Ahh, this makes more sense now. I agree more with the notion that Sinofsky was pushed aside because he's not known to work well with others, and at a time where cross-platform services are being developed and refined across Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox; anyone in the way of Microsoft's ecosystem building has to be taken aside.this isn't correct at all. in fact, Sinofsky was the one demanding that everything go under the Windows umbrella. he didn't like having divisions out there that he couldn't control. the Windows Phone division fought having to fall under the Windows umbrella. Sinofsky was also demanding that the Xbox division also align and wanted more control over that division as well.But then again, Sinofsky probably left out of frustration because his Windows division has Xbox services baked in, Bing services as well, and it's known for a while now that he is NOT very keen on anything diminishing Windows, as theoretically that might diminish his power or authority.
people, there are plenty of articles out there to read. this was not a surprise. these articles were even written before he left.
but if you want a summary, there were lots of articles released yesterday and today recapping what happened in the past few years.
Why Steven Sinofsky is out at Microsoft | Ars Technica
The problem with this is that an abrupt departure with neither a clear explanation nor a transition plan just doesn't look very good. Microsoft's stock is sharply down today on the back of the Sinofsky news—down more than three percent at the time of writing, against an overall NASDAQ drop of a little over a quarter of a percent—and is trading at its lowest level for six months. If this really were the mutually agreed, orderly transition that the statements from Sinofsky and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claim, announcing it this way was immensely irresponsible. Corporate officers have a duty to protect shareholders, and this didn't do that.
That's not say that the Sinofsky decision was made and put into action on Monday—there's speculation by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that something happened between Sinofsky and Ballmer a few weeks ago. Yesterday may have simply been the earliest that Microsoft felt it was "safe" to part ways with Sinofsky to avoid damaging or overshadowing the Windows 8 launch.
As such, the widespread belief is that something a little more abrupt and a little less mutual was to blame. One thing obviously not to blame is Windows 8 or Surface. Though the critical reception to both products has been decidedly mixed, it's simply too soon to declare that they've failed (or succeeded) in the marketplace. While enterprises in particular may not rush to embrace Windows 8, it's hard to believe that Microsoft management didn't expect at least some push back—they know that Windows 8 introduces training costs that companies may very well want to avoid.
Moreover, if Windows 8 were the problem, there's no way that Julie Larson-Green would be selected to lead Windows engineering. Larson-Green was a trusted Sinofsky lieutenant who came with him to Windows from the Office team and led the development of Windows 8's controversial user interface. If Windows 8 does prove to be a failure, then it's as much on Larson-Green's head as it is Sinofsky's.
Jockeying for Position
Another possible cause is a battle over the CEO position. Sinofsky was seen by some as the obvious candidate to succeed Steve Ballmer after Sinofsky's successful management of Windows 7, and Business Insider is reporting that Sinofsky resigned after Ballmer refused to give him the nod.
This narrative has a number of issues, however. Apart from anything else, the job simply isn't open at the moment.
This leads to the most plausible reason for Sinofsky's departure: a difficulty working with others. Ballmer's e-mail announcing Sinofsky's departure praises Larson-Green's "proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda" as if to emphasize the importance of collaboration and working with the entire company, not merely the Windows division.
Windows 8 may very well be the last version of Windows developed as a monolithic entity on a three-year schedule. Microsoft's future is codenamed "Blue." According to company insiders we've spoken to, this will not simply be a new version of Windows; it will be a set of coordinated, tightly linked products, released annually. In Blue, Windows development will not be handled exclusively by the Windows division. Windows 8 took some tentative steps in this direction, with the suite of Bing apps and the Xbox-branded Music and Video apps, but Blue will take this further still, with core features developed by other parts of the company.
This makes inter-departmental cooperation and collaboration more important than it has ever been.
Against this backdrop, Sinofsky's uneven relationships within the company become a substantial liability. Microsoft can't pull this off if teams are unwilling or unable to work with one another. Driving out big names, as happened with Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, head of Entertainment and Devices Robbie Bach, and Entertainment and Devices executive (and father of the Xbox) J Allard, isn't acceptable when the company is (finally) wanting to act like a singular entity and not a bunch of competing departments.
Compounding this, there are rumors within Microsoft that Ballmer plans a reorganization to ease this new approach to software development. New teams, new responsibilities, and perhaps even the beginning of the end of the siloed mentality and viciously defended fiefdoms that are said to define the company today. An imminent reorganization would go some way toward explaining why Sinofsky hasn't been replaced in his role: there is little value in appointing someone, just to reshuffle the deck in a month or two anyway.