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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 93
    And in related news, Sinofsky and Forstall are forming a band.
  • Reply 2 of 93
    irelandireland Posts: 17,491member
    They don't know if the Forstall decision was last minute.
  • Reply 3 of 93
    axualaxual Posts: 244member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 93

    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 ?!" 

  • Reply 5 of 93
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,076member

    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. 

  • Reply 6 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,833member
    So many things make me wonder exactly what it is Ballmer has on Gates ... ;)
  • Reply 7 of 93
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 93
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    So many things make me wonder exactly what it is Ballmer has on Gates ... image


    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. 

  • Reply 9 of 93
    Does Microsoft have to copy everything Apple does?
  • Reply 10 of 93
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 93


    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.

     

  • Reply 12 of 93


    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! 

  • Reply 13 of 93
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 93
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    drblank wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 93

    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...

  • Reply 16 of 93


    The fact that Ballmer is still around makes me wonder if Gates even cares about Microsoft anymore. Seems like the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is his one and only priority. 


     


    I just can't see how he thinks Ballmer is taking the company down the right road. 

  • Reply 17 of 93
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,833member
    drblank wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 93
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member

    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

  • Reply 19 of 93


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 93
    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.
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