Feeds

Sinofsky's new blogski: Windows 8 king reborn as management guru

Ex-Microsoft exec knows all about 'bringing products to market'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

What next for the technology executive who saddled his previous employer with a controversial flagship operating system, polarised management and swiftly left under a cloud? Telling others how to build successful products, of course.

Former Windows chief Steve Sinofsky has launched himself as a product development expert with a blog titled Learning by Shipping, which he describes as "thoughts and perspectives on product development, management and the process of bringing new products to market".

The ex-exec said his website is a continuation of writing and blogging he did while at Microsoft on the development of Office, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The blog's title is similar to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' quip about artists and shipping products.

Sinofsky has already written a whole book on product development strategy, One Strategy: Organization Planning and Decision Making, with Harvard Business School Prof Marco Iansiti.

In December the former Microsoftie tweeted he will be teaching at Harvard as an executive in residence while also writing and conducting research. Sinofsky said he won’t go into “the past regarding Microsoft” for his new blog and promised that he “will work to keep posts free of snark and ad hoc criticisms in hopes that the comments and back and forth will be the same”.

During his time Sinofsky successfully got the Office and Windows teams shipping code to deadline and helped lift Microsoft out of what he now calls “post-Vista recovery”.

However, Sinofsky left the software giant rather suddenly in November, and without adequate explanation, just three weeks after the launch of Windows 8 and its Surface hardware. His rapid exit led to the surprise promotion of underling Julie Larson Green, who now heads the $14bn Windows division.

There were rumours of a clash between Sinofsky and Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, who wrote a brief farewell to his Windows chief in a memo to staff. The normally reserved Sinofsky has denied he was forced out as the result of a failed power play to run other groups inside Microsoft beyond the Windows family.

Sinofsky was also a polarising figure who failed to win over fellow executives; his management philosophy led to a reorganisation of Microsoft’s product structure during with a cast of middle-ranking execs were sidelined or forced out.

As for Windows 8, Sinofsky has given Microsoft an operating system whose success is far from guaranteed and that, at last count in the fourth quarter of 2012, was not selling in the kinds of numbers Microsoft had hoped for.

The new operating system has divided the industry and users in its attempt to marry a touchscreen user interface with the classic mouse-driven Windows design. Meanwhile, its Surface laptop-cum-tablet competes with loyal PC dealers and distribution channel partners who’ve helped drive Windows’ success in the past.

Perhaps Sinofsky’s forthcoming advice will include the following top tip: always have an escape plan. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.