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Analysts divine traces of Windows 8 weakness, ego clash in Sinofsky exit

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 14, 2012
Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's top Windows executive, abruptly left the company Monday, prompting a flurry reaction from long-time Microsoft watchers about why Sinofsky is gone and what happens now.

Others saw a silver lining in Sinofsky's leave-taking, however it came about.

"Sinofsky was said to alienate [independent software vendors, independent hardware vendors], retail partners and customers with his Microsoft-first attitude," said Moorhead. "Partners wanted a bit more empathy and less Apple-like behavior, [so] many will be happy to see him leave."

Most had similar thoughts.

"Frankly, Sinofsky made the company more closed, and more likely to share direction only after that direction had been so heavily committed to that there was no turning back," observed Gillen. "The [Windows] division seemed to be enamored with how Apple brought products to market -- meaning operate in relative silence until announce."

But even with the clues read, the entrails studied and the tea leaves turned over, analysts still worked in the dark, as one acknowledged.

"Maybe Sinofsky was trying to do the right thing, but the wrong way," speculated Silver. "It didn't reduce the sniping within Microsoft by giving him more responsibility. That's not necessarily a great corporate culture. So will it go back to more sniping or less now that he's gone?

"And can they still grab the excitement that Apple has in the market? Windows 8 clearly didn't do it. But they have to figure out where the problems are," Silver said.


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