Sinofsky's undoings of the Windows Phone, Courier, and more
I made a post some months back about Sinofsky overshadowing Joe Belfiore's effort in getting Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone in general on track. It very much shows with his outing from Microsoft. I'll update some of my thoughts.
Why metro's gone. Back in the Spring of 2010 when "Windows Phone Series 7" was first introduced to the world, Belfiore revealed that the metro design philosophy originate with Windows Media Center UI. Belfiore was in charge of designing WMC's UI and it's not like anything related to the Windows' environment. Belfiore's metro was begining to take over the UX designing philosophy of the company with products like the Zune's interface and software design. Belfiore was then put in charge of the Windows Phone team sometime in 2008, he helps created what became the modern metro UI with tiles. It's worthy to note that Julie Larson-Green was in charge of the UX designing team for Windows 8.
Sinofsky may have went along with the metro UX, but he certainly didn't allow the Windows Phone team any credibility or influence. In fact I think the killing of the term "metro" was of Sinofsky's doing and not this no name Metro AG that has no trademark claims in the US. Microsoft never registered the name "metro" in the U.S and it never intended to. Metro is a design style, not a trademark. So how could a design style violated a trademark? It couldn't.
Belfiore showing off the predecessor of metro.
WP8 SDK Delayed To The Last Minute. Microsoft promised they would release the Windows Phone SDK to developers at the end of summer, but that never happened. Instead the final WP8 SDK was only released to developers after the announcement of Windows Phone on October 29th--way passed summer.
Was there any reason to hold back he SDK so long? Microsoft said it's due to unannounced features that they didn't want to be revealed until they announced Windows Phone 8. But there was nothing new revealed on the 29th for WP8. All the features was either already revealed during summer or leaked along the way.
My only explanation is that Sinofsky didn't want developers to be persuaded away from Windows 8's own app eco-system--which I think is a valid reason, but not a smart reason to hold back the developers whose were already making apps for Windows Phone Marketplace.
Courier was in the way of the Surface and became collateral damage. The Courier concept was revealed some time in 2009--the same time when SInofsky and his secret's hardware team was beginning to develop the tablet now known as the Surface. Had the Courier allowed to exist, it would've reached the market before or around the original iPad in 2010.
J Allard, the creator of the Courier concept and the original Xbox left Microsoft. The coder team behind the Courier separated from Microsoft to create their own company and release Paper, which is loosely base on the codes started for Courier.