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Gates' support of Ballmer led to Microsoft ouster of Sinofsky - report

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
Microsoft decided to oust Windows head Steve Sinofsky after former CEO Bill Gates reportedly expressed his support for current CEO Steve Ballmer.

Behind-the-scenes details of Microsoft's executive shakeup were reported on Tuesday by Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, citing "several high-level sources." Gates' support apparently came from an effort to encourage future collaboration between Microsoft's different teams.

"While Gates—who is now chairman of Microsoft's board—has had a longtime and very close relationship with Sinofsky, he supported the move by Ballmer to promote more integration of Microsoft's other divisions and also involve other top executives more significantly than ever before in the planning and development of the next version of Windows," Swisher wrote.

Sinofsky


Sinofsky reportedly earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, though he was also regarded as "deeply brilliant." Ballmer was also said to have his own issues with Sinofsky, and allegedly clashed with him on numerous occasions.

Microsoft announced on Monday that Sinofsky was leaving the company immediately—a bombshell that immediately prompted speculation that the circumstances were similar to Apple's ousting of iOS chief Scott Forstall late last month. Like Sinofsky, Forstall was also labeled as someone who was not universally liked.

But while Forstall's ouster was said to be a "fairly last minute" decision, sources told Swisher that Sinofsky's departure had been in the works for the last several weeks. His exit comes after a number of major product launches from Microsoft, most notably the Windows 8 operating system and Surface tablet.
post #2 of 76
And in related news, Sinofsky and Forstall are forming a band.
post #3 of 76
They don't know if the Forstall decision was last minute.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 76
Certainly MS needed to shake things up ... time will tell if this improves matters, but time is not something MS has a lot of these days.
post #5 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...
"While Gates ? who is now chairman of Microsoft's board ? has had a ...mmediately ? a bombshell ...

All the stupid ? random ?? punctuation that appear in articles is making them hard ? to read ?!" 

post #6 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They don't know if the Forstall decision was last minute.

 

Don't you know? When enough shitty blogs repeat an assumption based on he-said she-said bullshit, it becomes a matter of 'fact'. Journalism is dead. 

post #7 of 76
So many things make me wonder exactly what it is Ballmer has on Gates ... 1wink.gif
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

And in related news, Sinofsky and Forstall are forming a band.

Well, Forstall is still a Senior Advisor to Tim Cook, whereas Sinofsky left and I don't know if he will still be used as an advisor.

post #9 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So many things make me wonder exactly what it is Ballmer has on Gates ... 1wink.gif

I think Gates is afraid of Ballmer.  Ballmer can be a little intimidating to someone like Bill.  Bill is a little passive and Ballmer is VERY aggressive.  Plus, I don't know if Sinofsky has the CEO attitude Microsoft wants.

 

I guess maybe Bill like Ballmer's Monkee dance routine. 

post #10 of 76
Does Microsoft have to copy everything Apple does?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #11 of 76

Here's what people need to REALIZE.

 

Out of Windows total market share of XP, 7, and Vista users, only a certain portion of those people are going to switch to WIndows 8.  If they don't switch, they are POTENTIALLY OS X users.  XP users will be forced soon to decide what they are going to do because Microsoft is about to cut Windows XP support.  When they do this, that means, no more drivers, no more bug fixes, no more enhancements, no more security updates.  Basically NO MORE XP.

 

What's their choice? Windows 7, Windows 8 or OS X.  Some of those people WILL switch to OS X.  How many of them will switch?  I don't know, but I'm sure Apple will eventually find out.  There are still several hundred million XP boxes that will get switched to OS X within the next year is my guess.


Windows 7, same thing.  Some will switch to OS X and some will eventually switch to Windows 8 or they might have to wait 3 years to see what Windows 9 is.

 

What's Windows 9? Who knows.  I'm sure they'll make their announcement in the next year or two as to what WIndows 9 will be.  Maybe Windows 7 renamed.  OR a completely new GUI to REALLY piss people off.

post #12 of 76

Scoble of Scobilizer fame is saying his contacts at MS are shocked. He is shocked.

 

I get the impression that Sinofsky had his act together. This seems kind of sad.
 

post #13 of 76

I actually suspect it was Sinofsky's decision to leave, not an MS initiated 'shake up'.

 

It was probably triggered by the total train wreck and embarrassment of the "keynote" introducing the Surface, where it was apparent to me it had been rushed out the door unfinished, and probably against Sinofsky's wishes (and he has to take the credit (or blame) for that). Windows 8 is a schizophrenic mess, with most people I talk to saying that Metro is a worthless, confusing layer of distracting and pointless eye-candy… Ballmer's sudden pressure to "consolidate everything" is causing no small amount of problems, I'm sure...

 

To be honest, I'd guess that it's Ballmer that is "hard to work with"... Not Sinofsky.

 

Someone else commented that Ballmer probably intimidates Gates, and I can easily imagine some truth to that as well. He's a very aggressive personality. And he can out double-speak ANYONE… who knows what he has that Gates "supports"… but it sure isn't the track record of the past 5 years or so. MS is slowly listing, and given its current trajectory, will be relegated to the irrelevant sidelines within a short couple of years...

 

Here's wishing both Sinofsky and Forstall all the best. They're both talented individuals who have contributed quite a lot to my modern "computing device" experience. Who knows, maybe they'll form a new company together. That'd be interesting! 

post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They don't know if the Forstall decision was last minute.

 

I heard from someone who heard from someone else that Forstall's ousting has been on the cards since 1874. Trust me, I'm a blogger.

post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Here's what people need to REALIZE.

Out of Windows total market share of XP, 7, and Vista users, only a certain portion of those people are going to switch to WIndows 8.  If they don't switch, they are POTENTIALLY OS X users.  XP users will be forced soon to decide what they are going to do because Microsoft is about to cut Windows XP support.  When they do this, that means, no more drivers, no more bug fixes, no more enhancements, no more security updates.  Basically NO MORE XP.

What's their choice? Windows 7, Windows 8 or OS X.  Some of those people WILL switch to OS X.  How many of them will switch?  I don't know, but I'm sure Apple will eventually find out.  There are still several hundred million XP boxes that will get switched to OS X within the next year is my guess.

Windows 7, same thing.  Some will switch to OS X and some will eventually switch to Windows 8 or they might have to wait 3 years to see what Windows 9 is.

What's Windows 9? Who knows.  I'm sure they'll make their announcement in the next year or two as to what WIndows 9 will be.  Maybe Windows 7 renamed.  OR a completely new GUI to REALLY piss people off.

I don't know if it will be a strong switch to OS X, you're talking about hold-outs that haven't bought a computer in five years or more.

I don't like Windows 8 either. It's clearly a tablet/touch screen OS, its mouse and keyboard paradigm is inconsistent and counterintuitive. I bet they didn't even try to watch a new user try to operate it to see where the weaknesses are. It doesn't help that so many controls are hidden unless you know where to put your cursor. It doesn't work well in a virtualized situation for that reason. I was told by an MS fan that all the answers were in the video, but I didn't realize that I needed to watch the intro video when I never did for any previous version.

I want to replace a Windows computer with a newer one, it runs a particular piece of equipment, and they're all Windows 8 now. To downgrade to Windows 7, you need Pro, I think it's an extra $70 above what a lot of computers offer, so I have to pay to downgrade to an older version.

At least there is a 3rd party add-on that restores the start menu. I'll have to check to see if that lets me avoid the tile interface completely.
post #16 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

Scoble of Scobilizer fame is saying his contacts at MS are shocked. He is shocked.

 

I get the impression that Sinofsky had his act together. This seems kind of sad.
 

 

It is pretty odd... from introducing the "all new Surface Tablet" to GONE in what, 4 or 5 months?

 

He didn't seem happy at that Surface keynote presentation. I think it was rushed out by Ballmer, and that's why SInofsky decided he'd had enough. He sees the writing on the wall now. The Surface is pretty much kaput before it even started (I expect the sustained sales numbers will be frighteningly small), and MS is a slow-sinking Titanic.

 

As long as Ballmer is at the helm, that's the only trajectory I can see for that company. If I were Sinofsky, I'd probably be bailing too...

post #17 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I think Gates is afraid of Ballmer.  Ballmer can be a little intimidating to someone like Bill.  Bill is a little passive and Ballmer is VERY aggressive.  Plus, I don't know if Sinofsky has the CEO attitude Microsoft wants.

I guess maybe Bill like Ballmer's Monkee dance routine. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Ballmer has some pretty damning knowledge and proof of things Billy did way back when, that Billy doesn't want out there.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #18 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I wouldn't be surprised if Ballmer has some pretty damning knowledge and proof of things Billy did way back when, that Billy doesn't want out there.

ballmer has been with microsoft long enough to be guilty of anything bad they did

post #19 of 76

Well, you don't mention the application software side of things.

 

Most everything runs on both Windows and OSX these days.  I use Mathematica every day so I wouldn't hesitate to switch (back) to Apple from Windows.

 

However Internet Explorer integrates really well with OneNote.  At first I thought that combination of functionality would just be useful for fun clipping things off the net.  But I've come to enjoy it very much, and I use OneNote much more than I ever anticipated.

 

I strongly suspect Apple is going to win big-time over the next year or two, and Windows is going to suffer.  Microsoft is too  unfocused and has a history of abandoning products (I liked the Model 100 laptop which went away, lots of people liked Zune and that weird "social" phone thing never even got a chance).  But that OneNote/IE combination is a good combination and some of us will be slow moving over just because of that software option in the Windows world.

post #20 of 76
Microsoft's stock price has flatlined since the year 2000 which is when Ballmer took over as CEO. I have to wonder if he's got the confidence of Microsoft's employees at this juncture. They used to automatically get rich as their stock options rapidly appreciated in value. That hasn't happened since 2000.
post #21 of 76

Frankly, it doesn't matter whether it was Sinofsky or MS driving the change, it happened and now the real question will be where the change leads.

 

The comments from Ballmer wanting more integration with xbox makes sense on one level (one part of the consumer side) and is completely crazy for the enterprise side.  I feel bad for MS - they've found themselves forced into a corner after all these years because of their business model that allowed such a wide ranging degree of product fragmentation (both hardware and software related).  They're finally at that point where they have to shut off the spigot to such a broad user base (XP) and both hardware and software limitations are going to make a lot of people really unhappy.

 

Apple went through this when they stopped supporting PowerPC based Macs, but their numbers were so much lower.  I can't imagine the headache a MS call center tech has to put up with, especially with those die-in-the-wool old-school windows users who just can't figure out how to move forward away from the "start" command.

 

On the enterprise side, they'll see the same reluctance to move forward because they've already got millions of tech people who have "figured out how to get around the system bugs" in XP and will have to do more work in implementing a new system.

 

I wish them luck, because they're going to need it.

post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I think Gates is afraid of Ballmer.  Ballmer can be a little intimidating to someone like Bill.  Bill is a little passive and Ballmer is VERY aggressive.  Plus, I don't know if Sinofsky has the CEO attitude Microsoft wants.

 

I guess maybe Bill like Ballmer's Monkee dance routine. 


History suggests that Gates has not been afraid of Ballmer in the past and that hasn't changed. The two have had a few well publicized "debates". Gates is no shrinking violet himself.

post #23 of 76
Sinofsky's end could be tied to the fact Windows 8 is not doing well, without a start menu it's difficult for MS users to begin they're work. They way Microsoft operates, I'm sure some scapegoat was sacrificed for Vista's failure as well.
post #24 of 76
We don't know whether Forstall's ouster was sudden or not but we do know in the official press release Apple never thanked Forstall for his time with the company. This is all the press release said: "Apple also announced that Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim." Leads me to believe Forstall is not leaving on good terms and this "advisor" position is to keep some other company from poaching him (non compete clauses are illegal in California).
post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Well, Forstall is still a Senior Advisor to Tim Cook, whereas Sinofsky left and I don't know if he will still be used as an advisor.

 

I wouldn't assume that he is actually advising Tim Cook on anything.  If Forstall is actually "in the building" he is likely only the senior monitor of the water cooler.

post #26 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Does Microsoft have to copy everything Apple does?

 

I think they were hoping the headlines would include something like, "Microsoft, who just released super-awesome Windows 8 which everyone should totally upgrade to."

post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I want to replace a Windows computer with a newer one, it runs a particular piece of equipment, and they're all Windows 8 now. To downgrade to Windows 7, you need Pro, I think it's an extra $70 above what a lot of computers offer, so I have to pay to downgrade to an older version.
 

If you have a place Fry's Electronics near you, you can obtain a left over OEM version of 7 by buying something small like a case fan and then you qualify as a computer builder thus allowing the OEM version at a discount. I think there are some online retailers who also use that workaround, maybe New Egg or Tiger Direct.

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post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Here's what people need to REALIZE.

 

Out of Windows total market share of XP, 7, and Vista users, only a certain portion of those people are going to switch to WIndows 8.  If they don't switch, they are POTENTIALLY OS X users.  XP users will be forced soon to decide what they are going to do because Microsoft is about to cut Windows XP support.  When they do this, that means, no more drivers, no more bug fixes, no more enhancements, no more security updates.  Basically NO MORE XP.

 

What's their choice? Windows 7, Windows 8 or OS X.  Some of those people WILL switch to OS X.  How many of them will switch?  I don't know, but I'm sure Apple will eventually find out.  There are still several hundred million XP boxes that will get switched to OS X within the next year is my guess.


Windows 7, same thing.  Some will switch to OS X and some will eventually switch to Windows 8 or they might have to wait 3 years to see what Windows 9 is.

 

What's Windows 9? Who knows.  I'm sure they'll make their announcement in the next year or two as to what WIndows 9 will be.  Maybe Windows 7 renamed.  OR a completely new GUI to REALLY piss people off.

 

I don't think end of support for XP means any significant bump in the adoption of post-XP operating systems. It's not as if an XP machine is suddenly going to stop functioning. I support a lot of systems - many of which are old enough that nothing higher than XP makes sense - including some that are not even connected to the internet. Would I like to replace these all with Macs or at least newer Windows, sure, but the nature of the customers is such that budget constraints do not allow it. If I cannot reload and properly update XP on a system that had a dead hard drive etc then that is perhaps a reason to begin eliminating XP, but not as a proactive program of replacement but rather through attrition. 

 

Lack of updates for Drivers from MS may also be a non-issue - since I try to get most of my drivers from the OEM website whenever possible - or from sites like driverguide or cnet if necessary. The main thing would be the 200 or so updates from MS from the base media that I have available when reloading some old system that didn't come with restore media - or had a restore partition on the now failed hard drive - and or with no backup to restore from. Then again, many of my XP systems are not critical enough to even warrant a backup. 

post #29 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

All the stupid ? random ?? punctuation that appear in articles is making them hard ? to read ?!" 

 

Not on my system. Everything looks fine. The trouble is on your end my friend.

post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
(non compete clauses are illegal in California).

I wish I'd known that. I've been honoring one for the last five years which expires next month. I would have liked to stick it to those guys as they shorted me $2,000 which is why we parted ways. Just enough to piss you off and not enough to bother suing for.

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post #31 of 76
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
The trouble is on your end my friend.

 

Not in the slightest. It's a problem with all articles when they're moved from their own pages to the forum. There's a character translation error for apostrophes, quotes, m-dashes (which we can't even type ourselves), and even semicolons, I think. No idea why, but whatever; I just fix them.

 

You're saying you don't sometimes see errant question marks in article threads on the forum? I've edited this one away already.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #32 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I want to replace a Windows computer with a newer one, it runs a particular piece of equipment, and they're all Windows 8 now. To downgrade to Windows 7, you need Pro, I think it's an extra $70 above what a lot of computers offer, so I have to pay to downgrade to an older version.
The fact that Microsoft allows a new PC the ability to downgrade to Windows 7 shows a spectacular lack of confidence in their decision to move toward Windows 8. When Apple makes a decision, there's almost always no going back. Previous hardware support is cut off , and new Macs are tuned to take full advantage of the new OS, with no backward compromises. THAT'S confidence. And much of that is to ensure the user experience is what Aple intends it to be. Can you imagine trying to run Windows 8 with its active live tiles on a PC even a year old?

I got my entire family to switch to OS X by getting them to buy Macs on which they could run Windows during the day, and then play with OS X nights and weekends. The only holdout was a relative that wanted to run a 10 year old peice of software that had non-standard mouse implementation, so that she couldn't operate it in the manner she learned. Once Apple introduced newer Macs with multi-touch gestures that supported any touchpad configuration poor software required, this was no longer an issue, but by that time, she had learned how to use the much more intuitive and consitent Apple software alternative.

MS has spoon-fed their customers for so many years, that with such sweeping changes, they're going to need a lot of luck keeping them with so many alternatives available. It's so sad they think they are competing with Apple, when in reality they are competing against Google, and themselves.
post #33 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

They don't know if the Forstall decision was last minute.

 

Don't you know? When enough shitty blogs repeat an assumption based on he-said she-said bullshit, it becomes a matter of 'fact'. Journalism is dead. 

 

Yeah... I saw Shiller passing a note to Federici in Gym class...

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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
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post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

All the stupid ? random ?? punctuation that appear in articles is making them hard ? to read ?!" 

 

Not on my system. Everything looks fine. The trouble is on your end my friend.

I'm getting a lot of ? also when the stories first appear. I'm pretty sure Tallest goes in and fixes them.Likely the difference is between the forum doctype and charset parameters and the home page doctype.

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post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
The trouble is on your end my friend.

 

Not in the slightest. It's a problem with all articles when they're moved from their own pages to the forum. There's a character translation error for apostrophes, quotes, m-dashes (which we can't even type ourselves), and even semicolons, I think. No idea why, but whatever; I just fix them.

 

You're saying you don't sometimes see errant question marks in article threads on the forum? I've edited this one away already.

Sorry I repeated  the same info before seeing yours. If you notice the charset is UTF-8 on the forum with <doctype= html> whereas on the original story they have a full transitional doctype and no character set. In order to fix the problem the two systems should match. If you do want to use those characters that don't currently work you need to use the Unicode or HTML Entities for those characters.

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post #36 of 76
Thanks for telling me what I need to REALIZE.
post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So many things make me wonder exactly what it is Ballmer has on Gates ... 1wink.gif

that one time.... at band camp....
post #38 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wish I'd known that. I've been honoring one for the last five years which expires next month. I would have liked to stick it to those guys as they shorted me $2,000 which is why we parted ways. Just enough to piss you off and not enough to bother suing for.


FWIW, my boss informed me that if he fired me (here in Europe), the non-compete clause was automatically void. I like my boss for his entirely honest perspectives on life ^^

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribalogical View Post

 

Here's wishing both Sinofsky and Forstall all the best. They're both talented individuals who have contributed quite a lot to my modern "computing device" experience. Who knows, maybe they'll form a new company together. That'd be interesting! 

Call it NEXT or something?

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #40 of 76

The competition ate Microsoft's lunch years ago. 

 

It's already too late. 

 

Windows 8, Surface, and Microsoft's entire, years-late push into mobile has resulted in next to nothing. The whole effort is stillborn, and has been for some time now. 

 

The *real* problem aint Sinofsky. It's Ballmer. And the entire MS board. 

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