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Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the sinofsky's-all-haiku-now dept.

Microsoft 417

CWmike writes with this excerpt from Computerworld: "Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind the new OS, is leaving the company effective immediately, Microsoft announced late Monday. Sinofsky was also the public face for Windows 8 and its new Metro interface, posting constant updates in a Windows 8 blog that charted its development. His last post, fittingly, was entitled 'Updating Windows 8 for General Availability.' The OS was officially launched at the end of last month. According to the All Things D blog, there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other members of the Microsoft executive team, who didn't see him as enough of a team player. But Microsoft's official position is that the decision was a mutual one. Sinofsky had only good things to say about his former employer." Also at SlashCloud.

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Rats. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966579)

Ship.

Re:Rats. (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41966681)

Uff, took me whole five seconds to get it. I first thought that "Rats, ship!" was a command to the troops!

Re:Rats. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966793)

Uff, took me whole five seconds to get it. I first thought that "Rats, ship!" was a command to the troops!

Well, that's actually how Windows 8 got released!

Re:Rats. (4, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41966715)

Actually, it appears the rats (Ballmer and co.) are holding on to the sinking ship and driving the cats away....the ship will sink faster that way.

Re:Rats. (4, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 2 years ago | (#41967157)

Sinofsky was a fuse. Ballmer sits next on line...

Re:Rats. (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#41967501)

Microsoft's profit was $16 billion first quarter. I wish my ship was sinking like that.

Shall we compare that to Red Hat? It seems that every time someone leaves Microsoft we get this gleeful rats/ships metaphor on Slashdot going back decades, but Microsoft has been and continues to be a fantastically successful company.

Don't let the... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966583)

chair hit you on the way out! Seriously, DUCK!

Re:Don't let the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967045)

Not a concern anymore. Ballmer's so old he can hardly pick up a foot stool.

Re:Don't let the... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41967371)

Not a concern anymore. Ballmer's so old he can hardly pick up a foot stool.

Ball de Mort does magic.

Official confirmation... (5, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41966597)

that the new interface in Windows 8 bombed at the box office....

the beginning of the end, indeed.

Re:Official confirmation... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#41966623)

Corporations as big and evil as Microsoft don't die. They Nasty away.

Re:Official confirmation... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966701)

that the new interface in Windows 8 bombed at the box office....

the beginning of the end, indeed.

Actually no, since Microsoft let Sinofsky go and put in charge the woman directly responsable for the metro interface.
I'd say it's going from bad to worse.

Re:Official confirmation... (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41966865)

Actually no, since Microsoft let Sinofsky go and put in charge the woman directly responsable for the metro interface.

It could have been worse. They could have put the woman [wikipedia.org] directly responsible for the Microsoft Bob [wikipedia.org] interface in charge.

Re:Official confirmation... (4, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#41966905)

Actually no, since Microsoft let Sinofsky go and put in charge the woman directly responsable for the metro interface.

It could have been worse. They could have put the woman directly responsible for the Microsoft Bob interface in charge.

I thought Gabe Newell was the project manager in charge of that project. Which goes to show that one bad product doesn't necessarily mean the person in charge of it will continue to create bad products.

Re:Official confirmation... (4, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#41966739)

Actually, people have been talking about Sinoffsky for a while. He insists on Windows being the driving force at MS and he is the reason that it took MS so long to get their products into a vertical integration....His departure has nothing to do with Windows 8 and everything to do with his ability to get on board the new vision.

Re:Official confirmation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967107)

Actually, people have been talking about Sinoffsky for a while. He insists on Windows being the driving force at MS and he is the reason that it took MS so long to get their products into a vertical integration....His departure has nothing to do with Windows 8 and everything to do with his ability to get on board the new vision.

The new vision sucks donkey balls.
Microsoft is not Apple, will never be like Apple. Trying that path will only lead to disaster, as long as Office is calling the shots. And Microsoft without Office is nothing, just another mediocre software company.

Re:Official confirmation... (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41966757)

Microsoft is all about kissing the ass of big corporations.

Metro is about as opposite of that as you can get.

Re:Official confirmation... (2)

Alarash (746254) | about 2 years ago | (#41967033)

How the hell is this parent moderated "insightful"?

Re:Official confirmation... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967037)

The "modest" sales of Surface ("modest" being Ballmer's word, not mine) probably did not help. Surface + Win8 was a big investment/effort.

Re:Official confirmation... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41967229)

While I personally think Win8 is going to be a Vista-level disaster, I think two weeks is a wee bit premature to be hanging any forecasts on.

Re:Official confirmation... (1, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#41967287)

While I personally think Win8 is going to be a Vista-level disaster, I think two weeks is a wee bit premature to be hanging any forecasts on.

Nah, they learned from Vista. Last time they let OEMs keep shipping XP machines so people didn't have to buy Vista, this time I'm sure they'll kill Windows 7 ASAP.

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966619)

The new OS gets released, his role complete, they all agree to move on. Team played enough to get it released, that's more of a team player than a lot of people I've worked with leaving mid-project. If he hasn't got any bad things to say about Microsoft, why is this news?

Re:So.. (1)

jkrise (535370) | about 2 years ago | (#41966647)

If he hasn't got any bad things to say about Microsoft, why is this news?

Because Microsoft executives had bad things to say about his latest product engineering effort?

My very limited exposure to Sinofsky (5, Interesting)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#41966961)

During Windows Vista and previous development, private beta testers (not internal to MS) were given a constant stream of new builds to test. Microsoft was very responsive and bugs were generally fixed very quickly. I know this will surprise people, but at least for me, Vista was quite bug-free at launch because all the ones I found during the beta were fixed.

Sinofsky took over for Windows 7, and the change in testing procedure was jarring. We got a total of two builds over the entire program -- Beta 1 and RC. The effects of this were that many bug reports weren't reproducible on their much newer internal builds, so the bugs either didn't get fixed or testers were wasting effort. When the RC was released, Microsoft actually deleted many old bug reports and told everyone not to submit anything that didn't result in a BSOD or failed install, which let a lot of glaring cosmetic bugs get through. I can only imagine this was so they could reduce their official bug counts at launch.

The botched Windows 7 testing lead to the weirdest thing I could imagine -- in the middle of the program, there was basically a revolt among the testers. So much so that some took to labeling themselves "proud" testers in their signatures to separate them from the frustrated majority.

For Windows 8 -- we all pretty much knew it was going to happen -- there was no external testing at all. I guess after Vista's performance issues and the poor handling of 7, it was pretty easy for them to decide testers weren't helping them.

Re:My very limited exposure to Sinofsky (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41967327)

For Windows 8 -- we all pretty much knew it was going to happen -- there was no external testing at all. I guess after Vista's performance issues and the poor handling of 7, it was pretty easy for them to decide testers weren't helping them.

Look, the logic is pretty simple. If no bugs were found during testing, it just means there are no bugs in the software. That means the software quality has improved and all the line managers, middle managers, executives, vice presidents and the executive vice president all deserve huge bonuses.

The seeds for this was sown years ago. They came up with quality metrics for software. That quality metric was "number of bugs found during testing". That number is the metric. That is the number to watch. That number must drop for you to make bonus. First few years it works reasonably well. But a few managers fall short of the number, and they find unmotivated lackadaisical unprofessional people and move them to the testing group. Slowly the bugs found during testing drops, and they make bonus. It starts small, with just a few managers. But pretty soon everyone is doing it. Once everyone is doing it, the early "game the system" guys double down, and pretty soon, they cancel the entire testing program and meet the holy grail, "zero bugs found during testing".

Re:So.. (4, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#41966671)

Slashdot is a schadenfreude-driven site. We're gonna get our Two Minutes of Hate against Redmond Goldstein one way or another.

Re: So.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966683)

If Apple fires key people, it's the management reshuffle. If the same happens at MS, it's rats leaving the sinking ship.

What's so difficult to understand?

Re: So.. (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41966759)

How much Slashdot have you read? There are plenty of people here that think both Apple and M.S. are full of shit.

Apple is busy making their entire line a walled garden and M.S. is flaying around dodging chairs with no direction.

Re: So.. (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | about 2 years ago | (#41966935)

Windows 8 is a very disciplined direction. Doesn't mean: a good direction, but a unified GUI and an answer to ARM-based tablets was the strategy. Good? The market will decide.

Re: So.. (1, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | about 2 years ago | (#41967267)

Windows 8 is a very disciplined direction. Doesn't mean: a good direction, but a unified GUI and an answer to ARM-based tablets was the strategy. Good? The market will decide.

Unified GUI?

Ahahhahahaahhahahahaahhaaahahaha!

Oh wait ... Unified GUI? ... AAAAhahahahahahahahahahah!

Man, fire up start screen, start typing 'print'. Nothing found. Go to desktop, go to control panel, in the search box type 'print'. Oh wow, it found printers and devices. Half of things on W8 are found in one place, half in another. Does that sounds unified? The amount of annoying crap in W8 is astounding. Open Office on W8 RT, and try to save a file. Good luck if you got fat fingers, UI elements are from desktop. Oops? Oh and don't even get me started on Windows Server 2012 UI.

W8 is a Frankenstein OS, it is as far from Unified GUI as you can get.

Disclosure: I use Windows Server 2012 as my desktop.

Re: So.. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41967345)

Also, their answer to ARM-based tablets is a dead end. Which is the market deciding.

Re: So.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967395)

Well said sir! I agree it is a mess. From that cartoon / toy "metro" start to the insane insistence that apps be full screen (metro apps) on my 27" monitor - it is nothing but fail. Most users can't even figure out how to turn the thing off because they stuck the shutdown under "settings" | "power" where you would expect to find (but won't find) power settings like when to sleep / hibernate, etc. I've used it on my main machine all through the beta and RC and even the RTM version to try to be "fair" to it and give it a chance, but damn - it sucks.

Re: So.. (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41966953)

apple is making more money than any corporation in the world and growing revenues and profits

MS has flat growth, losses in some quarters/years, and sinking market share in their core products

Re:So.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41966861)

win8 _is_ mid project. it's at the phase where he'd have to start answering why things were done as they were.

Re:So.. (1)

r1348 (2567295) | about 2 years ago | (#41967091)

You missed the "effective immediately" part.
No transaction period for such important role basically mean "thrown out of a window". No pun intended.

Up next: Pair Programming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966625)

In a press release, Ballmer praised Steven’s work, but also talked about a need for “more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYBjVTMUQY0 [youtube.com]

He was a spy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966627)

... hired by Apple and Google, to completely destroy Windows 8 and any chance of entering the mobile market.

Or - at least that's a hilariously plausible conspiracy theory. I'm going to pretend to believe it.

Re:He was a spy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966763)

Did he sleep with Paula Broadwell too?

Re:He was a spy! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41967375)

No, but he did sleep with Jill Kelley's twin sister.

Re:He was a spy! (5, Funny)

tgd (2822) | about 2 years ago | (#41966789)

... hired by Apple and Google, to completely destroy Windows 8 and any chance of entering the mobile market.

Or - at least that's a hilariously plausible conspiracy theory. I'm going to pretend to believe it.

If you want to make it a plausible conspiracy theory, you need to say that he was an Templar plant put into Microsoft to take down Windows NT so OS/2 could win in the marketplace. OS/2 was definitely preferred by secret societies everywhere. When that plan failed he was left as a deep mole. When the Templar put Jobs back into power at Apple, to get mind-control audio technology out to the masses, they thought they had finally succeeded in global domination. But the rise of the superior Windows 8 represented a threat to the Templar control, so they awoke their deep sleeper agent. However, Ballmer (a long-line descendent of assassins) caught him in his nefarious acts and after scaling building 34, and throwing a few chairs, he made it clear that he had to go.

I suspect this will not be the end of the story ...

Re:He was a spy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967213)

Does this mean the next Windows will have a subtitle, rather than a number?

Direction change (3, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41966631)

I'd hope this was a personality or really an interpersonal thing and not a strategy choice. If Microsoft starts going squishy on Windows 8 i.e. Metro they will blow a crucial part of their strategy. I don't see how they pick a different OS strategy at this point than ubiquitous computing. Releasing another new paradigm in 2014-5 will be a complete yawn.

The 2012Q4 x86 midlevel hardware has been really exciting stuff, innovative. As the hardware manufacturers start one another's ideas 2013Q1 laptops and even desktops are going to feel a 6 years ahead of 2012Q1. That's an impressive accomplishment and I'd hope that Microsoft doesn't walk it back because other divisions are getting cold feet.

Re:Direction change (5, Interesting)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about 2 years ago | (#41966901)

Agreed. Paul Thurrott - who admittedly is two steps shy of being a raving Microsoft fan - noted that Microsoft says "We bet the company on this" at the drop of a hat - the launch of the Zune products, the launch of the Xbox, the Office Ribbon, etc... such pronouncements are conspicuously absent in the Windows 8 announcements because they really did bet the company on this.

I have Windows 8. As a semi-power-user, the learning curve took me all of a day. I'm sure that's enough to get screams of protest from people who dislike any kind of change. And of course that's the majority of computer users. But it's an acceptable operating system and I can completely understand Microsoft's drive to unify the user experience across phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and servers ( although for anyone that does not know this already, Microsoft Server 2012 can run without a Microsoft GUI, just PowerShell ). It's a bet on the long term future, and regardless of whether it pays off I think it was a sensible bet.

If they're ditching Sinofsky for genuine personnel reasons, that's fine. If they're thinking of making Windows 9 more like Windows 7, I think they're kneecapping their long term future for near term benefit.

Re:Direction change (5, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41967041)

I'm sure that's enough to get screams of protest from people who dislike any kind of change. And of course that's the majority of computer users.

Lots of computer users have a rather negative experience with Windows. At work they have locked down low power systems. At home they have cheap systems loaded to the gills with crapware. I'd say Windows Power users, which is a large chunk of the /. crowd, and always has been, hate the change to Windows 8. I suspect the vast majority of end users will love the change to Windows 8. One of the things that people don't notice and I was floored by is that computer literacy is crashing. Gen-Xers and Millennials are very competent on computers. iGen on the other hand find the historical accumulation on systems like Windows too complex. They like other OSes with less historical baggage (Android, Win mobile, MeeGo, iOS...). That's an important constituency.

It's a bet on the long term future, and regardless of whether it pays off I think it was a sensible bet.

Agreed. Ubiquitous computing is a very exciting program. And whether it works or doesn't it is great to see Microsoft exercising technological leadership again.

If they're ditching Sinofsky for genuine personnel reasons, that's fine. If they're thinking of making Windows 9 more like Windows 7, I think they're kneecapping their long term future for near term benefit.

Exactly. Windows 9 should be like Windows 8 but even further. Win7 should be a guest OS running on the Hypervisor, which doesn't boot by default. Like the Classic environment when Apple switched to OSX. That starts to really strongly push the user base away from Win32 applications. If developers find out next year that's the intent they will start writing Metro GUIs to allow their apps to install in both environments (sort of like the Carbon porting libraries).

Re:Direction change (1)

john.willis1 (2759567) | about 2 years ago | (#41967195)

Did you notice you said "Like Classix Apple OSX ?" -- We're doomed.

Re:Direction change (2)

Magada (741361) | about 2 years ago | (#41967411)

Ubiquitous computing is a very exciting program.

And he Kool-Aid tastes delicious.

Re:Direction change (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41967209)

I can completely understand Microsoft's drive to unify the user experience across phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and servers

This is what MS have done every time they've brought out a mobile OS.

And guess what? Desktop interfaces are shit on PDAs/tablets/phones, and these devices never sold that well.

And guess what else? Mobile interfaces are shit on the desktop, and they're not going to sell that well.

Re:Direction change (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41967447)

The problem with Microsoft is that they are doing this to further their own internal corporate goals and not to make it a better product for users.

They are totally about what helps THEM. Most companies could never survive this way, but they manage as they have made themselves the default in many minds. I

Yeah, MS has had many failures. And most of these failures have been about making it all about THEM instead of their customers.

Sony is slowly dying of the same disease.

uh oh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966653)

Wait, now the person responsible for the ribbon is calling the shots behind Windows?

Amazing (5, Funny)

Swampash (1131503) | about 2 years ago | (#41966677)

...how once people get described as "a potential successor to Steve Ballmer" they mysteriously disappear...

In MicroSoviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966991)

So Ballmer is the Stalin of the software world?

Re:In MicroSoviet Russia... (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#41967177)

I like to think of him as the Pai Mei of the Microsoft world.

Re:In MicroSoviet Russia... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#41967181)

Paul Allen spotted it in 1980 [vanityfair.com] :

I had run into Steve [Ballmer] a few times at Harvard, where he and Bill were close. The first time we met face-to-face, I thought, This guy looks like an operative for the N.K.V.D.

Re:Amazing (2)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#41967087)

After Reiser and McAfee, I would not be surprised if his body would later be found with a chair-based concussion.

Re:Amazing (5, Insightful)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 2 years ago | (#41967373)

There might be more to parent post than just "4+ Funny".

Ballmer has become increasingly vulnerable. Basically, nobody much likes having a potty-mouthed, chair-throwing monkey dancer as a CEO, either inside or outside the corporation. He got the job not because he rose up through the ranks or had demonstrable skills but because he was Gates' chief sycophant, loyal to the core. It is long past time for him to be replaced by someone who can steer the monster resources of Microsoft in an appropriate direction, rather than just sitting there in the driver's seat while the huge earth-mover rumbles around without a definite direction.

By encouraging his most likely internal replacement to leave the company, Ballmer has done the one thing he could do that most reduces his risks of getting tossed out like a chair. There is no question that Microsoft lost a valuable asset when Sinofsky walked, but his continued presence as Win8 becomes a success would have been a major personal threat to Ballmer.

Good time to move on. (-1, Troll)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41966711)

Windows 8 is going to have some hiccups, but above all else, it's going to be a huge success.

There will be a little bit of delay as Microsoft gets Windows 7 out of the way.

The reasons Windows 8 will be a huge success:

1. It unifies the desktop and mobile under a single OS and, more importantly, development environment.
2. It has many under-the-hood fixes which allow Windows to slip past the aging win32 model, which is so successful it has become crippled. But since MSFT owns WinXP, it can always sell you virtualization to emulate your old apps within the new OS. This is inevitable; it's how Apple handled its transition to OS X and now it's an industry standard.
3. They've gotten over the moron factor. Apple used to be able to claim its GUI was so simple a child could use it, in contrast to Windows which was "complicated" and Linux which was "hard." Windows 8 is braindead simple as a GUI and has let wizards take over many of the less intuitive tasks of computer maintenance.
4. Microsoft has revamped its pricing scheme to (a) compete in the mobile market and (b) try to fix the unholy mess of crapware installed on new PCs by vendors.
5. Building on that point, Microsoft has basically squashed rampant security problems, although there will surely be hiccups, and by using its app store model has reined in the chaotic array of software people run on its OSes.

Sinofsky is leaving at a point of triumph, after which there will mostly be fixes and adjustments, and he will now be able to go on to a new, bigger gig somewhere as a big shot. Next step is for him to try for CEO at his own tech company.

Re:Good time to move on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966747)

wow, i was skeptical at first when i saw people claim posters like you were paid M$ shills but now I believe it!

Re:Good time to move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966913)

To give him some credit, he's much better than most of the other trolls. He comes over as plausible and legit - even has a /. journal, but all you gotta do is check his comment history to see he really lives under a bridge

Make up your mind (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41967113)

To give him some credit, he's much better than most of the other trolls.

Thank you? Uh...

But then some other guy writes:

wow, i was skeptical at first when i saw people claim posters like you were paid M$ shills but now I believe it!

So, shills are trolls now, or trolls are shills?

Re:Make up your mind (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41967419)

Everyone else agrees that you're both a shill AND a troll.

Happy now?

Re:Good time to move on. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41966791)

Good post I agree. Though I think for business the XP -> Windows 7 migration continues for several more years. I see Windows 8 as mainly a transitional OS for developers for new Metro style software and hardware manufacturers to give them something to target.

Windows XP will haunt us from the grave. (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41966871)

Though I think for business the XP -> Windows 7 migration continues for several more years.

Very true. I'm planning on keeping a row of machines, whether virtual or physical, with XP, 7 and 8 running.

I know a lot of industries and scattered companies who have zero intention of upgrading. Their software works on XP, and they've bought both, so why upgrade at all? I'm hard-pressed to tell them they should fix what ain't broke.

It leads to a question of ownership: when we bought Windows, did we buy it "as is" without upgrades? Or buy into a stream of upgrades, possibly for a limited time? Or was it really a subscription for a number of years? If it isn't, maybe it is wholly legitimate for people to expect that Microsoft keep patching it for as long as people use it, which could be to 2042 and beyond.

Re:Windows XP will haunt us from the grave. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41966941)

I think you bought it as-is with the promise of an upgrade path. In particular a promise that Microsoft could and would move on to new systems as would the software. Microsoft created a stagnant world and now they have to change buying patterns.

A model that favors the consumer. (1)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41967049)

That could be true. Then again, the difference between updates and upgrades can be squirrely. All Windows systems could be viewed as updates to the original NT 3.5, and priced correspondingly. This gives us several models:

1. As is.
2. Update path (maybe $35 an update, roughly equivalent to current prices)
3. Upgrade path.
4. Subscription.

Can't tell which would be sensible. A subscription would have to be $20/year for XP, which I think I ran for ten years after buying for something like $200 (memory is hazy here).

Re:A model that favors the consumer. (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41967473)

Microsoft tried a subscription model when XP came out. Business rejected it. As for updates vs. upgrades. While there is a lot of continuity between modern windows versions and NT 3.51 there is a lot of continuity between NT 3.51 and DOS 2.0. And arguably a lot of continuity between DOS 2.0 and CP/M systems before it. Version just means "lots of new stuff" not a fundamental redesign. Microsoft has put lots of new stuff in each of their OSes.

Re:Windows XP will haunt us from the grave. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 2 years ago | (#41967139)

They have been trying to change buying patterns since the end of NT4/beginning of WIndows 2000, and failing miserably at it. Seems that customers don't want to spend their money on upgrades unless there is a compelling reason to upgrade.

Re:Windows XP will haunt us from the grave. (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 2 years ago | (#41967471)

It leads to a question of ownership: when we bought Windows, did we buy it "as is" without upgrades? Or buy into a stream of upgrades, possibly for a limited time?

Ah, better watch it there. That last bit sounds very much like what the owner gets when he chooses Ubuntu, Red Hat / Fedora, or several other Linux distros-- except the stream of upgrades with those has no time limit. I'm guessing that you really don't want potential Windows buyers to be thinking about such things.

Re:Good time to move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966795)

Windows 8 is going to have some hiccups, but above all else, it's going to be a huge success.

1. It will ship on all new computers.

Re:Good time to move on. (1)

Shinaku (757671) | about 2 years ago | (#41967401)

Except those MacBooks which are gaining more and more market share..

Re:Good time to move on. (1)

ghostdoc (1235612) | about 2 years ago | (#41966857)

I really hope you're trolling...

Windows 8 is going to be a buggy flop because MS OS's alternate between buggy innovative flops and boring stable usable systems. The upgrade path is clearly Win3.1 - > Win98/NT -> XP -> Win7 -> Win9 (which will be released in about a year in two versions: one for tablets with the Interface Formerly Known As Metro, one for desktop/laptop with the standard Windows interface)
This is known...

Re:Good time to move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967059)

I really hope you're trolling...

Windows 8 is going to be a buggy flop because MS OS's alternate between buggy innovative flops and boring stable usable systems. The upgrade path is clearly Win3.1 - > Win98/NT -> XP -> Win7 -> Win9 (which will be released in about a year in two versions: one for tablets with the Interface Formerly Known As Metro, one for desktop/laptop with the standard Windows interface) This is known...

Rats, I went from 3.0->95->Me->Vista->8. I must be doing something wrong...

Re:Good time to move on. (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#41966955)

3. They've gotten over the moron factor. Apple used to be able to claim its GUI was so simple a child could use it, in contrast to Windows which was "complicated" and Linux which was "hard." Windows 8 is braindead simple as a GUI and has let wizards take over many of the less intuitive tasks of computer maintenance.

It's hard for me to compete with a corporate PR department, but here I go...

Windows 8 is braindead simple? How? It's exactly the same as Windows 7, except they added a whole new interface in addition to the old one. In other words, it is nearly twice as complicated! Worse, the two environments are nearly blind to the other. "Metro" apps don't show up on the taskbar and desktop apps don't show up on the (hidden) Metro taskbar replacement. Magic things happen when you move your mouse to certain corners, and some items don't come up unless you know the secret gesture. It is an unholy mess. You want to talk "computer maintenance"? There are now two places to find all of the various settings. How that got through your meetings, I'll never know. So now tablet users sometimes have to use the finger-unfriendly desktop interface to set up certain things (and to do file management), while desktop users have to go into the Metro interface for certain settings.

Re:Good time to move on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967001)

Sorry to disagree on all counts.

1. The biggest problem with Windows was not that it did not unify desktop and mobile. This wasn't the biggest problem with any OS. It's a solution begging for a problem.

2. Users don't give two hoots about under the hood fixes. Loads of unwashed masses still using Windows XP will testify to that.

3. Spend a little time with Windows 8. I have a degree in Computer Programming and W8 is far from simple. W8 tablets are not winning rave reviews for simplicity, they are being well liked for power. Who needs multiple windows docked alongside on a tablet? Not grandpa.

4. Whatever the pricing model, there is going to be loads of crapware on cheap PC's

5. Security was better starting in W7. App store is a limitation on users and will be ignored by them.

Importance of mobile (2)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41967145)

The biggest problem with Windows was not that it did not unify desktop and mobile. This wasn't the biggest problem with any OS. It's a solution begging for a problem.

I have to disagree here. While I'm not a big fan of mobile computing, it is massively important. Most people who do not need a command line are using mobile computing.

("Using" is a relative term. They are using it for Facebook, shopping, Googling, etc. I doubt they're using it in the sense of running MATLAB or Visual Studio on it.)

Apple is currently in a bind because it has two OSes to support: iOS and OS X. Whether or not the desktop PC is dead (I don't believe that hogwash), the desktop PC is being somewhat displaced by tablets and phones and other mobile computing devices.

The ability for a company to develop one app for both will be a large boon, as will the ability for people to move their software between mobile and stationary computing.

Re:Good time to move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967221)

1) It doesn't really unify desktop and mobile under a single environment. It presents a platform with multiple personalities, with entirely distinct usage *and* programming models between the 'desktop' and 'mobile'. OSX did a better job of actually fairly claiming a single environment to cater to both with their full screen management that basically let normal OSX apps be managed in an appropriate fashion (though I hear they don't do so well at layout management on development side). To be fair, I've only toyed with OSX interface briefly in a store and am primarily a Linux user, but it seemed like a solid story.
2) That sentence doesn't even make sense. The win32 apis that have been available since the mid 90s continue to be available. They have bolted on all sorts of .net stuff in increasing degrees of being mandatory over the years, but this has no bearing on the relevance of WinXP or the need to run apps in a virtualized XP instance. That's partly out of complexity of compatibility mode invocation, in part because of lack of confidence that old apps will work, and crappy apps that hard-coded certain expectations (like expected version numbers) or, more frequently, IE6-specific behavior in HTML related portions. The applications I've seen that are truly hard to run on newer Windows are ones that came from Win9x-WinME days and don't run well even on XP.
3) I don't think this really factors in much at all. Windows for the last decade has been a staple of home desktop users everywhere. I don't think people were phased by the overall complexity of Windows as it was delivered/preloaded by their vendor. The biggest liability for MS platforms that Apple actively attacked was having so many participants in the ecosystem, some of them created pretty *horrid* experiences with their third-party drivers and software.
4. a) Really? Because their tablet prices suggests presumptions of parity with Apple, compared to the more budget minded Android devices, despite being behind both in terms of screen resolutions and application support. b) I'll believe that when I see it, unless you mean killing off their 'partner' vendors through first-party devices. There is nothing MS can do to make the vendors stop doing it. If they gave the OS away, they'd still take the revenue opportunity. Besides, other than early-adopter incentives, I see no evidence that MS is reducing pricing as a matter of strategy.
5) I think the App Store isn't going to factor heavily into this, but having anti-virus and the 'only-execute apps that have good reputation' I could see as aiding this. However, this hasn't been a problem for MS adoption in the past.

Re:Good time to move on. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41967309)

My reps are contacting me and telling me CALs are going up a minimum of 50%. I know how this revolution is being fields, by shaking down enterprise customers.

In other news (5, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#41966725)

Scott Forstall denied that he and Steven Sinofsky are forming a secret club with the aim of ".. getting back at all those people who just don't know any better and need to told how things should be done...".
 
It's rumored that the first meeting will be held in a tree-house in the back yard of Scott's mothers' house, and that "no girls or software company executives will be allowed", and pizza and soft drinks may be delivered.

Good Riddance ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966727)

Posting anonymously because... well...

Anyway, the guy had a Jobs complex. That sort of attitude may have worked in a "one trick" company like Apple (not trying to start a flame war on that, but Apple has a VERY stovepiped set of products as compared to Microsoft). All it did was piss people off in the other business groups at Microsoft, though.

Like many of the oustings at Microsoft over the last 4-5 years, this is a good one, and a positive sign for the company.

And lest there be any confusion on it -- at Microsoft, once you're Partner level, decisions to leave are always "mutual".

Re:Good Riddance ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966827)

HEY KOOL-AID!

Apple might be "stovepiped," but until recently they weren't trying to be everything to everybody. They also tend to care about their customers a hair more than M.S. ever has.

Re:Good Riddance ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967023)

They also tend to care about their customers a hair more than M.S. ever has.

*cough* *cough* MAPS *cough* *cough*

Re:Good Riddance ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966853)

So what is the opinion on Ballmer from the inside? I ask because from the outside he seems to be the worst CEO of the millennium so far.

Re:Good Riddance ... (3, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 2 years ago | (#41967201)

There is no way Balmer counts as the worst CEO fo the millennium. Carly Fiorina comes first. Follow by a very close second of "hey lets dump our hardware" CEO of HP who came before Whitman but whose name I can't remember.

Re:Good Riddance ... (1)

mbkennel (97636) | about 2 years ago | (#41966949)

Pissing people off is not necessarily the worst thing, not getting stuff done right is the worst thing.

The ousting that really matters isn't happening.

Re:Good Riddance ... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 2 years ago | (#41966981)

That sort of attitude may have worked in a "one trick" company like Apple

Call it "one trick" it seems like a negative.
Call it "focus", it seems like a positive.

Re:Good Riddance ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967361)

Focus on a turd still only produces a turd.

That's why Apple's share price is in freefall, because the world is sick of iTurds.

Not you it seems, you must love turd.

Re:Good Riddance ... (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41967119)

Hmm!

I don't have any inside information here, but lots of reports suggest that Microsoft's top executives are "team players" like scorpions in a bottle.

Re:Good Riddance ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967205)

Posting anonymously because... well...

I think you a word. Or a sentence.

Seriously, unless your slashdot-public email address has "@microsoft.com" on it, why would you need to post this anonymously?

Re:Good Riddance ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967421)

You must be confused and your "one trick" must be referring to Microsoft and Windows. Because besides Windows I can't think of any other world changing tricks from them except for, maybe XBox which is a mild success in North America. Apple on the other hand has made their mark with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Not a fanboy. But calling them a one trick company sounds like you have set your objectivity aside, donned your flame suit and are asking for a flame war.

When will the other Steve get bounced? (4, Insightful)

Ingenimus Prime (2632659) | about 2 years ago | (#41966741)

As an MS SQL developer, I thought I'd already seen the height of IDE inanity, but with Win8 they managed to make it ever worse, requiring even more clicks to perform even the most basic tasks, and frustrate users who simply want to 'get back' to where they started. It's good they fired the guy, Win8 may be different than Win7 (which does not totally suck, but it's still heavily MS'd), but I don't see it as an improvement, or an innovation, just... different. They way I see it, MS will continue down this point-click-click-click-click paradigm, forever making things more difficult and frustrating to do. They should be trying to SIMPLIFY their interface and experience, not 'Techify' it with junk that only makes the user work harder to do the same work. It's a wonder they don't get that.

Re:When will the other Steve get bounced? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41966815)

Of course they get that. But the OS doesn't meaningfully don't control workflow. That's an application issue, that comes next. In particular "click" i.e. mouse is something they need to diversify.

Re:When will the other Steve get bounced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966975)

Real SQL Server developers write scripts, the IDE is for managers and MBA types.

Re:When will the other Steve get bounced? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41967485)

less clicks is such a basic goal. Every iteration microsoft makes more and more clicks necessary to do anything. And why are their more clicks? More intuitive? Nope. Just appears to be change to say it is different.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41966833)

Does that mean we get the Start menu back?

Re:So... (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41967069)

It's more likely that they scrap the whole desktop with 9.

Windows becoming irrelevant (2)

mutherhacker (638199) | about 2 years ago | (#41966873)

With OpenGL gaining popularity windows is becoming more and more irrelevant, and I guess that's a good thing.
A few hours ago I downloaded Haiku-OS to give it a spin.

Had Only Good Things to Say... (5, Interesting)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#41967005)

Sinofsky had only good things to say about his former employer

When I was laid off years ago, in order to get my severance package, I had to sign an agreement to *not* say bad things about the company in the press. I imagine this guy had $Millions on the line if he does say anything disparaging. Hell, if the MS lawyers are any good, they made sure that any companies that he forms within N years have to use MS products exclusively. (or at least for the public facing computers)

Re:Had Only Good Things to Say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41967275)

Speaking ill of your former employer can only make you look bad to future employers. If I'm giving an interview and someone talks bad about their current/former employer I count that against them. It's not an immediate thumbs down for the candidate but it's not helpful. It's just part of being a professional.

Others comming back? (1)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41967291)

I wonder if this means that some others who left in the recent past, like J Allard or Ray Ozzie will be coming back. The rumors were that Sinofsky vigorously opposed their plans, and they left after Balmer decided to back Sinofsky's way rather than them.

windows 8 is failing in the marketplace (2)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41967467)

microsoft is mad and fires guy who was in charge of it. Seems plausible.
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