Former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky says he left Microsoft last year because he reached a point where he wanted to be separate and not be a company guy. “You have to pick a time, so I picked a time,” he said at the D11 conference this morning, according to several bloggers covering the event.
Sinofsky, who abruptly and unexpectedly left Microsoft just weeks after delivering Windows 8 last fall, spoke about his departure and his thoughts on Windows 8 at the annual conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD that brings together top tech talent. D11 is taking place this week in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
At the time of the departure, Microsoft gave no reason for Sinofsky’s leaving but indicated the decision was mutual. As Windows president, Sinofsky was known for being demanding and for delivering products on time. But he was also a polarizing figure, someone who could be difficult to work with, reportedly clashing with other executives and sometimes company partners.
When asked at D11 about the apparently slow uptake of Windows 8 and what went into the decision to write a tablet-oriented operating system that wasn’t restricted to just tablets, Sinofsky said that it was hard for him to look at selling 100 million of something and not be happy, according to AllThingsD. (Microsoft said earlier this month that it’s sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses, on par with Windows 7 at this point in its lifecycle.)
In response to a question about why Microsoft didn’t shift faster as the computing market transformed, Sinfosky said: “It’s essentially just a management challenge. It’s very rarely a shortage of ideas,” according to All Things D.
He also says that computing devices are evolving to be ever-more sealed and that in order for computers to reach even more people, they have to be sealed even more, according to The Verge.