubt that he may be a victim of corporate politics....such is the worl we live in.

As they say, "Its nothin personal...just business."

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:38 1

9. Aeires (unregistered)


I think you misunderstood what I was saying, the real reasons for him leaving are probably numerous and varied, but he no longer works there so it would be easy to hang it on him for whatever goes wrong in the upcoming months. The real reason won't make any difference if W8 goes down in history as a bad iteration.

I don't know too much about the guy but from what I've read, he was great at what he did. Did he have an over sized ego? Tons of people in the tech field do. If some of the comments on this article are true, what really needs to change is Ballmer needs to step it up and be a better leader/visionary.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:23

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5280; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Nothing like Ballmer pointing the finger at others. When a ship in the U.S. Navy has problems, the Captain gets fired. Ballmer and his patron, Bill aren't Navy men, so they wouldn't know about personal responsibility.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 14:32 1

11. AnTuTu (Posts: 599; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


I think Sinofsky should join Linux platform. If he is good at software side then he can build his own OS as he has depth understanding of OSs.

If he can bring something based on Linux platform, he can also sell it with a reasonable price compared to Unix and Windows platforms :)

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 05:03

14. drahmad (Posts: 478; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


thats a very limited team

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 09:45

2. pongkie (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


Steven is challenging the executives of quitting while Ballmer is getting scared of Steven's grab of control, so Steven was "let go"

that's what I understand from various articles and blogs

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 10:02 1

3. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Well, people get hired and people get fired. It's all up to the boss no matter how good a person works...and for big companies like this, rumors are supposed to follow.
Future tense, questions will be raised on the person filling Sinofsky's shoes if he can make it up...again, chances of rumors.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:05

4. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


if he is the reason the courier was axed, so sad that product had a great deal of potential.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:06 1

5. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


I am not having the feeling Microsoft is going down anytime soon. I just smell disturbances that hinder them being so awesome they could really be.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 11:27

8. bojan (Posts: 188; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)


he is a lazy ass

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 12:33 3

10. 7thspaceman (Posts: 899; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I heard from a source that is close to Microsoft internal employees that Sinofsky had a lot of negative ways of dealing with People. Ballmer knew that for the Windows ecosystem of software and devices to work together as one Sinofsky was not the man to continue to lead his division and other Microsoft teams to the next level .because his type of leadership did not get the Microsoft teams out side of his group to work with him and his group. This is a No CAN DO situation. Sinofsky knew this and left because He could not get Microsoft to go his way or accept his style of leadership. He also knew he would never get to be CEO a post he wanted so he left to go to greener pastures..He will probably create his own company where he is the total boss. this will be good for him but if he has not learned to let go of his arrogance good people wont work for his firm.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 20:54 1

13. Bozzor (Posts: 88; Member since: 02 May 2012)


Agreed. I have spoken to a few people who have dealt with him reasonably regularly (three outside MS and one internal) and all agree that even by the very high standards of MS senior people, Sinofsky was exceptional: brilliant to a scary level, very fast and detail oriented in a way that made everyone else there look quite pedestrian – quite a feat for a company like that. But the problem was…he always treated everyone else as if they were pedestrian – yes, even Ballmer at times. He would have made a great CEO during another era at MS, but in this era of collaboration, he is the wrong man for the top job, or for his current role moving forward.

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