讽刺的是，微软（Microsoft）希望借助Windows 8重夺个人电脑市场，而辛诺夫斯基正是推动Windows 8问世的幕后功臣。与微软之前的Windows系统不同，Windows 8可以同时在PC机、平板电脑和手机上使用。这就需要位于雷蒙德的科技巨头微软的多个部门通力协作。（而该公司恰恰因为内部互不协作而声名狼藉——不了解情况的读者可以点击此处查看微软的组织结构图。）而辛诺夫斯基在微软是一个极端人物。他负责开发的软件从来都能按时发布，但他也是出了名的难以相处。要想让微软的希望——Windows 8获得成功，微软内部各大派系需要继续齐心协力，而不是明争暗斗。
此刻的微软正站在了十字路口上。市场研究机构IHS iSuppli近期的报告显示，到2016年，微软在PC机、平板电脑和手机的操作系统上的占有率将会下滑至33%，而2011年这一比例是44%。迄今为止，微软在移动产品市场已经错失了大量机会。微软的“新时代”就是将智能手机和平板电脑与传统的电脑结合起来，这一切都有赖于Windows 8系统。这不仅仅意味着微软在硬件和软件上的重心都会偏向移动产品，也不单是在其富有竞争力的部门之间架起桥梁，让微软的所有产品受益于同一种技术。
The departure of Windows chief Steven Sinofsky came as a shock both inside and outside of Microsoft. Up until this week, many believed the long-time, powerful exec was next in line for current CEO Steve Ballmer's job. But regardless of Sinofsky's reasons for leaving (or being asked to leave), and the short-term turmoil it will likely cause, it may turn out to be a positive step for Microsoft as the company heads into a new, Windows 8-driven era.
Ironically, Sinfosky was the driving force behind Windows 8, the company's attempt to reclaim lost relevance in the personal computing world. Unlike previous versions of Microsoft's (MSFT) operating system, Windows 8 encompasses PCs, tablets and phones. It required the various divisions of the Redmond-based tech giant to work together. (The company is notorious for the opposite -- if you haven't seen it before, check out the satirical take on its organizational chart here.) But Sinfosky was a polarizing figure at Microsoft. He had an impressive track record for delivering software on time but was known for his combative style. For Windows 8 -- the future of Microsoft -- to succeed, the company's various factions need to continue to collaborate, not compete.
Current CEO Ballmer alluded to this need in a release issued by the company on Monday, saying he is "grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company," but adding that it is now "imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings."
Sinofsky seemed the most logical future successor to Ballmer. After all, he knew the business inside and out and had developed a loyal group of followers at the company. But if Microsoft's future is all about driving alignment within the company and faster software updates, the former Windows head didn't have the necessary profile. His departure presents an opportunity for Microsoft to cultivate leaders that can work together to build great products--and convey a more unified message to outsiders. "Sinofsky's command-and-control approach has yielded confusion (among partners, media, analysts, and customers) exactly at the moment where Microsoft needs clarity," writes Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps (from her Microsoft Surface tablet).
Microsoft stands at a crossroads. According to a recent report from IHS iSuppli, the company's share of the operating system market for PCs, tablets and phones is expected to slip to 33% in 2016, down from 44% in 2011. Up to now, it has largely missed out on mobile. The "new era" at Microsoft is all marrying smartphones and tablets with traditional computing, all under the umbrella of Windows 8. And it doesn't just mean a more mobility-centric hardware and software focus, or bridging the gaps between its notoriously competitive divisions so that all Microsoft products benefit from the same technology.