Summary: Microsoft promotes Sinofsky from the bottom in order to fill in a gap of presidencies (Windows leadership)
Microsoft’s Sinofsky is one interesting figure and probably not as inherently malicious as Brad Silverberg for example. To give just a sample of his deeds, here is Sinofsky’s role in the discussion about software patents versus rivals to Office, as thoroughly covered last month [1, 2]. Here he is telling Bill Gates about Netscape and Corel, leading to a discussion about “attack groups” against Microsoft rivals.
For whatever it’s worth, Sinofsky is now becoming the man who will lead the sequel to Vista, of which he was a critic. Many Windows managers like Allchin, Poole and Valentine quit Microsoft, so this basically shows a man approaching a seat that others seemingly refuse to take and even abandoned. They too understand that Windows is a mess and adding some new layers to Vista will not work. It’s an immense marketing challenge because the reality behind Vista 7 is too darn scary, never mind the effect of the current economy. If the press was to be accurate back in 2005-2006, Windows Vista would be on almost everyone’s PC these days and GNU/Linux would be “dead” (“last nail on the coffin” is a phrase AstroTurfers truly love). The hype behind Vista 7 nicely resembles what Microsoft did for Vista 3 years ago in order to propel perception. It evokes fear in the minds of rivals, leading to defeatism, surrender, lack or morale, and absence of popular support. Remember what Microsoft’s evangelism philosophy
[PDF] was admittedly based on.
“The hype behind Vista 7 nicely resembles what Microsoft did for Vista 3 years ago in order to propel perception.”Mary Jo Foley seems hopeful that Sinofsky’s promotion will save Windows, whose market share keeps eroding (losing mostly to Apple in developed countries and primarily to GNU/Linux in developing countries) and price keeps dropping to almost $0, if not negative pricing (kickbacks). The very fact that he is promoted from the bottom — combined with his scarce involvement at Microsoft in the past — is indicative of the observation that Microsoft is running out of people sufficiently senior (in this specific company) and capable enough to hold down this type of job. Top executives keep fleeing on an almost weekly basis (very recent examples in [1, 2, 3]).
One reader explains to us by mail: “Following Windows Vista’s troubles, Sinofsky has pushed the Windows team it to be more selective and deliberate in its work on the PC operating system. Writing to Ballmer in February 2007, Sinofsky analyzed Windows Vista’s problems and provided what would amount to a blueprint for the company’s approach to Windows 7 development.”