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Steven Sinofsky's controversial strategy for launching Windows 8

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steven sinofsky
steven sinofsky

CNET has an in-depth profile of Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's Windows President and the man tasked with launching the company's latest OS this week. It details a brilliant talent with an excellent record of shipping software — he previously headed Microsoft Office and put Windows back on track following the botched Vista launch —but whose tight grip on control can stifle innovation and create a "toxic work environment." There are worries that Sinofsky's desire for Microsoft to prioritize Windows above all else could damage the company's abilities to co-operate across divisions.

"Steven is a rare talent," the executive said. But "as you think about future leadership, collaboration will be critical in a way it has never has before."

In researching the piece, CNET spoke to 15 executives that have worked or continued to work with Sinofsky, most of whom declined to be named for fear of repercussions. For his part, Sinofsky acknowledged that his management style was "controversial" in a book called One Strategy that he co-authored in 2009. With Microsoft releasing two of its most disruptive products ever this week — Windows 8 and the Surface RT — a successful launch would no doubt represent vindication for the divisive leader.