In a sentence, that’s what a former Microsoft executive, who CNet describe as “familiar with the thinking of senior management,” defines as the reason behind Steven Sinofsky’s abrupt departure from Microsoft.
Sinofsky was the President of Windows at Microsoft and helped transform Windows from the reviled Vista to the well-received 7. He was revered for his stringent production practices, consistently releasing Windows updates on time, and for his vision of Microsoft evolving into multi-device OS.
Yesterday it was announced that Sinofsky, after 23 loyal years at the company, left ‘effective immediately.’ Reports indicate his departure stemmed from a disagreement with Microsoft’s CEO, Steven Ballmer, despite the two releasing amicable statements.
Developments today hint Sinofsky’s departure had less to do with Steve Ballmer and more to do with other division heads. Ballmer wants each division of Microsoft working together in an effort to build interdependent products and services, much like its rivals Apple and Google. This is particularly evident in the new version of Windows 8, designed for use with smartphones, tablets and computers.
However, it is believed Sinofsky struggled to balance his production responsibilities with other Microsoft division heads. CNet’s Jay Greene articulates Sinofsky’s dilemma:
Developing Windows is extraordinarily complex, with thousands of developers, testers, and program managers working in unison to make milestones and meet deadlines. Working with other groups, whose development schedules differ, creates dependencies beyond the control of Windows executives. They can gum the product development machinery that Sinofsky so skillfully crafted.
Sinofsky’s departure occurred at a sensitive time for Microsoft. The company has just released its first computing device ever, the Microsoft Surface, and its reimagined operating system, Windows 8, which has undergone its most dramatic revision in 17 years.
The staple OS will undoubtedly sell in millions. Instead Sinofsky’s legacy will be measured by consumer sentiment to tablet devices running Windows.