Sinofsky and Ballmer’s Full Memos Regarding Microsoft Leadership Changes

Last night, Microsoft announced a pretty significant leadership change: Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live, will be leaving the company effective immediately. Julie Larson-Green has been promoted to lead Windows software and hardware engineering, and Tami Reller will wear many hats, taking charge of the business side of Windows while remaining the company’s chief financial officer and chief marketing officer.

While internal politics and disagreements are certainly behind Sinofsky’s leave, the official memos sent out by Ballmer and Sinofsky — which were briefly quoted in the press release — are still interesting to read.

Here’s Ballmer’s memo, courtesy of CNET:

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 5:16 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Windows Leadership Changes

Over the past few months we have delivered the foundation for a new era for Microsoft. From Office to Bing to Windows Phone and Windows Azure, to Xbox and of course Windows and Surface and everything in between, we’ve unleashed a huge wave of devices and services that people and businesses love. I simply couldn’t be more proud of the effort you have all put in to get us here and to set the foundation for our future. At the Windows launch in New York, at the Windows Phone event in San Francisco, and again at the Build event on Redmond campus, I was struck that while externally many people look at these events as the finish line, they really represent the starting line of a new era.

As we enter this new era, and with the successful launch of Windows 8 and Surface behind us, Steven Sinofsky has decided to leave the company. Steven joined Microsoft in 1989 as a software development engineer and has contributed to the company in many ways from his work as a technical advisor to Bill Gates, to leading the evolution of theMicrosoft Office business, to his direction and successful leadership of Windows and Windows Live as well as Surface. I am grateful for the work that Steven has delivered in his time at our company.

Effective immediately, Julie Larson-Green will lead Windows engineering. She will be responsible for all product development for Windows and Windows Live, in addition to Surface. Julie has been a stalwart leader of building compelling “experiences” from her time on Internet Explorer, through the evolution of Office and most recently to the re-imagination of Windows. Her unique product and innovation perspective and proven ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross company agenda will serve us well as she takes on this new leadership role. All of the current Windows engineering teams will report into Julie, and Julie will report to me.

Tami Reller will lead business and marketing strategy for Windows including Surface and partner devices. She will provide broad stewardship to our PC marketing efforts while managing the line business functions for Windows. Her work on Windows since 2007 has been exemplary and her strong talents in working with internal groups and partners will also serve us well. Tami also will report to me.

We are facing a time of great opportunity. What we have accomplished over the past few years is nothing short of amazing, and I know we have more amazing in us. I am excited about our people, I am energized by our ability to change and grow, and I look forward to the success which lies ahead. Thank you for all you do, and please join me in congratulating our new leadership and celebrating all that we have accomplished so far.


Sinofsky’s, also courtesy of CNET:

From: Steven Sinofsky
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2012 5:42 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: RE: Windows Leadership Changes

With the general availability of Windows 8/RT and Surface, I have decided it is time for me to take a step back from my responsibilities at Microsoft. I’ve always advocated using the break between product cycles as an opportunity to reflect and to look ahead, and that applies to me too.

After more than 23 years working on a wide range of Microsoft products, I have decided to leave the company to seek new opportunities that build on these experiences. My passion for building products is as strong as ever and I look forward focusing my energy and creativity along similar lines.

The Windows team, in partnerships across all of Microsoft and our industry, just completed products and services introducing a new era of Windows computing. It is an incredible experience to be part of a generational change in a unique product like Windows, one accomplished with an undeniable elegance. Building on Windows, Surface excels in design and utility for a new era of PCs. With the Store, Internet Explorer,, SkyDrive and more, each of which lead the way, this experience is connected to amazing cloud services.

It is inspiring to think of these efforts making their way into the hands of Microsoft’s next billion customers. We can reflect on this project as a remarkable achievement for each of us and for the team. Our work is not done, such is the world of technology, and so much more is in store for customers.

It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft. I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company. I am beyond grateful.

I have always promised myself when the right time came for me to change course, I would be brief, unlike one of my infamous short blog posts, and strive to be less memorable than the products and teams with which I have been proudly and humbly associated. The brevity of this announcement is simply a feature.

Some might notice a bit of chatter speculating about this decision or timing. I can assure you that none could be true as this was a personal and private choice that in no way reflects any speculation or theories one might read–about me, opportunity, the company or its leadership.

As I’ve always believed in making space for new leaders as quickly as possible, this announcement is effective immediately and I will assist however needed with the transition.

I am super excited for what the future holds for the team and Microsoft.

With my deepest appreciation,

Steven Sinofsky

Image Credit: Associated Press

Microsoft Announcement Will Be Streamed Online

Microsoft will be making an announcement later today at 12PM Pacific/12ET about some new product(s). The announcement will be made by Steve Ballmer which would mean that Microsoft is bound to announce something major.

Microsoft Press Event Ballmer

As rumors suggest, the announcement could be related to the newer version of Office; Office 15 which Microsoft has been working on for a while. Microsoft is also set to release to consumers later this year, so it makes sense that they would also release a refresh for Office along with the new OS.

Office 15 will sport the new Metro look which has become the signature for Microsoft products of late and will more likely than not be ported to every future Microsoft product.

If you are interested in watching Steve Ballmer’s announcement live, you can do so by visiting the live webcast at which will be available in Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You can start viewing the live stream at

Read More:

We’ll be posting more news about the event as it happens. So stay tuned for future updates right here.

Steve Ballmer Composes Optimistic, Enthusiastic Internal Memo

Following Microsoft’s big announcement on Monday that it’s entering the hardware business, Steve Ballmer sent out an internal memo that excites employees about recent achievements: Shipping the Windows 8 Release Preview, announcing SmartGlass, the Bing redesign with additional social features, and of course, announcing the Surface tablets. He also looked to the future and hinted that some “great news” can be expected within the next few weeks from the Windows Phone (he is of course referring to the unveiling of Windows Phone 8 which will happen at today’s Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco) and Office divisions.

Quite a lot of people have wanted Ballmer to step down, citing that he is an unfit CEO who lacks the right vision to lead the company. It’s undeniable that the company has made quite a few big mistakes under his watch, but at the same time, it’s undeniable that as of late, the company has been taking some drastic steps in the right direction, also under his watch.

GeekWire managed to get their hands on the memo, which you can read below:

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 4:31 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Big Day, Big Year
I love this company.

I love that we have brilliant engineers with brilliant ideas. I love that we aren’t afraid to make big bold bets. I love that we are persistent – after all it’s our passion and tenacity that bring our dreams to life. And right now, I love how so much of our hard work, passion and tenacity are coming together in the products we are bringing to market.

Today, we made an exciting and significant Windows announcement — we revealed Microsoft Surface — a new family of computing devices from Microsoft. Surface complements the work of our OEMs and fulfills the Windows 8 vision. You can learn more and watch the event video tomorrow on the Microsoft NewsCenter.

This great news comes on the heels of an incredible few months. Just think, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the Skype announcement. We shipped the Windows Release Preview. Dynamics delivered key updates, and continues to crank out double digit growth. We made search more social (and we did it the right way!) with a significant redesign of Bing. We announced that we’re making entertainment more amazing with Xbox on the phone, PC, tablet and TV with the coming releases of Halo 4, Internet Explorer on Xbox and SmartGlass. We shared our vision for a new era of cloud computing with Windows Server 2012 and important advancements to the Windows Azure services. And in the next few weeks we’ll see more great news and momentum from the Windows Phone Division and the Microsoft Office Division.

Our plans are well underway to unleash an incredible pipeline of new devices and services that consumers love and businesses need. Our work is getting noticed and our customers are excited.

We still have a lot of hard work to do. But today, I encourage you to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come over the past few years and how much further we’ll go in the next one.

I’m incredibly proud of the work this company is doing and incredibly optimistic for what’s ahead.


Image Courtesy: The Verge

Windows Phone Executive Shakeup: Andy Lees Out, Terry Myerson In



Ina Fried at AllThingsD reported earlier today that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had removed Andy Lees as the President of Windows Phone division. Terry Myerson, who has led the engineering effort for Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, will take over Lees’ duties. Ballmer’s memo was later posted on Microsoft’s News Center.

This news comes as surprise to me. Microsoft just completed a successful rollout of the latest Windows Phone update, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. At the same time, Nokia just started selling their devices in Europe and Asia and are on the cusp of making their highly-anticipated return to the United States. In other words, it is a crucial time for Microsoft’s Windows Phone leadership to ensure the device sales pick up pace and that the boat is not rocked too much.

One way to look at this change is to think that Lees was relived of his duties because he was unable to get Windows Phone sales to a level that could make the platform count. Although, if that were the case, I’d argue that it would be cause for firing him than just moving him out of his leadership role. In this case though, Ballmer has revealed that he is moving Lees to a different position under him, for a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8. Interesting choice of words. I’ll get back to this point later.

Moving the operations of the division under an engineering person implies Microsoft is now shifting itself to be more engineering-led rather than business/marketing. Back in February 2011, Ballmer had reportedly planned to put more engineering-focused executives in a management shuffle. This move may be in fact be in line with that vision. I like that general realignment strategy because I believe Microsoft needs to get a bit more focused on delivering the vision than just painting the broad strokes.

Watch Microsoft Steve Ballmer CES 2011 Keynote Live Online

Microsoft will kick-start CES 2011 with a preshow keynote addressed by Steve Ballmer. All eyes will be on Ballmer to see what Microsoft has in store for us this year.


Our own Manan did a list of predictions for Microsoft at CES 2011 which include a new version of Windows for tablets or introduction of Windows 8,   Verizon and Sprint models of Windows Phone 7, Windows TV and a new Xbox Kinect Avatar.

We are not certain whether Microsoft will announce some or all of these at CES 2011, however, one thing is for certain, there is definitely going to be some big news coming from Steve Ballmer.

Steve Ballmer’s preshow keynote is scheduled for January 5, 2010 at 6:30 PM PST (check local times). The entire keynote will be broadcast live by Microsoft and other channels. To watch the Steve Ballmer keynote live you can visit You can also watch the live streaming of Steve Ballmer’s opening keynote in the video embedded below.

We’ll update this post with videos of the keynote once it goes live. Don’t forget to check the CES 2011 keynote and exhibitors and CES 2011 events schedule too.

Watch Steve Ballmer Keynote Live At IndiMix 2010

Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft CEO is in India to present keynotes at the IndiMix 2010 event. He along with Moorthy Uppaluri will be presenting keynotes at the event which will be held in Taj Lands End hotel in Mumbai on May 28, 2010.

Steve Ballmer Live at IndiMix 2010

The event is slated to begin at 9:30AM local time. The IndiMix 2010 event is an exclusive conference for web developers and designers building some of the world’s most innovative websites.

Steve Ballmer’s keynote will focus on new opportunities to create compelling experiences and will be held between 2:15PM and 3:15PM IST. The event will also have several other speakers who will speak on web development and web apps.

If you are unable to attend the IndiMix 2010 event, you can watch the event live online. To watch the IndiMix 2010 event online, head over to The shows will begin after 9:30AM local time.

Steve Ballmer Not Going To Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 Keynote: Microsoft

Earlier today there were some rumors that Steve Ballmer may appear at the Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 keynote presentation, since Microsoft has booked some 7 minutes during the Jobs keynote to present on Visual Studio developer tools for Mac developers.

Steve Ballmer Microsoft Tweet

However, Microsoft has plainly denied that rumor through an official tweet. In the tweet, which is both funny and sarcastic, Microsoft said:

Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI.

So let us just rest this rumor in peace for now. Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer will not be on stage during the Steve Jobs keynote at .

Live Coverage of Steve Ballmer Keynote

Oh my God, what a start to the Steve Ballmer keynote, before it could even begin there was a light failure and all the computers crashed, not a good sign for something everybody has been announcing.


The opening statement featured a small video by Seth Myers! from Saturday Night live, where he thanked technology for several different advancements in his life, frankly speaking it was quite boring.


Steve Ballmer also talked about Project Natal, which is set, 39 million users of Xbox, 30 million games sold with 200 billion as revenue.

Bing will be the default search engine on HP PCs across the world and MSN will be default homepage on Internet Browsers. Now that will definitely grow their market share quite a bit.

Zune HD is getting rave reviews from technology publications. Zune is offering HD videos on par with XBox Live.


Windows Mobile 6.5 to shape future, displays HD2. Will talk about Windows mobile at the Mobile World Congress.

7:15PM: Steve B is now talking about and the features, apparently he loves it very much.

7:17PM: Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history. It has seen a 50% jump in the holiday season.

7:19PM: Over 300 million PCs shipped last year. It is best time to be a Windows 7 PC.


7:20PM: Over 4 million applications are available for Windows.


7:21PM: Ryan Asdourian, Senior Product Manager, Windows , walks in to demo some Windows 7 PCs and more, starts with the Lenovo 800 and Median touch and Sony VAIO and Adamo XPS.

windows7_displaying_maching gaming_pc

7:25PM: Displaying 3D gaming.


7:27PM: First new announcement of the day, a software called Blio Reader. Allows you to watch videos inside books or listen to it.


7:30PM: Showing sharing and collaboration in .

7:32PM: Talking about Bing Maps and Silverlight.

record_hd_channels windows7_flip

7:34PM: Demoing TV Technology and how Windows can help it with Cable card on your PC. Records 4 HD Channels at once.

7:38PM: Yawn, this is getting boring.

7:40PM: AT&T will enable a UVERSE on Xbox 360 on Media Room.


7:42PM: More focus on Silverlight, which will be the future of most of Microsoft Technology.


7:44PM:  Pegatron Slate PC, HP Slate PC. Almost affordable as a phone and running Windows 7.

hp_slate_pc kindle_for_pc

7:45PM: Steve singles out the HP slate PC as expected. Demoing Kindle for PC, you can download content from Amazon. Sorry no Courier.

7:46PM: Demo video going on now.

7:49PM: President of Entertainment at Microsoft, Robbie Bach, walks in. Says, "The rich array of sports and entertainment transports you. What I love about working at MSFT is that the best software has the same effect.". He is talking about Xbox and gaming.

robbie_back  alan_wake

7:50PM: Exclusive games coming to Xbox 360, Mass Effect, MW2 and more. Alan Wake a new episode game coming to Xbox.


7:54PM: Robbie is talking about Halo, a new announcement of Halo Reach.

7:57PM: Halo Reach is coming in fall of 2010, exclusively on Xbox 360. Multi-player Beta coming out in Spring 2010.


7:58PM: One new member joined Xbox Live every second.

7:58PM: 4000 downloads since the keynote began.

7:59PM: Demo of movie rentals, partnerships with Netflix, Canal+ and talk about , and more.


8:01PM: Relive old arcade games from Nintendo and Atari on Xbox Gameroom and Windows PC. Users can play more than 30 games from Arcade age.

8:03PM: Every day one new game will be released with over 1000 arcade games being relased over 3 years in the Game Room.

8:05PM: Talking about technology in everyday life.


8:06PM: Project Natal for Xbox 360, gaming without controllers. Control your game, your character through the moment of your body. Shoot with your hands, run to run in the game. 3D camera adds more information. Microsoft build the software.


8:07PM: Natal technology changes itself to fit the way the player plays. 50% hardware and 50% software in Project Natal.

8:10PM: Project Natal is coming this holiday 2010. Project Natal will work on your current Xbox console.

8:11PM: Halo Reach will be a Project Natal Game

And that is the end ladies and gentlemen. This was quite a dud keynote with a fail start and no major announcements except for Xbox 360 and Project Natal. So all eyes will definitely be on Steve Jobs now and the .

Closing it out on this live blogging session. This is the first one I did, so don’t forget to give me your feedback, it will help me improve in the future.

Watch Steve Ballmer Keynote Live Online

Steve Ballmer is all set to speak at today’s keynote at CES. Few surprises include the announcement of a HP tablet based on Microsoft’s Courier. However, nothing is for sure as of now.

You can watch Steve Ballmer’s keynote live at 6:30PM PST (-800 GMT), local timings may wary. You can watch the keynote live at the following sites, we will put up live videos when the event starts.

Live Video Coverage of Steve Ballmer Keynote

The below video requires Silverlight, download it here

More sources will be added as and when they become available.