Intel, too, was said to be unhappy with Sinofsky's handling of Windows 8, and the seemingly preferential treatment given to Windows RT for tablets. Indeed, the x86 version of the Surface tablet won't be out until next year, whereas the Windows RT version was launched last month. This gives Microsoft's ARM partners a significant jump on the chip giant.
"It's certainly not crazy to think Intel didn't have any influence over the decision, but it would probably not have been a deciding factor," said Kanter, admitting there was no love lost between Sinofsky and Intel, adding that and that Intel was probably not sad to see him go.
There was also said to be a bit of a personal power struggle between Sinofsky and Ballmer, with Sinofsky purportedly seeing himself as the next CEO and heir apparent, while Ballmer very much saw himself retaining the driving seat for at least the next five to six years before his retirement.
Ballmer and Sinofsky held diametrically opposed visions of Microsoft's future, with Ballmer looking for greater collaboration between the divisions and less of the silo mentality Sinofsky had created inside Windows.
As to Sinofsky's future, that, too, seems uncertain. It would seem unlikely that he would move to Apple, which just fired Scott Forstall, the firm's own version of Sinofsky. He also appears an unlikely fit for either Google or Facebook, which both have very collaborative cultures.
Then again, there's always Yahoo, where the company culture and CEO seem to change every Tuesday and Thursday. Perhaps Marissa Mayer can find a use for him.
Great article, getting to the meat of the matter, as it were. Having read this, even more so than in my response to the other Sinfosky article in EE Times, I'm curious about the future direction of Windows 8.
I guess that giving priority to the WinRT version of the Surface tablet was done to please the casual users soonest. But from my point of view, the x86 Surface is the one that would be most interesting and most distinguished from all the other tablets out there.
I agree with you, Bert, and I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft now did a fair bit of bridge building with Intel. I think the Surface Pro, the x86 version, will ultimately end up being a winning device, and I can't help but feel that those who opt for the RT version will be disappointed. The apps they want won't work, and they'll wonder why they didn't just go Android. If you want a Windows tablet, it has to run windows apps properly. The Intel version will. I believe that by ousting Sinofsky, Microsoft will move closer to Intel again.
Windows RT is a must for Microsoft to not be bound by x86, which is very limited, almost nonexistent, currently in mobile non-PC markets. Windows 8 did not exclude Intel, so I don't know the big deal there.
From my perspective, Microsoft took a few things that tablets do well: reading, browsing and light weight gaming, without really understanding why the tablet has those features, and stuffed them into a PC OS. The 1985 era single application up at a time is largely due to the limitations of processing power in tablets. It's not there because people want to exclusively operate that way.
On a PC, it feels awkwardly hacked on without much thought for useability. It smells of a product designed based on the vision of an out of touch person.
If Sinofsky was that out of touch person providing the vision, then Microsoft and most of their customers will be better off with him being someplace else.
Microsoft is going in a new direction and putting their own way of doing things in areas that they really should stay out of. Who wants to have a buggy smartphone that needs constant updates? And what company needs a top officer in any area who does not understand about having all parts of the company work together at least a bit. So it is just as well to dump him, he certainly won't starve, or suffer any real hardship, no matter how long he is out of work.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.