Sinofsky Promoted to Windows Division President

Microsoft on Wednesday announced personnel changes to its Windows Division leadership, beginning with a promotion of Steven Sinofsky to president of that division.

Sinofsky formerly served as senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group. In his new role, Sinofsky will oversee marketing and engineering efforts on Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer.

The Internet Explorer part might seem incongruous to most people, including legal observers. However, Microsoft considers its Web browser to be a "feature" of the Windows operating system, rather than a separate application.

Sinofsky's promotion appears largely due to his efforts in getting Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 7, ready for delivery.

"The work he [Sinofsky] and the team have done in getting ready to ship Windows 7 really defines how to develop and ship world-class software," said Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer, in a prepared statement.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 will ship on Oct. 22. In addition, the release-to-manufacturing version of Windows 7 -- the final version that original equipment manufacturers will begin imaging onto new PCs -- will be available "in late July," Microsoft announced today.

Sinofsky is perhaps best known from his long posts in the public-facing Engineering Windows 7 blog, which was formed in conjunction with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System Division. DeVaan is continuing in that position and will report to Sinofsky, according to the announcement.

The blog by Sinofsky and DeVaan announced up front that Microsoft would exert "a little bit more control over the communication around Windows 7." The background to that cautious approach was the disaster surrounding Windows Vista, where communications with Microsoft's software partners seemed ill timed. Most notably, drivers for Windows Vista were late. Security changes to Vista threw partners for a loop.

Microsoft appears to have ironed out much of the communication and technical issues with its partners with Windows 7, which is currently available at the release candidate test stage. For instance, Microsoft has described Windows 7 as being more compatible with applications than Vista. For the critics, this claim isn't much. They've contended that that Windows 7 is just "Vista done right" with additional user interface changes, rather than a fundamentally new OS.

Other personnel changes were announced today by Microsoft. Tami Reller will take on marketing responsibilities while continuing her current role as chief financial officer of the Window Division.

Microsoft plans to move Reller to "a new leadership role in the company to be announced later this year," according to the announcement. The company also plans to move Bill Veghte, senior vice president for the Windows Business, into a yet-to-be-specified leadership position.

"The transition between Reller and Veghte is timed to take place in late July when Windows 7 reaches the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone," Microsoft's announcement explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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