Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky calls Apple Silicon strategy 'fearless'

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple's transition to Apple Silicon has caught the attention of many, including former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, who said he was blown away by the move.

Microsoft's Sinofsky calls Apple Silicon strategy fearless
Steven Sinofsky | Image Credit: D. Begley


In the evening following Apple's WWDC 2020 keynote, the former president of the Windows Divison at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, took to Twitter to discuss the importance of Apple's yearly Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and Apple as a whole.

Amidst all the details, installing pre-release, and commentary (including my own) I want to take a moment to reflect on #WWDC putting it in context of the past two decades. Quite simply, what we're seeing is some of the most remarkable product engineering over time in history. 1/ pic.twitter.com/hTrQ1R7Pgv

-- Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi)


He later went on to annotate his Twitter thread in a Medium post. In it, he offers insight as to what sets Apple apart from other companies. Sinofsky believes that Apple has crafted a team that has "done more and executed better" than any other he can name.

This is high praise, considering Sinofsky joined Microsoft in 1989 and continued to work with the company until 2012. He's most well known for overseeing the development of Microsoft Office during his tenure.

He applauds Apple for not being afraid to have a multi-year plan, calling the company "fearless" for openly telling its audience that the transition to Apple Silicon would take two years.

Apple Silicon is Apple's move away from Intel's processors. Apple Silicon provides a large number of benefits, including high-efficiency audio processing, low power video playback, advanced power management, machine learning accelerators, the Neural Engine, the Apple GPU, a unified memory architecture, and much more.

Apple Silicon


Sinofsky calls Tim Cook brave for making the announcement when anything and everything could change in a two-year time frame, not to mention how much could go wrong. He states that Apple is capable of making such moves because it has a culture of having a "point of view."

He commends Apple for taking the time to think about what customers need, not by chasing trends. By doing so, Apple is able to offer a product that provides a lasting service that integrates into a user's life, rather than something that merely fits well within a short-lived trend.

"Apple makes products that customers love and are delighted by, but it makes them by studying technology, the market, and usage to arrive at plans and strategies," Sinofsky writes. "Unlike what you read in textbooks, Apple is much less about responding to micro changes, hype cycles, or even "feedback."

"Apple is a company that has a point of view -- when the point of view lines up with a great product people love, it can become an unstoppable force."

As an example, he cites the transition to 64-bit computing on the consumer-level. Microsoft began the shift around 2003 and continues to support 32-bit to this day. Apple, on the other hand, started requiring developers to make 64-bit apps in 2017 and dropped support for 32-bit apps in 2019 alongside the release of macOS Catalina.

Apple's ability to think differently is a driving force behind their success
Apple's ability to think differently is a driving force behind their success


Sinofsky calls this strategy "fearless," and holds it as the reason Apple will soundly be able to transition to Apple Silicon. Apple's ability to operate under a uniform strategy -- a shared viewpoint and company culture -- enables them to make bold moves. These bold moves push personal computing -- nothing to say of smartphones -- forward.

One of the things that Sinofsky makes sure to highlight is how differently Apple operates compared to other companies. Perhaps what he is most impressed by is Apple's ability to update its products and software consistently. He describes the process as setting long-term goals that are then broken up into a series of short-term goals and useful steps.

Apple does not get derailed the same way other large companies do, and this steely dedication to long-term goals has allowed the company to succeed where many would have failed.

Sinofsky makes it clear to point out that this strategy does not -- and will not -- work for every company. It is a company culture that has been cultivated over several decades, and it has required much more than a shared viewpoint. It takes dedication, teamwork, and endless amounts of research. Sinofsky suggests that it may even take a little bit of magic.

He ends the article with a bit of practical advice.

"There's only one Apple. Don't try to copy," Sinofsky asserts.
mwhiterandominternetpersonMisterKitcat52StrangeDayslolliver
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Sinofsky holds the distinction having one of the biggest demo fails in Microsoft history. I still wince when I think of it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Apple was smart to pull the band aid off--dropping support for legacy 32-bit applications--with the last MacOS release.  It upset some people and didn't look strictly necessary, but it'll make the Apple Silicon transition that much easier.  Now the new hardware won't be saddled with "but the new Macs won't run all your old programs" critique.
    F_Kent_Daderutterjony0repressthiscat52lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 42
    red oakred oak Posts: 888member
    True 

    Apple Silicon is going to be crazy good.  Not just speed, but all the other integrations.  Apple has a real opportunity to drive Mac unit share above 20%.  That would more than double Apple’s annual Mac units.  Plus, gross margins will be better

    Huge financial opportunity
    bulk001jahbladeaderutterjony0repressthiscat52lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 42
    rissriss Posts: 47member
    Tim Cook has hardly any right to take credit for it - he couldn’t even sell it himself during Keynote. This is a direct result of PA Semi acquisition by Apple back in 2008 that was decided by Steve. Plus he also mentioned during Intel transition keynote what OS X life expectancy was back in 2005 (22:55 into WWDC 2005). All of these pieces now came together, the only thing Cook can take credit for is balance sheet and supply chain Apple has today. Product wise this is probably last act from Steve and his ‘skating where the puck is going to be’ mindset
    edited June 2020 bloggerblogelijahgcat52
  • Reply 5 of 42
    techconctechconc Posts: 174member
    "As an example, he cites the transition to 64-bit computing on the consumer-level. Microsoft began the shift around 2003 and continues to support 32-bit to this day. Apple, on the other hand, started requiring developers to make 64-bit apps in 2017 and dropped support for 32-bit apps in 2019 alongside the release of macOS Catalina."

    This comment is a bit disingenuous.  Apple started their transition to 64bit in Mac OS back in 2005 and only in 2019 did it drop support for 32bit.  Yes, that's better than Microsoft's record but not what Sinofsky appears to imply. 

    baconstang
  • Reply 6 of 42
    techconctechconc Posts: 174member
    "As an example, he cites the transition to 64-bit computing on the consumer-level. Microsoft began the shift around 2003 and continues to support 32-bit to this day. Apple, on the other hand, started requiring developers to make 64-bit apps in 2017 and dropped support for 32-bit apps in 2019 alongside the release of macOS Catalina."

    This comment is a bit disingenuous.  Apple started their transition to 64bit in Mac OS back in 2005 and only in 2019 did it drop support for 32bit.  Yes, that's better than Microsoft's record but not what Sinofsky appears to imply. 

  • Reply 7 of 42
    techconctechconc Posts: 174member
    "As an example, he cites the transition to 64-bit computing on the consumer-level. Microsoft began the shift around 2003 and continues to support 32-bit to this day. Apple, on the other hand, started requiring developers to make 64-bit apps in 2017 and dropped support for 32-bit apps in 2019 alongside the release of macOS Catalina."

    This comment is a bit disingenuous.  Apple started their transition to 64bit in Mac OS back in 2005 and only in 2019 did it drop support for 32bit.  Yes, that's better than Microsoft's record but not what Sinofsky appears to imply. 

    neo-tech
  • Reply 8 of 42
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 654member
    Sinofsky holds the distinction having one of the biggest demo fails in Microsoft history. I still wince when I think of it.
    Some people have the ability to move past their failures. Funny that while he can move past some demo failure, you still can’t! Even Apple has had some epic failures. If they were still wincing about it nothing would get done! Get over yourself!
    jahbladeF_Kent_DMisterKitjony0anantksundaramelijahgbaconstangDeelronfastasleepStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 42
    riss said:
    Tim Cook has hardly any right to take credit for it - he couldn’t even sell it himself during Keynote. This is a direct result of PA Semi acquisition by Apple back in 2008 that was decided by Steve. Plus he also mentioned during Intel transition keynote what OS X life expectancy was back in 2005 (22:55 into WWDC 2005). All of these pieces now came together, the only thing Cook can take credit for is balance sheet and supply chain Apple has today. Product wise this is probably last act from Steve and his ‘skating where the puck is going to be’ mindset
    This argument is so played out a dumb it's hard to believe that people still try to push this narrative. This actually isn't a direct result of a single acquisition. Apple bought more than one fabless semiconductor company, Intrinsity was another and those offices in Austin TX are where a bunch of the A-series work is done (just look at Apple job postings). At the time all of this was happening Cook was COO, to act like he didn't have a say in planning of any of this is ridiculous. The whole myth of the infallibility of Jobs while Cook is incompetent is fundamentally flawed because if Jobs picked Cook to take over. If Jobs mad nothing but good decisions then why would he pick someone that couldn't do the job. Cook's tenure speaks for itself. Two of the top three product categories for Apple were after thoughts when Jobs was around and the products driving their growth all came out under Cook. 
  • Reply 10 of 42
    NatkoNatko Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    Firing Sinofsky was one of Microsoft’s stupidest moves ever. He was great leader and a visionary. This is where their downhill ride started.
    tmayMisterKitjony0cat52p-dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Natko said:
    Firing Sinofsky was one of Microsoft’s stupidest moves ever. He was great leader and a visionary. This is where their downhill ride started.
    Firing Dancing Monkey Boy Ballmer, on the other hand...
    neo-techaderuttertmaymwhiteMisterKitDAalsethjony0anantksundarambaconstangp-dog
  • Reply 12 of 42
    F_Kent_DF_Kent_D Posts: 63unconfirmed, member
    bulk001 said:
    Sinofsky holds the distinction having one of the biggest demo fails in Microsoft history. I still wince when I think of it.
    Some people have the ability to move past their failures. Funny that while he can move past some demo failure, you still can’t! Even Apple has had some epic failures. If they were still wincing about it nothing would get done! Get over yourself!
    Well said. Far too many people that would otherwise be levelheaded these days are dwelling so far into the past that we as a country cannot move on and his statement proves he’s just another one of those people. We as a whole need to learn from our mistakes, learn from the past, set the past aside, and move on to a better future because of the history we have learned from. 
    mike1MisterKitjony0Deelrondewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 42
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 311member
    riss said:
    This is a direct result of PA Semi acquisition by Apple back in 2008 that was decided by Steve. 
    This was made possible by the PA Semi acquisition, among others. But I doubt Steve even dreamed that A-series architecture would become so good that it would be possible to move Macintosh to it.

    Tim and the current executive team made the decision. Give 'em credit for it.

    (Especially since, should it flop for some unknown reason, I'm more than sure you'll give Tim the blame...)
    mike1aderuttertmaymwhiteMisterKitDAalsethjony0anantksundarambaconstangDeelron
  • Reply 14 of 42
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Natko said:
    Firing Sinofsky was one of Microsoft’s stupidest moves ever. He was great leader and a visionary. This is where their downhill ride started.
    He was a laughable blowhard and a joke.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,755member
    riss said:
    Tim Cook has hardly any right to take credit for it - he couldn’t even sell it himself during Keynote. This is a direct result of PA Semi acquisition by Apple back in 2008 that was decided by Steve. Plus he also mentioned during Intel transition keynote what OS X life expectancy was back in 2005 (22:55 into WWDC 2005). All of these pieces now came together, the only thing Cook can take credit for is balance sheet and supply chain Apple has today. Product wise this is probably last act from Steve and his ‘skating where the puck is going to be’ mindset
    This argument is so played out a dumb it's hard to believe that people still try to push this narrative. This actually isn't a direct result of a single acquisition. Apple bought more than one fabless semiconductor company, Intrinsity was another and those offices in Austin TX are where a bunch of the A-series work is done (just look at Apple job postings). At the time all of this was happening Cook was COO, to act like he didn't have a say in planning of any of this is ridiculous. The whole myth of the infallibility of Jobs while Cook is incompetent is fundamentally flawed because if Jobs picked Cook to take over. If Jobs mad nothing but good decisions then why would he pick someone that couldn't do the job. Cook's tenure speaks for itself. Two of the top three product categories for Apple were after thoughts when Jobs was around and the products driving their growth all came out under Cook. 
    Thank you. Saved me the trouble of responding to the inane post.
    aderutterjony0fastasleepStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,546member
    We all know, Apple now is so much stronger in every aspect than way back and will continue doing well long as Steve Job's DNA is still embedded into Apple. Tim Cook who closely worked with Steve have shown that Steve's legacy and DNA continues in future.
    As they say, don't bet against FED,similarly don't bet against Apple long as that DNA exists in Apple.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    riss said:
    Tim Cook has hardly any right to take credit for it - he couldn’t even sell it himself during Keynote. This is a direct result of PA Semi acquisition by Apple back in 2008 that was decided by Steve. Plus he also mentioned during Intel transition keynote what OS X life expectancy was back in 2005 (22:55 into WWDC 2005). All of these pieces now came together, the only thing Cook can take credit for is balance sheet and supply chain Apple has today. Product wise this is probably last act from Steve and his ‘skating where the puck is going to be’ mindset
    This argument is so played out a dumb it's hard to believe that people still try to push this narrative. This actually isn't a direct result of a single acquisition. Apple bought more than one fabless semiconductor company, Intrinsity was another and those offices in Austin TX are where a bunch of the A-series work is done (just look at Apple job postings). At the time all of this was happening Cook was COO, to act like he didn't have a say in planning of any of this is ridiculous. The whole myth of the infallibility of Jobs while Cook is incompetent is fundamentally flawed because if Jobs picked Cook to take over. If Jobs mad nothing but good decisions then why would he pick someone that couldn't do the job. Cook's tenure speaks for itself. Two of the top three product categories for Apple were after thoughts when Jobs was around and the products driving their growth all came out under Cook. 
    Very well said. 
    fastasleepiqatedololliverlamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 42
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,274member
    Sinofsky holds the distinction having one of the biggest demo fails in Microsoft history. I still wince when I think of it.
    The blue screen of death fail still goes down as number one! 
    jony0SpamSandwichStrangeDaysp-dogwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 42
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,770member
    Someone's angling for an Apple board seat.  Wouldn't be a bad choice.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,770member
    "He applauds Apple for not being afraid to have a multi-year plan, calling the company "fearless" for openly telling its audience that the transition to Apple Silicon would take two years."

    My first thought hearing Tim Cook announce that timeline was "Osborne".  But they have enough resources to survive any sales slump and it will all be recouped when the new models are released.  They might also see a surge as people grab the last X86 models before the transition to new silicon.
    watto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.