With Steven Sinofsky Out, What’s Next for Microsoft?

Steven Sinofsky

Image: Steven Sinofsky | Wikipedia

As reported by AMOG yesterday, Steven Sinofsky steps out of Microsoft, a couple of weeks after Windows 8 becomes available. Effective immediately, the former Windows and Windows Live chief’s product development duties will fall to Microsoft Vice President Julie Larson-Green.

A Bumpy Road Ahead for Julie Larson-Green

Sinofsky left the company after he created the Windows 8, championed the Surface tablet, and made sure that the software will be shipped on time. However, his legacy could mean a bumpy road ahead for Larson-Green.

His goal was to offer tightly integrated Microsoft software services with Windows 8 and Surface, which are in line with the current trends among huge consumer technology companies. Thus, he made sure their latest OS will offer a strong start for the company’s software-integration plans.

The Windows 8 ties many of the company’s products such as Bing, SkyDrive, Outlook, and Xbox entertainment services. They are also transitioning Microsoft Office from desktop-bound software to subscription-based and cloud-supported software that can be installed on up to five different devices.

Image: Julie Larson-Green | Microsoft Official Website

In relation to this, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hailed Larson-Green “ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross-company agenda.” Thus, the company assigned her to design “future Windows development in addition to future hardware opportunities.”

Larson-Green’s biggest challenge would be to help retain Microsoft’s 1.3 billion Windows users, which Google and Apple are trying to lure away from them. If people decided to buy an Android and iOS device instead of upgrading to Windows 8, her new job would be to become Ms. Fix-it, cleaning up after Sinofsky’s chartered new course with the latest OS.

Sinofsky’s Departure from the Software Giant

People’s tepid reaction to Windows 8 and Surface RT is too early to blame from Sinofsky’s departure. On the other hand, most critics believe that the former exec left the company due to political infighting. It was also reported that he was a divisive and an uncooperative figure within the company.

In a letter to employees, however, Sinofsky said that the end of his tenure was “a personal and private choice”. The company echoed this statement, saying that the former chief’s exit was a mutual decision between both parties.

Despite having a reputation of a loose collection of warring fiefdoms, Microsoft is focusing on inter-departmental cooperation and product integration. In a proxy statement filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, “Our overall business strategy [is] to provide integrated product and service offerings, and this requires deeper cross-organization collaboration.”

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