Steven Sinofsky has left the building

The post-PC tide makes collateral victims and Steven Sinofsky is one of them. Almost three weeks after the launch of Windows 8 and RT on October 26, the man responsible for these products and president of Windows and Windows Live division, is gone. Preceded by a short announcement by Microsoft, his departure becomes even weirder.

We should take in consideration that Sinofsky is the architect behind Windows 7, a product that was meant to revive the Microsoft platform, after the unsuccessful launch of Vista. Not to mention his direct involvement in the developing process of Windows 8. Against all these facts, “he left the building” instantly without any transition period. It looks like he was fired during a crucial launch. The only official explanation about Sinofsky’s departure comes from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who explains that this move is necessary in order to: “continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycle for our offerings.”

Sinofsky’s departure comes short after the exit of iOS chief Scott Forstall from Apple, but unlike Sinofsky, Forstall departed during a transitional period.

As a result, Microsoft’s stock is down 3.2 percent, but this drop is modest considering that many imagined Sinofsky to be the CEO heir when Ballmer quits his job. An immediate side effect is that the management will change which will affect the cycle of development for the next Windows operating system.

Unfortunately there is only speculation about the reason of his departure, but the truth is out there, and it may surface in the end because Microsoft is a leaky environment.

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Windows 8 Release Preview Due in June

Microsoft is going to give us an RC release in June before Windows 8’s planned October release.

The first week of June should see the release of Windows 8 Release Preview, as Microsoft prepares Windows 8 for a mid-Fall release some time, likely, near the end of October.

These plans were announced by Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft’s Windows Development arm, at a developer’s event in Japan, according to All Things D. This release preview follows both Developer Preview late last year and a Consumer Preview in February of this year.

Microsoft is aiming to complete development work sometime this summer, with, its thought, a release in late to mid-October, though Microsoft has not made this official. Windows 8 sports a new, redesigned interface called, Metro, as well as a Windows Store and digital delivery feature designed to go head-to-head with Apple’s App Store, introduced in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and OS X 10.7 Lion, last year.

Apple is due to release its latest OS version OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion sometime this summer. Windows 8 is meant to directly compete with Apple’s planned OS release this year. How well it succeeds will depend on how well Metro is accepted on the desktop, as Windows tablets are not widely in circulation, if at all, as of this writing.

Soft32 is planning on reviewing the final version of Windows 8 when it is released, so stay tuned for our final thoughts and impressions on the OS later this year.

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