Steven Sinofsky (born in 1965, age 45–46) has been the President of the Windows Division at Microsoft Cooperation since September 2008. He is responsible for the development and marketing of Windows Operating System, Windows Live, and Internet Explorer.
1) Info about Education:
Sinofsky received his bachelors degree from Cornell University (Arts and Sciences, 1987) and a masters degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1989).
2) Info about Career:
In July 1989, Steven Sinofsky joined Microsoft Cooperation as a software design engineer.
In 1994, when the Office Product Unit was formed, Steven Sinofsky joined the team as the director of program management, and led the design of the shared technologies in Microsoft Office 95 and Microsoft Office 97. He spent about four years as a software design engineer and project leader in the Development Tools group, where he helped lead the development of the first versions of the Microsoft Foundation Classes C library for Microsoft Windows
and Microsoft Visual C .
Steven Sinofsky previously oversaw the development of the Microsoft Office system of programs, servers and services, responsible for the product development of Microsoft Office 2007 and its new ribbon UI. Prior to that he also oversaw the development of Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2000.
Steven Sinofsky has been actively involved in recruiting for Microsoft. His particular task was to
convince engineers not to move to Google. He has blogged in detail about his efforts on Steven Sinofsky's Microsoft TechTalk, about what it's like to be a Microsoft employee, and what new hires in general most of the time never suspect or know about Microsoft, Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Windows.
3) Info about Steven Sinofsky at the Windows division:
Steven Sinofsky became the president of the Windows division in September 2008. His first heavily-involved projects included Windows Live Wave 3 and Internet Explorer 8. He also leaded the development of the next major version of Windows to come after Windows Vista, Windows 7.
Steven Sinofsky's philosophy on Windows 7 was to not make any promises about the product or even discuss anything about the product until Microsoft was sure that it felt like a quality product. This was a radical departure from Microsoft's typical way of handling in-development versions of Windows, which was to publicly share all plans and details about it early in development cycle. He also refrained from labeling versions of Windows "major" or "minor", and to instead just call them releases.
Under Steven Sinofsky's leadership, the Windows Division successfully shipped the successor to Windows Vista, Windows 7, which received universally positive reception and praise among technology enthusiasts and mainstream users and currently has a rapidly growing user-base of over 450 million. The success of Windows 7 contributed to record-breaking revenue earnings for Microsoft in 2010.
Steven Sinofsky's successful leadership-style has influenced many other Microsoft divisions to follow his principles and practices on product development.
Steven Sinofsky and Windows executive Jon DeVaan worked as editors for the Engineering Windows 7.
4) Steven Sinofsky's introduction on Window 8:
"Many are interested in Windows 8 for ARM processors. Everything we showcased today at BUILD also runs on the ARM-based Windows PCs being created by ARM partners and PC manufacturers. Windows 8 running on ARM will ultimately be available with ARM-based hardware that you can purchase. ARM requires a deeper level of integrated engineering between hardware and software, as each ARM device is unique, and Windows allows this uniqueness to shine through. The new development tools enable you to start today to build Metro style applications that will seamlessly run on x86 (32 and 64 bit) or ARM architectures. Even if you use native C/C code, these tools will enable Metro style apps to target specific hardware if you choose. As new PCs become available for testing, PC manufacturers will develop seed programs for developers."
5) Discussion on the potential of Steven Sinofsky to be next CEO of Mircosoft:
One person who knows Steven Sinofsky says that he looks up to Steve Jobs and emulates him in some ways — he prefers a Japanese-style simplicity and lack of clutter, and takes careful control of his public appearance with a consistent uniform of a v-neck sweater and solid coloured undershirt.
The only trouble with this comparison, according to detractors, is that Steven Sinofsky lacks the vision of Steve Jobs. His products keep the business going, but they don’t inspire.
One person who left recently puts it like this: “His delivery track record is exceptional. But the excitement level is not. There hasn’t been a lot of excitement around his products.”A former exec explains, “He’s not a creative guy, he’s not going to inspire creativity in others.” A different former exec says Steven Sinofsky’s strengths are elsewhere. “Steven Sinofsky is much, much stronger at fixing and refining and tuning and improving.”
Windows 8 system is Steven Sinofsky’s chance to change that perception. It has a fresh design for touch screens that was borrowed from Windows Phone — it’s called Metro, and it looks nothing like the Windows you’re used to seeing.
Windows 8 system also runs on the super-efficient ARM processors that power most tablets like the iPad — a huge shift for a product that was once so wedded to Intel’s microprocessor architecture that outsiders coined “Wintel” to describe the two.
Credit Steven Sinofsky for being willing to take these risks. Former Windows leader Brad Silverberg thinks that Windows 8 system is Steven Sinofsky’s chance to prove he has vision. “Steven Sinofsky has already done a great job coming over to the Windows Group, expanding the role of Windows to tablets and taking the Metro UI from Xbox and Windows Phone and bringing it into Windows. Those are huge steps forward to the company and Windows, and I attribute them to Steven Sinofsky’s ability to look ahead.” Not that it’s going to be easy. One former exec says that revitalising Windows is “the biggest challenge and broadest scale in the history of modern business.”
Nobody wants to be dubbed the future king while the current king is still on the throne. It’s the quickest way to the dungeon. Steve Ballmer has told Microsoft executives and said in public that he has no plans to retire until his youngest kid enters college, which means 2017 or so. But succession planning has almost certainly begun. And if Bill Gates is any guide, Microsoft will telegraph its intentions early.
Bill Gates handed the CEO reins to Ballmer in 2000. In 2006, he announced his plans to retire from full-time duties and named Ray Ozzie as his successor in the Chief Software Architect role. But he didn’t actually step away from day-to-day duties at Microsoft until 2008.
If Steve Ballmer is going to follow the same slow transition plan, he’d start talking about succession in 2015 — ample time to see if Windows 8 is a hit, a flop, or somewhere in between.Unless Windows 8 system is a disaster, Steven Sinofsky is probably next in line.
“He’s absolutely the next CEO of Microsoft,” says one former exec.
“He’s definitely the heir-apparent,” says another person who came into Microsoft through an acquisition and worked there for several years.
A different former exec agreed, but said Steven Sinofsky could use a peer to help him out.
“The company was at its best with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer together. I would love to see that kind of symbiotic leadership happen there again, it’s been lacking for too long. Not only is Windows bigger than one person, Microsoft has been bigger than one person for a long time — and arguably always was.”
If not Steven Sinofsky, who?
One other name did come up a couple of times: Paul Maritz, who was one of Microsoft’s top leaders when he stepped down in 1999. He went on to become the CEO of VMWare, which competes with Microsoft in the infrastructure software business. He is widely respected among Microsoft employees who were there during his reign, and a lot of people think he has the vision to do innovative things.
As one person put it, “If you could lure Paul Maritz away from VMWare to come back to Microsoft, that would … receive widespread and external support. I don’t know if it’s feasible, as Bill Gates’ relationship with Paul Maritz deteriorated as Paul Maritz became a competitor.” Another agrees: “If Steven Sinofsky became CEO it would be a signal to the company and the people in the company, we are just going to be machinery, shipping stuff that we have been shipping. If you got Paul Maritz in there, you would end up with a very different company.”
The question is — do Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, the board of directors, and shareholders want Microsoft to be a very different company?
The success or failure of Windows 8 system will determine the answer.
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