For some good weekend reading, Mary Branscombe has a good story on the history of Internet Explorer. Branscombe got access to many former Microsoft executives who worked on Internet Explorer. While a few years back IE hit a low of under 50% it is beginning to gain marketshare again and is now nearing near 60%. IE11 remains highly competitive especially on touchscreen PCs. Joe Belfiore is now in charge of IE, but since IE7 the public face of the browser had been Dean Hachamovich. Steven Sinofsky and Hachamovich were good friends and Dean reported directly to Sinofsky for many years. They both played an important role in IE’s rehabilitation. Hachamovich went to work for Microsoft Research after Terry Myerson took over Windows. It is interesting to note that IE is also moving a lot faster; IE 10 arrived 18 months after IE 9, IE 11 came along after just a year and ...

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In an unexpected move, former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has brokered a deal with Apple for him and some of his former lieutenants to join Apple. George Grant, Jon DeVaan, Antoine Leblond, and Tami Reller will join Sinofsky in the move to Cupertino.  Sinofsky will be working on the next version of Mac OS. Tim Cook commented briefly the acquisition of the high profile talent: “I met Steven at a Yoga class in Palo Alto and we have become great friends ever since.  It turns out we have a lot in common besides yoga.  We had bosses named Steve; we both love secrecy, great taste in sweaters, and support common causes like gay marriage.  I thought Steven would be a great asset for Apple. Given his experience on Office, I initially asked him to come head the iWork team.  But as our talks progressed, Steven said he had some “super ...

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Steven Sinofsky has found himself a new part-time job: I’m especially excited to learn by spending more time with entrepreneurs and those creating new technologies and products. Andreessen Horowitz is a VC firm that believes deeply in helping entrepreneurs and helping change the product and business landscape, which is why I am thrilled to join the firm as a board partner. Board partners are unique at a16z. In this position I will represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves, but will not be a full-time member of the firm. My own experience in product development has been focused on learning and changing from within an organization as part of teams—scaling teams, building the first professional GUI dev tools for Windows, marshaling the company around the “InterNet”, bringing together disparate apps to create Office, creating the first collaboration servers, and shifting to the tablet ...

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Microsoft recently made a legally required filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  which lists some interesting information on where Steven Sinofsky can and cannot work until the end of 2013.  You may recall Sinofsky and Microsoft parted ways last November, shortly after the launch of Windows 8.  The seven companies Sinofsky cannot work for currently are Amazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle, and VMWare.  The list shows some insight into what companies Microsoft considers its biggest threats. It’s in Sinofsky’s best interest to follow this agreement with Microsoft as he is set to receive a $14 million retirement package from the company.  It will be interesting to watch where Sinofsky ends up working in 2014.  Parts of retirement agreement with Microsoft extend to 2017.  We may have to wait a few more years until learning the full story behind Microsoft’s and Sinofsky’s divorce. Source: SEC via GigaOM ...

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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 ...

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After the sudden departure of Steven Sinofsky, the head of Windows, some 6 weeks ago, there was some speculation as to where he would end up, with some even suggesting he may be swapped for Scott Forstall who was also unceremoniously let go from Apple. Now in typical Sinofsky fashion Steve made the announcement above on twitter, saying he is returning to Harvard Business School to teach and share his experience built up over decades of working at Microsoft. I suspect his first classes, in Product Development, will be the most well attended next semester, as everyone hopes to discover the decisions which resulted in Windows 8. ...

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In the wake of the sudden departure of Steven Sinofsky he has been painted as somewhat of a megalomaniac by various sources. Suril Amin has been one of the few to defend him, and posted this comprehensive defence of what he paints as a rather great man who’s departure is a loss to Microsoft. He writes: I’ll try to keep this short as my English is not great (it’s my second language), but I felt I had to write something about this. Context is important, that is to say, it is important to look at history and try to see why things happened, and not repeat the same mistakes again. I have seen a lot of coverage about Sinofsky’s departure that has been very biased. It’s pretty clear that bloggers and certainly the Technorati did not like Sinofsky at all. The reason for this is quite simple, he took Microsoft ...

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Julie Larson-Green is replacing Steven Sinofsky in the very important job as Head of Windows, which includes hardware engineering like the Surface. Julie Larson-Green has been Corporate Vice President, Program Management, Windows Client and in her last job had between 1,200 and 1,400 program managers, researchers, content managers and other members of the Windows team reporting to her. In her new job she will be running the engineering of Windows, while Tami Reller will continue on as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business side. She had worked at Microsoft since 1993 and joined to run a Visual C++ focus group then and was a strong member of Steven Sinifsky’s team in the Office division, where she led a radical revamp of Office in 2003, for which she won a technical leadership award. She also did a stint on the SharePoint Team Services ...

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