Former Windows boss Sinofsky happy with Windows 8 sales
At the D11 conference, Steven Sinofsky said it’s too early to pick
winners and losers as the PC industry evolves with new form factors.
|Former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky, speaking at the D11 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
To hear former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky tell it, Windows 8 is
doing just fine despite analyst reports that PC sales have declined, in
part, because of tepid consumer interest in the seven-month-old operating system.
“It’s hard for me to look at selling 100 million of something and not
be happy,” Sinofsky said at D11 conference today, according to AllThingsD’s live blog
of his conversation. (Microsoft said earlier this month it sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses in the six months since its introduction.)
Asked why those
Windows 8 hasn’t revived PC sales overall, something both Wall Street and market analysts had expected, Sinofsky suggested patience.
“It will take a long time for things to play out,” Sinofsky said. “It’s
exciting but it means while it is going on you have to resist the urge
to pick winners and losers.”
Earlier today, Microsoft began to shift course some with Windows 8.
It offered up a series of new features and functions for Windows 8 that
will come in an update later this year, addressing some shortcomings of the operating system.
Perhaps the biggest reset in Windows 8.1 will be a so-called “Start
tip,” that something of a half-step toward bringing back the Start
button that many critics wanted. Clicking on the Start tip won’t launch
the familiar Start menu, found in older versions of Windows. But it will
take them to the PC’s Start screen that they can customize.
Sinofsky didn’t discuss the Windows update. Instead he talked more about
software development and some of the challenges of innovating in a
“It’s really just a classic Microsoft
challenge–you have all these people and you want to align them,”
Sinofsky said, according to a live blog of the event
by The Verge. “It’s a management challenge, there’s no shortage of ideas. You have to get them all on the same path.”
Sinofsky didn’t go into detail about his departure from Microsoft
, just a few weeks after Windows 8 launched. A CNET profile
of Sinofsky prior to his departure laid out fights he had with other
Microsoft executives, including Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Sources
said at the time that the company’s senior leadership was increasingly
concerned about Sinofsky’s inability to work across divisions at
At D11, Sinofsky said his exit was his choice.
“You have to pick a time, so I picked a time,” Sinofsky said, according to the AllThingsD blog.
Sinofsky, who is now teaching at Harvard Business School,
isn’t certain what he’ll do next. He compared this time in his life to
an earlier sabbatical he took. He said he’s learning by writing and
“I’m not in a big rush,” he said.