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back to article New Microsoft Windows chief 'shocked' by Sinofsky defenestration

Microsoft’s new Windows chief Julie Larson-Green has admitted to being “shocked” at her elevation as Windows chief, casting further doubt on the idea that her predecessor Steven Sinofsky's departure has been an orderly process. In a Facebook message, Larson-Green thanked people for a tide of congratulations adding: “Still in a …

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"Risks losing users and developers."

Perhaps there is hope... even if its only a glimmer.

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Happy

And so it begins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schadenfreude

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins

Schadefreude isn't a good thing, you know?

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Re: And so it begins

The fact that the Germans have a word for it speaks volumes about them as a whole.

As does The Kaiser, Hitler, Hans Reiser and lots of other notorious Germans.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Schadefreude isn't a good thing, you know?

Its not as if something bad has happend to an innocent.

Some of us who have been forced to suffer the idiocy of our Masters have long waited for this moment.

I for one, intend to enjoy it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And so it begins

The Germans have *one* word for it because they bang words together.. in English we have many many phrases that mean the same basic thing.. but aren’t quoted because they’re pretty fecking offensive

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FAIL

Re: And so it begins

The fact that the Germans have a word for it speaks volumes about them as a whole. As does The Kaiser, Hitler, Hans Reiser and lots of other notorious Germans.

Firstly, having a word for something in your language doesn't really say anything about your nation. Virtually all languages have words for concepts both good and bad. In fact, it would significantly reduce a language's usefulness if it couldn't address such concepts.

Secondly, even if the first sentence made any sense - which it doesn't - how is that in any way connected to your second sentence?

Thirdly, Hitler was an Austrian, Hans Reiser is an American, and Kaiser Wilhelm II was a Hohenzollern - who can hardly be regarded as a family of pure German ancestry.

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WTF?

Re: And so it begins

"Chickens coming home to roost" is offensive?

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Re: And so it begins

The fact that you make statements about Germans "as a whole" speaks volumes about you personally.

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@Shagbag: Re: And so it begins

"The fact that the Germans have a word for it speaks volumes about them as a whole."

Even though a verb and not a noun, English has "gloat" and that comes pretty close, don't you think?

"As does The Kaiser, Hitler, Hans Reiser and lots of other notorious Germans."

Also, as a general rule, I do not like taking a purposefully-selected group of particular individuals and using them to represent a large and heterogeneous group of people. (And Hans Reiser is pretty mild stuff, really. Any nation or group amongst which a double-murderer would really stand out for viciousness would be a peace-loving and non-violent group of people - double-murders seem about as common as muck throughout the world and its history.)

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Re: And so it begins

> who can hardly be regarded as a family of pure German ancestry.

Wilhelm II was, for example, a grandson of Queen Victoria.

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Re: And so it begins

Not to mention, the title Kaiser is the German rendering of Caesar, the etymology of which is lost in the mists of Roman antiquity.

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I wonder if

Scott Forstall is free.

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Big Brother

Re: I wonder if

Perhaps there is more of a parallel here than people realise, except in Sinofskys case it was the W8 disaster apology letter he refused to sign.

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The thick of it?

Is this an omnishambles?

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FAIL

"Still in a bit of a shock"

That could easily mean she's shocked at Sinofsky leaving. In fact it's vague so The Register somehow determining that she's referring to her appointment therefore clearly was sudden is classic "The Sun" article misleading territory.

In other words, there's no real consensus (on any supposed doubt on his "orderly" leaving) resulting from a vague Facebook post.

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Headmaster

She tweeted "still in a bit of shock but excited".

The grammatical logic of that is indeed that she was taken aback by a very unexpected promotion. It is in fact El Reg who are trying to run it as her expressing shock at Sinofsky's departure. She may indeed have been shocked by her old boss' departure but that tweet really needs to be stretched to sustain what the article is asserting. However, I do have a strong feeling that she is a place-holder, I do not believe that she has the CV to sustain that position.

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Re: She tweeted "still in a bit of shock but excited".

Tweet, nonetheless, she is making a public statement about a major company from a top tier.

What would she say if she did have advance knowledge? Finally? No, one is humble at moments like these.

I've been in positions of knowing of personnel changes in advance. At one job, I knew about the dismissal of my supervisor and the restructuring that would follow.One doesn't betray confidences and when the axe falls, it is the better of problematic choices to carry on the fiction of it being as much of a surprise as it is to everyone else.

Of course Ms Larson-Green received advance notice; they would not have given her the promotion without discussion. Today's expression of shock may be the deferred emotion from when she first knew, perhaps as recently as sometime last week, perhaps as long ago as 45 days.

I also wouldn't be surprised to learn that Mr. Sinofsky recommended his replacements.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: She tweeted "still in a bit of shock but excited".

Agreed, if you want to take that statement as her being "shocked" over Sinofsky's departure then apparently she is also "excited" about it. Which happens to be what I am, but it would be a strange thing for her to say (especially in public).

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Better title: Sinofsky’s exit came mid-way through the Windows 8 lunch period

mid-way through the lunch Ballmer comes in and tosses the poor chap out the 8th floor Window(tm).

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Linux

"He called Larson-Green the "best possible person for this job" based on the technical and business skills "required to continue our Windows trajectory"." -- Considering that Windows' current trajectory is aiming for the sewers; It's safe to say that this statement should be a bit of an insult to Larson-Green.

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Anonymous Coward

The best possible person for the job.

If she can't explain who dcom works, without going to Google, then she shouldn't be there.

Again it comes back to "Once a company gets to have so much money it can afford to employ image conscious in HR, they start employing style over content types to hide amongst."

I wonder if their HR director's an idiot.

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Re: The best possible person for the job.

I don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

I don't know any of the principals, but i just know what you're saying is true.

It's been clear for several years, that Microsoft has been overran by people who think computers exist for nothing more than making a salesman do a powerpoint presentation using cool gui.

The first thing that pissed me off, was the clear absence of "The UP button"

NTFS is heirarchical. Everything has a parent. The only people who think there is no need for one, are the people who always keep their stuff in one place, maybe two, but they're unrelated.

So what happens is they think "Let's make our salesmen look really clever. Let's give them the ability to go directly to the level of the hierarchy."

So them some complete retard who calls themself an "expert in UI" completely ignores memory muscle.

"If we do this", they say, "the user can go straight there"

So to save the computer 0.3 microseconds of processing by going back one step at a time, it ends up with the user having to find an entirely different part of the screen, every time to achieve their task.

This is all caused because Microsoft was so rich it could afford to employ lots of people who aren't techie. One project manager per dev? You have to be kidding me. These triads basically constrain a developer with an IQ or 150, to what someone with an IQ of 100 thinks is the right thing to do.

Godddddddddddddddddddddddd!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

@Edon - Spoken like a true engineer... A true engineer that won't make it anywhere remotely senior, that is.

I've seen this behavior at many places I've worked at - People who are extremely good at their jobs, but having utterly no comprehension of how the wider company works, how to influence others or the fact that in a large company or a complex project the ideal solution isn't always possible for many reasons. They sit there bitching about the promotion of people who are willing to go the extra mile, who may not be as technically competent, but know who to ask if they have a problem, people who understand that delivery counts, that you can make a 100% perfect product, but if that never gets delivered the company will go bust.

Being an engineering manager is about far more than knowing your company's products down to the bits and bytes level, particularly if you can ask one of your junior guys to deal with this sort of query/problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

I think it's more "Spoken like the engineer that has to fix the many problems caused by another engineer who is well liked because they schmooze rather than working and don't make the higher ups look stupid just by walking into the room". Also being able to do a job within the standard day is not a bad thing, needing to work long hours to achieve the same goal is.

Thanks for your input though, it's nice to see how these types of people see themselves.

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Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

As far as I understand you, I have to agree. Without a background in software, but simply as a user I felt that the rot set in when Windows sprouted this odd directory tree that suggests that Drives A: C: D: are subsidiary to My Computer, My Documents and Desktop whereas the latter are merely shortcuts to files or directories on drive C:

Generally, the kind of willful misrepresentation of the fact that computers are hardware with drives and stuff or that an OS is all about files, has grown with every Windows release. It seems to me to be a bar to understanding -- much as Apple's OS approach of hiding "boring techie stuff" may seem simpler on one level but breeds idiot users.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

Except that's not what happens is it?

He may be a true engineer, and it's possible that someone may be likely to go that extra mile.

But in practice, it's more likely that he likes technology, and the project managers choose project management because they know they can't compete. As a consequence the engineer spends his time working out how to solve the problem, and the others spend their time thinking how to use the engineer to get their career advanced. I know of no Project managers with less than 15 years coalface experience, who are any good. All the professional project managers I know, are there for lack of other career options.

It's entirely possible he isn't promotion material, but more likely that he wasn't interested. Everything he said, I've observed time and time again.

I for one, know very few hard core techies who aren't obviously more capable in every conceivable way to the people they report to, but simply aren't interested in non-jobs.

Microsoft has one project manager, per techie. The phrase too many chiefs and not enough indians springs to mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

@AC 14:19. Sadly, you just go to prove my point further - you assume that people are promoted because they "schmooze rather than working" which is pretty much what I said you find in the engineers that don't get promoted. They (and by implication you) are completely unable to see than someone senior to them may be there appropriately and make up little narratives, as you just did, as to how they got promoted, all the while presuming that anyone senior to them are incompetent. It's some sort of weird logic, that runs along the lies of "management don't get it right all the time, therefore they are incompetent, I'm great at my job, therefore I should be management." This conveniently ignores the fact that it's the incompetent management who gave you your job and continue to employ you, of course, I presume that's their one good decision, yes?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

"Microsoft has one project manager, per techie."

Complete rubbish.

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Boffin

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

NTFS is heirarchical. Everything has a parent. The only people who think there is .no need for one, are the people who always keep their stuff in one place, maybe two, but they're unrelated.

Not really. From a strictly engineering point of view the Windows shell namespace (which is what Explorer navigates and encompasses more than just NTFS) is far more complicated than a trivial hierarchy. A folder like the "desktop" is actually an amalgamation of multiple locations and thus naturally has multiple parents. And then there are things like Control Panel that don't really have a true "parent" in any real sense. Even NTFS itself supports the concept of a folder having multiple parents through things like Junction Points and hard links. If anything, therefore, it's the engineer's approach to argue that an Up button doesn't make sense (which it doesn't really) and the less technically inclined who like to think it does and thus petitioned for its return.

JLG may be more user-focused than engineering focused, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Steve Jobs was never an engineer, but his focus on UX is what did Apple so much good. By contrast, you can see what engineers tend to come up with by looking at Linux, a platform so cumbersome for the average Joe that even after decades of literally giving it away, it barely registers in desktop market share.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

Hiding boring techie stuff doesn't breed idiots. That's like saying an automatic geared car results in someone being unable to drive a non-automatic car. I know people who drive both.

It is possible to own a Mac and be pretty clued up about technology, after all, OSX comes with a command line just like Windows does. It also has a similar concept to regedit with the plist editor.

Just because technical problems are less common on OSX doesn't mean it is an inferior product. It's almost like you're saying that reliability is a problem and that things should break so people get an understanding of how to fix things.

Do you really care how your microwave works? should that expect you to switch on the turntable motor, enable the microwave emitter?

I suppose planes should fail more often so the pilot gets more experience of emergency situations.

Some people deal with technology problems all day and simply want their evenings to be without such annoying bullshit. It's about hassle minimisation.

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Vic
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Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

> I don't know any of the principals

The Peter Principle is very smiple: everyone is promoted to his own level of incompetence.

If you're good at your job, you get promoted. If you're good at your new job, you get promoted.

Eventually, you get to the job you're not good at. You no longer get promoted.

Thus careers hae a tendency to end up in the wrong job, doing stuff you're no good at...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

> Do you really care how your microwave works?

Yep. Sorry...

Vic.

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Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

> That's like saying an automatic geared car results in someone being unable to drive a non-automatic car. I know people who drive both.

That's a really bad example actually.

There is a lot of evidence that the less a driver has to do, the less attention they apply to their driving. On one level it is a bit counter-intuitive, but if you take it to the extreme you see automatic train drivers given buttons to push that do nothing just to keep them awake.

Over here in Canada, most of the cars are autos and the standard of driving is pretty appalling. They have little enough to do to actually drive but attention to the road is definately not improved by having the task of driving simplified. If anything, they are lazier.

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Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

Engineers always thinks that engineers should run companies, just as doctors always think that doctors whould run hospitals. What happens when doctors run hospitals? The Bristol Child Heart scandal and a fuck-load of golf, that's what.

Successful product development requires a lot of different professions to work together: engineering, design, marketing, manufacturing and so on. There is no particular reason to believe that engineers are the only people who can run the show than there is to believe that marketers can run the show. You need someone who can understand what all the groups are talking about and get them to work together. As an engineer I'd love it if we were the only people who could run things, but we're not.

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Devil

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

You realize that in the UK, if you pass your driving test in an automatic car, you are only qualified to drive an automatic, and have to pass again in a manual to be able to drive one.

Those that pass in a manual are however licensed to drive an automatic without a further test.

So I guess it is exactly like saying that, pity its also true.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

" It's some sort of weird logic, that runs along the lies of "management don't get it right all the time, therefore they are incompetent, I'm great at my job, therefore I should be management." This conveniently ignores the fact that it's the incompetent management who gave you your job and continue to employ you, of course, I presume that's their one good decision, yes?"

Brilliantly summed up - nice one! Not surprising you got no upvotes before I read it - the comment applies, after all, to more than 99% of people here :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it. @Eadon 16:13

"AC's - please can you post with a handle - I am unable to respond to you because you are all AC. Just make up another handle and log in as that, it's not that you have to use your real name. Blimey!

I'd rather get a reply even from fools such as RICHTO than AC's!"

See what I did there? Put your name and a your post's timestamp in the subject. Says which post I'm responding to. Then I quoted something from that article. So you can see exactly what I'm responding to. How difficult is that? You seem to think you're an engineer and you cant even manage that? Your slagging off RICHTO looks to be out of fear of him, to use your argument. (Didn't want to, because you used it in self-delusion, but there you are. Thought an example of good usage might help you.) Don't overdo the beer - intoxication and McDonald's deep friers is probably a bad combination :)

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CJM
FAIL

Re: Peters principle, can't do your job? Get promoted out of it.

"project managers choose project management because they know they can't compete"

Wow. Bitter much? This is an astonishingly myopic statement.

No matter what career you choose, everyone knows someone promoted based on image/politics/something-other-than-competence - it DOES happen. But it is the exception rather than the rule, generally.

The flip side of the coin is the (IMHO) rather larger group of people who think that if a person is good at Job X, that that makes them intrinsically better at managing people who do Job X. This is patently not the case - different skills are usually required, though often solid experience of doing Job X can help.

Do PMs choose project management because they 'couldn't compete' with techies, or because they had an interest and an aptitude to work at a higher level?

For ever person promoted out of a job due to lack of ability, I see an a technician who resents the progression of others whilst being blissfully ignorant of the shortcomings that is holding them back. There is absolutely nothing wrong about wanting to remain a techie all your career (plenty do), but it is disingenuous to suggest that people who don't feel the same are somehow not up to scratch.

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Let's just hope this isn't a health issue for Sinofsky.

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Holmes

Keeping the skeleton in the closet

sudden departure vs. historical pattern of lingering = wanting to keep something secret. I too hope it's not a health issue.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Keeping the skeleton in the closet

Just how weird must the pr0n have been?!

Paris for the last Tango.

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It's gonna get worse

Julie is responsible for bringing us the Ribbon interface. I personally find it to be horrible as my humble brain was brought up to browse and search text fast, and not icons. It always takes me 2 to 3 times longer to find anything on a Ribbon.

Consequently I'm not holding out much hope for any of her other Windows interface ideas

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