Shortly after completing work on Windows 8, former Windows boss Steven Sinofsky left Microsoft. He hasn’t said much since, but he finally opened up during an interview yesterday at D11. The general message seemed to equate to he knew Windows 8 would be polarizing, but it was the right thing to do.
Early on, Sinofsky was asked about the reaction Windows 8 received from the early testers. If you recall, there was a lot of negativity surrounding Windows 8 from longtime users of Microsoft’s operating system. Sinofsky says that feedback may not be the best, especially when dealing with a product that betrays their expectations:
“When you test a product before it’s in market, the people who naturally go to use it will push it in the same way they pushed the old one. They like the old direction — that’s why they signed up [for the] pre-release. You have to break from them, and those first hundred people will be very upset, but you want a million people, not a hundred.”
Speaking of that million people, Sinofsky says that he’s pleased with the 100 million Windows 8 licenses Microsoft has sold since it was released late last year. Of course, it should be noted that Microsoft has only reported 100 million licenses sold, and that number is not indicative of actual use. According to the latest numbers from IDC, manufacturers are buying a lot of licenses, but not selling a lot of machines. That’s not exactly a healthy business in the long run.
Regardless, it’s obvious that Sinofsky is proud of the work he and his team did with Windows 8. If that’s the case then, why did he leave so suddenly after shipping the OS? All he’ll say is that “it was time for a change.”
You can watch the entire conversation with Sinofsky below: