Former President of the Windows Division Steven Sinofsky was interviewed at The All Things Digital Conference run by Apple lover Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Microsoft did not have an official presence at the conference this year, but in the past Sinofsky used the conference to preview new versions of Windows. There interview runs a little over 41 minutes, and my recommendation is not to watch. I’m a fan of Sinofsky’s, but ultimately this was a boring interview with little new information surfacing. Half the interview is spent try to goad Sinofsky into trash talking Microsoft, which he does not do at all. The other half focuses on talking about problems with technology companies in general at a higher level.
Sinofsky joined Microsoft straight out of college and spent over 20 years there, we may never know why he left, but he is certainly still emotionally attached to the company. My favorite line in the interview was where Sinofsky says “It’s hard to be disappointed at sell a 100 Million of something,” when talking about Windows 8. He also does say, “we’re all HTC one users,” but in the context of the interview, he is referring to individuals at the conference. Try to ignore other blogs with click-bait headlines about this interview, if you watch it in context nothing new really came out.
Currently Sinofsky is on what he calls a ‘sabbatical’ spending time teaching at Harvard. He also says he is in learning mode by spending time in Silicon Valley and dabbling a little bit in Venture Capital. Steven took two sabbaticals before, once in 1988 and once in 2004 to spend time in China.
I miss his leadership at Microsoft and he is certainly was one of the few executives at Microsoft who knew how to handle a hostile interview. But that may be a discussion for another blog post.