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Steven Sinofsky, ex Microsoft: The victim of an extremely complex web of the “western world” high-tech interests

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See: Ballmer’s memo announcing Steven Sinofsky’s departure [CNET, Nov 12, 2012]
and Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes to Drive Next Wave of Products [Microsoft press release, Nov 12, 2012]

A Microsoft Without Sinofsky? Mini-Microsoft Monday, November 12, 2012

Well, I can’t believe it: Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes to Drive Next Wave of Products.

People walking the hallways tonight at work certainly can’t believe it. I can’t believe it – working at a Microsoft without Sinofsky?

But, if you’re going to leave on a high-note, it doesn’t get much better. Mr. Sinofsky got a standing ovation from the Windows team during the Company Meeting for all that he’s done to take them on a multi-year journey to create Windows 7 and then hit the big multi-division reset button for Windows 8. He truly demonstrated technical leadership at its best.

And I don’t believe his departure rules him out at all for Microsoft CEO. In fact, I think if he stays in tech and becomes CEO of another company it makes him an even more obvious choice to come back to Microsoft as its leader.

Meanwhile, Ms. Larson-Green: best of luck following this act.

The only response to A Microsoft Without Sinofsky? I think is worth to include here as representing the only factual evidence which might be behind Steven Sinofsky’s abrupt departure from Microsoft (although not in such a direct way as you might think from this, see my remarks following that):

1. Monday, November 12, 2012 10:58:00 PM

So Sinofsky is gone and replaced with a completely talentless hack like Julie Larson-Green. Seriously? Her ascent through the ranks is a case study in the Peter Principle… I worked with Julie when she was on FrontPage, and she was nothing more than a talking head then. She’s now a ridiculous joke, and she’s running the show.

Surface RT is on track to be a disaster, as is the upcoming Surface Ultrabook thing. Someone stick a fork in Microsoft already, jeez.

2. Monday, November 12, 2012 11:31:00 PM 

What facts do you have to back that up? Sounds like you’re another opinionated MSoftie.

Also, why are you panning Julie already? Another ax to grind?”

First: I drive by the Microsoft store every day. The first week after Surface released it was fairly busy — it’s now a ghost town while the Apple store across the street is always SRO. Given that it’s the only store where can buy Surface, that tells you everything you need to know.

And seriously – real the media commentary. Even ignoring Ballmer’s “sales are modest” quote, they’re all saying that consumer interest has fallen off a cliff over the last week. It’s as dead as Windows Phone. But don’t take my word for it, just wait and see.

As for Julie, she’s one of those Microsofties who everyone always threw their hands up about whenver we heard she was promoted again. They are all over Microsoft — people with no actual talent but who excel in the art of succeeding in a big corporate environment. Seriously, search out her talks on Youtube — the woman is barely cogent at the best of times, and at her worst she’s an unintentional comedian.

I left Microsoft a while ago so my axes are long since ground. Now I just enjoy watching the clown car roll along.

So the real question is: Why “Surface RT is on track to be a disaster”?

My answer to that was already published yesterday:
Microsoft Surface with some questions about the performance and smoothness of the experience [this same blog, Nov 12, 2012]

In the end of that post I’ve included also the reasons for the performance and smoothness problems of Microsoft Surface as it stands now, and in very factual way:

Who is gaining with that?
It is no doubt that Intel is the party gaining most with that!
Look at the stakes:
– Intel market capitalisation: US$ 103.50B which is critical for large investors because a collapse of Intel may cause an unprecedented upheaval on the stock market. Also note that Windows 8 is the last chance for Intel to prevent such collapse to happen.
– Intel fabs which are:
    1. Huge, numerous and most of them are representing the latest manufacturing technologies: see List of Intel manufacturing sites on Wikipedia
    2. Each representing multibillion dollars of multi-year investments:
      see New $5 billion Intel facility planned for Chandler [AZCentral.com, Feb 19, 2011] as the latest example
    3. A tremendous effort made by Intel to outgun its fabless competitors exactly through such cutting-edge manufacturing. It is now described not only as leading edge in terms of smaller die sizes and thus higher chip volumes on the same wafers, better performance and/or lower power use, but also speed and agility with the time to manufacture a component halved in the past five years.
    4. Strategic for the US economy as whole to prevent its advanced manufacturing sector to go the way of its lower-tech predecessors – to Asia. See Insight: As chip plants get pricey, U.S. risks losing edge [Reuters, May 1, 2012].
    5. Entering into a critical phase against its major by far fab competitor, TSMC for whom the capacity shortage of its leading 28nm nodes will end by December, 2012. See my Qualcomm’s critical reliance on supply constrained 28nm foundry capacity [this same ‘Experiencing the cloud’ blog, July 27-Nov 8, 2012] post as updated just 4 days ago. Considering that the competitive strength of all of its fabless competitors depend on TSMC manufacturing capabilities this is the most critical window for strategic survival in Intel’s whole history.
      A further evidence of why Intel’s survival might be behind that is the fact that the latest mobile SoC from Intel, so called Clover Trail will be in the Windows 8 tablets only in the later part of November. Even the first tablets based on that, the Acer Iconia W510 models are “Temporarily out of stock” on the Amazon while it was oiginally promised to be available from Nov 9 in the US and Canada. See: Acer Iconia W510: Windows 8 Clover Trail (Intel Z2760) hybrid tablets from OEMs [this same ‘Experiencing the cloud’ blog, Oct 28, 2012]. So the tuning was going on well after the “final” Windows 8 launch of Oct 26, and might continue even these days.
      Another evidence is the fact that the x86-based version of the Microsoft Surface, Surface Pro will arrive just 3 month later as was pointed out in the leParisien interview of Steve Ballmer referred to in beginning of this post. Moreover when it was announced it was for the much better performing Ivy Bridge processor, not the Clover Trail we indicated here as available in a numerous products by the end of November. This could mean a delivery of Surface Pro as late as January next year! Plenty of time to make the new Windows software and the available applications performing well and smooth in all respects.

      Which needs only a few additional explanations, mainly for the overwhelming misunderstandings absolutely typical in the opinions about the reasons of Sinofsky’s abrupt departure from the company he was working for since he finished his university studies in 1989.

      1. Microsoft is sitting in the centre of an extremely complex web of interests. In fact most of the high-tech pile up of the “Western world” on the stock market is highly dependent on the course of actions Microsoft is taking along the ARM route of the hardware platform opportunity.
      2. As the HW future of the Android SW platform is already outside of the influence of that high-tech pile up, the only remaining potential to defend its diminishing position is in the Windows.
      3. The measures taken during the Windows development to pressure Microsoft and its CEO to “under-engineer” the Windows RT version (which is well reflected in Microsoft Surface as it was brought out 18 days ago) were clearly not enough to achieve the established goals of such a defensive strategy. It might even be the case that the “half-hearted” Windows RT effort was decided to be “downscaled” even further as a last ditch effort by the forces of “Western world high-tech pile-up” interests.

      Just to remind you:
      The SoC behind the $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [this same blog, Nov 9, 2012] is sold for about $6 according to CEO of Spreadtrum saying that 37% of its Q3CY12 revenue of US$187.9 millionmostly address the smartphones” which were 11 million SoCs in the official financial release then “raised” somewhat to 12 million towards the end of the Earnings Call.
      – The leading entry level SoC for the Chinese made Android tablets, the Allwinner A10 and A13 is sold for $7 and $5 respectively, and the volume of them was quite high already in Q3CY12: 3.5 million SoCs in August rising to 5 million SoCs in October, according to Yoshida in China: ‘Shanzhai’ clouds tablet data [EE Times, Nov 8, 2012]
      – Intel’s latest technology entry level SoC, the Z2760 “Cover Trail” should definitely be more than $50 (even much more) as the latest (Q1’12 intro, with the same 32nm litography) traditional Atom model D2550, having price indication, has a published tray price of $47. This means an order of magnitude SoC price difference considering that by the end of 2012 the entry level tablet SoCs will come down at least to 2xCortex-A9 performance at 1 GHz+ (could be even quadcore at 28nm litography, we will see), so performance wise there will be at least parity.

      So these are the things everybody should think first and not the simplistic reasoning reflected everywhere. See a 24 hour search on “Sinofsky departure” which currently has headlines such as:

      End of the original post (as seen above), publication time: UTC 11:00 a.m.


      … Many have scratched their head about Windows RT, and in particular its lack of support for third-party “desktop” apps.  Ultimately I think Windows RT is the result of heavy reliance on telemetry. … reliance on statistical analysis may explain why the end-user reaction to Windows RT and Windows 8 overall seems much better than that of pundits and power users. …

      Why did 90+% of users choose to pay more for a Windows-based Netbook than to go with a Linux-based Netbook?  If these devices were simply used for web browsing than the user behavior doesn’t make sense.  We can speculate on this of course.  Familiarity of UI, compatibility with devices such as printers, ability to run Windows applications (even though that is counter to the original idea behind netbooks), etc.  As I said we can speculate.  And analysts can survey customers and make their claims.  But Microsoft?  Microsoft has precise data from the CEIP.

      And what do you think Microsoft got from the CEIP telemetry?  I’m guessing that they saw the vast majority of Netbook usage was for web browsing, with use of Microsoft Office representing a much smaller but still substantial portion.  And then I’m guessing they saw a dramatic fall-off with no apps really registering as significantNetbooks were basically web browsing plus Office machines.  Then they looked at the web usage and saw that a great deal of it matched the kinds of “consumption” apps that were popular on the iPhone and that they were going to target with the new Windows 8 “Metro” app model.  And they saw heavy use of traditional Windows features like broad peripheral support, network connectivity, etc.  Combine the actual usage data on Netbooks with the emergence of Natural User Interface and the re-invigoration of local apps that was demonstrated by the Apple App Store and you have Windows RT.

      So take a look at Windows RT, or even better the Microsoft Surface, and realize what it is.  The Surface is the intersection of Netbook meets iPad.  It brings exactly what most users liked about Windows on Netbooks into the modern era while dispensing with much of the Windows world that Netbook users simply didn’t take advantage of.   It is exactly what users told Microsoft via their actual usage data, extrapolated from the historical Netbook world into the modern device world, they wanted.

      The use of Telemetry may explain why Windows 8, Windows RT, and the Surface seem to do better with average users than the pundits and power users out around and beyond two standard deviations.  Windows RT and the Surface are designed to actual usage data on a segment of the computing spectrum that was also derided by many pundits and power users.   A segment that garnered (as I recall) about 20% of PC unit volume before being obliterated in the “post-PC” shift.  If Microsoft has used its wealth of telemetry to build something that nails the real world usage scenarios that originally made Netbooks popular, while also being roughly as good as the iPad for the scenarios Apple optimized for, than they have a huge winner.  Even if pundits and power users don’t seem to like what they’ve done.

      And if Windows RT fails?  Well it could be the result of pundits and power users convincing the target audience not to give it a chance.  Or it could be the result of poor design decisions being made despite having excellent data.  Or it could be a series of marketing, sales, and partner missteps that have little to do with the product itself.  Or it could be that particularly vicious form of lies known as statistics.


      I was only a few reports down from Sinofsky and actually had the pleasure of working with him in person. Always very professional and energetic. Nothing unreasonable for a corporate environment. And definitely nothing like what people compare to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates (check out “BillG review” on the Internet for what THAT was like).

      LOL, listen this is a great post and all but if he was truly great Ballmer would have kept him, more C level execs would have fought to keep him. The truth is there is a time and place for people like Sinofsky and there is time to ring them in and say “Hey you are making people’s lives hell!” That is a big deal by the way. MS may be a huge corporation with lots of people willing and wanting to work with them but word of mouth gets around and that is bad. …

      … Sinofsky has been nothing but excellent for Microsoft. He has fought for consumers and made the tough decisions that others would not have. Sinofsky made the trains run on time. He embraced the Metro design language, borrowing from the Zune team and Windows Phone team. It is quite clear that Sinofsky quit. I believe he wanted more power or certain decisions to go his way that did not and he ultimately decided to quit. Ballmer has been great at protecting himself and his position of CEO over the last decade. I do not think he wanted Sinofsky to gain more power and potentially become CEO down the road. It’s telling that he split Sinofsky’s position to two women who I think he can easily control. I think Sinofsky’s influence and legacy on the company will remain even though he is not there anymore. More things are going to be kept secret until it is the appropriate time to release the information. Microsoft will also get more and more into hardware. I believe we will see Sinofsky back a few years from now as CEO of Microsoft. …

      Then the whole essence of his writing is summarized in the end as:

      tl;dr: Steven Sinofsky rocks and was good for Microsoft! I also believe he quit on his own accord. Bloggers hate him because they had a direct financial loss due to having less information about the company and ignore the good he did.

      P.S. Love/Hate relationship with Sinofsky and bloggers can be traced way back to 2007 starting with Long Zheng http://www.istartedsomething.com/20071207/director-windows-disclosure/

      He explained that creating Windows 8 and its new tablet-friendly Windows Runtime has absorbed much of the C++ team’s energy.
      We’ve been really busy for two years with our biggest release ever. There’s an industry tsunami to the tablet revolution, the GPU compute revolution. Because C++ matters is why we’re at the centre of it. Now we can emphasise conformance again,” he said.

      “We have a really mature compiler and optimiser. It’s been around for a decade or two, on x86 and x64. Then we have a version 1 release of ARM. You can expect that to get better.”

      Note that people present on that BUILD 2012 session and even having an opportunity to speak to Herb Sutter the day before were not only confirming the importance of the above but even adding to that: “the Visual C++ team had the biggest pressure inside Microsoft in the last 2 years as everybody was relying on them

      Hal. Hey there, I find myself feeling to offer some insight — relative to what you say above, I never initiated any discussions to bring together the organizations/products you describe and no one ever approached me to manage them as part of Windows 7 or 8. Basic organization theory as described by @teyc would support the current state as a practical working model.

      If we had worked together you would know that historically, very few things moved into teams I managed as (you’ve no doubt seen in internal blogs) and when they did I usually pushed back hard looking for a cross-group way to achieve the goal (in other words, decide open issues rather than force an org change to subsequently decide something). It is far better to collaborate with the org in place and avoid the disruption unless it is on a product cycle boundary and far better to plan and execute together than just organize together.

      in response to Hal Berenson’s earlies assumption in his post that:

      Steven had apparently lost recent battles to bring both Windows Phone and the Developer Division under his control. I suspect that he saw those loses 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. At the very point where he should have been able to ask for, and receive, almost anything as reward for his proven success he got slapped down. And so he chose to leave.

      then Berenson acknowledged in response:

      Steven, thanks for the first hand insight. I am obviously going on what others in Microsoft have told me. And seriously, good luck with whatever you do next!

      Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of the month, and the time when Microsoft pushes out software updates for their products.

      On this occasion this includes includes Microsoft’s first ARM computer, the Surface, and the update  is  a “Cumulative Update for performance/compatibility” and another is a firmware update which hopefully addresses the same issue.

      We noticed definite performance improvements, including in multi-tasking, text input, quicker loading times and improvements in IE, including in tab switching and closing.

      Techtony • a day ago
      Not only the Surface was updated, The Asus Vivo Tab RT was also Updated. New Firmware Message and a total of 8 Updates

      RJD • 2 days ago Absolutely notice performance improvements across the board…loading apps, screen accuracy, word accuracy, IE improved to boot.

      surur Mod Eric Hon2 days ago Apparently apps open faster.

      GG002 surur2 days ago And less sound stuttering while Surface sleeps. At least buggy music playback while Sleep isn’t a problem for me anymore (knock on wood).

      It is indeed faster. In some cases much faster. A Hungarian developer was measuring the improvement via the CPU usage with the Mandelbrot program as a benchmark: C#: +25%, C++: +110%!, C++ AMP (software emultaion): +72% improvements were found by him (see in this Facebook message in Hungarian).

      White-box tablets are expected to see a surge in shipment growth in 2012 with volumes surpassing 50 million units, according to Digitimes Research senior analyst James Wang.

      There are three major drivers that will help white-box tablets achieve strong growth in the year: a large number of potential consumers brought in by Android handsets, mature development of China-based processors, and decreasing costs of white-box tablets. With the addition of white-box tablet shipments, Android is expected to surpass iOS and become the largest mobile operating system in 2012, while 7-inch displays will also become the mainstream specification for tablets.

      As the branded tablet PC market is seeing fierce competition in terms of technology, capacity, yield rates, patents and prices, the rise of white-box tablets has already made these players a new force in the tablet market, with some white-box players even seeing higher shipment volumes than first-tier vendors.

      Digitimes Research believes that brand vendors should be aware of white-box tablet players’ developments in the future, since even platform designers such as Google and Microsoft have used their resources to increase price competition in the tablet market, and the situation may gradually turn to favor China-based players with expertise in lowering costs.

      Source: Digitimes Research, November 2012
      or from the Chinese version of the same [Nov 9, 2012]:

      I’m not a microsoftie but I can see parallels with two other companies, where I used to work.

      1. Lucent. Coasting along on their previous life as the original AT&T and Bell Labs and living on their monopoly profits, I found their upper echelon to be as political and non technical as I see MSFT’s descriptions today. Pat Russo was a BA in political science for crying out loud. And she ended up running and selling Bell Labs (!) to Alcatel. Before that she ran Kodak. See the pattern?

      2. Carly Fiorina at HP. Before that she was at Lucent. BA in Political Science. Political Science. Well, okay then, let’s just have her run HP. What does HP mostly sell now? Ink?

      The pattern is simple. You get a large corp running off a semi monopoly, then in due course the people who rise are the politicians and sales guys. The engineers get used and thrown aside.

      Now apparently this Julia person isn’t an engineer and she’s going to run the OS group. Good luck with that.

      Lots of noise in the comments. Been out of Microsoft for 3 years and haven’t been in Steve Si’s org since he left the Office group.

      I worked in the same group as Julie Larson before her meteoric rise. I wasn’t so impressed, but remember that Steve Si was very impressed. If he likes someone’s work, they rise to the top very, very quickly. I don’t think he was making those choices for political reasons. I think he was making those decisions for engineering and product quality. That said, does heading program management translate into running a large engineering organization. I don’t know as it’s been many, many years since I worked near Julie.

      Steve Si never struck me as someone who cared about rising to be the CEO. He cared about designing products that could be built and then building it. I’m not sure as an engineering guy, he was the right guy for Balmer’s job.

      I’ve had a number of people question if  Julie Larson-Green is up to the task of running Windows Engineering.  No one has questioned Tami Reller’s expanded responsibilities because, well, Tami is pretty much doing the same job she had before except that the buck now stops with her instead of falling on the shoulders of a division President.  So I’ll focus this post on Julie and her new role.  And moreover on the experiment it represents.

      So is Julie a good choice?  On a strategic level I think there was no one better positioned to finish the job of re-imagining Windows that started with Windows 8.  I have some evidence that Julie is indeed easier to collaborate with than Steven was.  And she’s inheriting from Steven a well-functioning engineering organization that, of course, she helped create.  She doesn’t have to fix anything (major) that I know of on the organizational or engineering process fronts.  That means she has time for her multi-discipline general management skills to mature while focusing most of her energy on completing the Windows re-invention.  Plus, by splitting the business and engineering responsibilities across two executives (and taking on the President responsibilities himself) Steve has kept Julie’s new role from being too much of a stretch.  So yes, I think Julie is a good choice.  Hopefully we’ll be able to look back in a few years and say that she was a great choice.

      http://www.euronews.com/ Microsoft executive, Steven Sinofsky has left the world’s largest software company barely two weeks after launching the flagship Window 8. The 23-year veteran of the company has refused to comment on his departure with insiders saying his exit was, “mutual”. The 47-year-old was widely tipped to become the next chief executive of Microsoft which has been struggling to keep pace with Apple and Google in mobile computing. “Shocking news;” was one analysts reaction. Find us on: Youtube http://bit.ly/zr3upY Facebook http://www.facebook.com/euronews.fans Twitter http://twitter.com/euronews
      • Then WSJLive was next to put this report, around one and a half hour later to the YouTube: Microsoft’s Windows Chief to Depart [WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, Nov 13, 2012., 11:01 a.m. ET [UTC 4:01 p.m.]], this with a detailed assesment, so far also the closest one to mine (although still far from that):
      Windows unit president Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company, effective immediately, AllThingsD has confirmed. The move comes less than a month after Sinofsky presided over the launch of Windows 8 and Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Photo: Getty Images. Subscribe to the WSJ Live YouTube Channel -http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=wsjdigitalnetworkork More WSJLive YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/wsj Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wsjlive Twitter: https://twitter.com/WSJVideo WSJ: http://www.wsj.com

      Arik Hesseldahl, AllThingsD reporter was the expert journalist interviewed by WSJLive. See also the similarly titled Microsoft’s Windows Chief to Depart [The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2012, 11:01 a.m. ET [UTC 4:01 p.m.]] article which this video was embedded into.

      Steven Sinofsky, the brains behind Microsoft’s latest operating system is leaving the company.

      although a written article by the same people behind the video was published 10 hours earlier: Windows head Steven Sinofsky to leave Microsoft [November 13, 2012 02:10 AM ET [UTC 7:10 a.m.]] albeit with a different, initial content.

      • The same WSJLive realized only 10 hours after its first video report seen above the fact that there are TWO heirs to the Sinofsky’s empire: The Women Behind Microsoft Windows [WSJDigitalNetwork YouTube channel, Nov 13, 2012., 9:13 p.m. ET [Nov 14, UTC 2:13 a.m.]]
      For the first time in its history, Microsoft’s Windows unit won’t be headed by a man. Shira Ovide discusses the appointment of Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller to head Windows following the departure of Steve Sinofsky. Photo: AP Images.

      yet WSJLive missed the most important point that both report to Steve Ballmer (see the press release). The written article which contains the same video embedded into it does not contain that fact either: Windows’ Future in Hands of Two Veterans [The Wall Street Journal, Nov 13, 2012., 9:13 p.m. ET [Nov 14, UTC 2:13 a.m.]]

      Chuck Coppola dissects what the departure of Windows President Steven Sinofsky means for Microsoft. Rob Enderle is brought into via Skype as a “High-Tech Industry Analyst” for the assesment.

      From Wikipedia on First Business:

      First Business is a nationally syndicated financial news and analysis television program, produced by First Business Network LLC, a subsidiary of Weigel Broadcasting, in Chicago. Anchor Angela Miles, Reporters Chuck Coppola, Bill Moller, and Executive Producer Harvey Moshman bring viewers commentary from the floors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, as well as from their studios in the West Loop. The program covers the financial and economic markets including equities, futures, options,commodities, foreign exchange and geo-political news. …

      Here’s the complete letter from Steven Sinofsky to employees [WinSuperSite, Nov 12, 2012]

      From: Steven Sinofsky
      Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 6:42 PM
      To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
      Subject: RE: Windows Leadership Changes

      With the general availability of Windows 8/RT and Surface, I have decided it is time for me to take a step back from my responsibilities at Microsoft. I’ve always advocated using the break between product cycles as an opportunity to reflect and to look ahead, and that applies to me too.

      After more than 23 years working on a wide range of Microsoft products, I have decided to leave the company to seek new opportunities that build on these experiences. My passion for building products is as strong as ever and I look forward focusing my energy and creativity along similar lines. 

      The Windows team, in partnerships across all of Microsoft and our industry, just completed products and services introducing a new era of Windows computing. It is an incredible experience to be part of a generational change in a unique product like Windows, one accomplished with an undeniable elegance. Building on Windows, Surface excels in design and utility for a new era of PCs.   With the Store, Internet Explorer, Outlook.com, SkyDrive and more, each of which lead the way, this experience is connected to amazing cloud services.

      It is inspiring to think of these efforts making their way into the hands of Microsoft’s next billion customers. We can reflect on this project as a remarkable achievement for each of us and for the team.  Our work is not done, such is the world of technology, and so much more is in store for customers.

      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. I am beyond grateful.

      I have always promised myself when the right time came for me to change course, I would be brief, unlike one of my infamous short blog posts, and strive to be less memorable than the products and teams with which I have been proudly and humbly associated.   The brevity of this announcement is simply a feature.

      Some might notice a bit of chatter speculating about this decision or timing.  I can assure you that none could be true as this was a personal and private choice that in no way reflects any speculation or theories one might read—about me, opportunity, the company or its leadership. 

      As I’ve always believed in making space for new leaders as quickly as possible, this announcement is effective immediately and I will assist however needed with the transition. 

      I am super excited for what the future holds for the team and Microsoft.

      With my deepest appreciation,

      Steven Sinofsky

      Sent from Surface RT



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