After Sinofsky, Microsoft must stop the secrecy, say analysts
And for all the blogs that Sinofsky wrote -- something he apparently took pride in, mentioning them in his final memo to his team -- under his leadership, there were simply too many glaring gaps.
"With Vista they were too sharing, but with Windows 8, they went too far the other way," said Cherry. "And they paid the price. The lack of useful apps for the Surface at launch, the lack of information to developers, definitely damaged the effort. Microsoft didn't oversell the features, that's certain, but now they're paying the price. Enterprise deployment and app development is slowed because of a lack of information.
"The lack of sharing with OEMs and app developers is the reason why there are so few good apps in the [Windows] Store," Cherry said.
He used an example to hammer home the point. "If you're an enterprise, does the Microsoft account interact at all with Active Directory, or are they two separate worlds?" he asked. "Microsoft seemed to be unwilling to share that information."
Miller concurred, and used his seven years at Microsoft, which he spent in the Windows Core and MSN divisions, to illustrate.
"When I worked on the rapid adoption program for Windows XP and then later, for Office XP, one of the key things was sharing information on what we were planning with OEMs and customers," said Miller, referring to a program Microsoft uses to get feedback from customers, usually large organizations, on features during product development.
"There was always a steady flow of information," Miller said. "But I know a very large petroleum company that has had so much frustration over the last year, about what's coming, how it will be licensed. It's not just analysts and the press who are unhappy with the secrecy. It's everybody."
Other analysts, some of whom have long talked about the change in information dissemination since Sinofsky took the Windows reins, chimed in, too.
"Sinofsky was said to alienate ISVs, [independent hardware vendors], retail partners and customers with his Microsoft-first attitude," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, earlier this week.
Now that Sinofsky is out, Microsoft as a company, or Larson-Green and Reller, as Windows' new leadership, have an opportunity to correct that course.
"Maybe what we might see from the new regime is a more open communication channel with the [Windows] ecosystem," said Cherry.
Miller agreed, saying that Microsoft should try to regain the trust of its OEMs, outside developers and customers. "They have a lot of opportunity in front of them in the next six months, not only to not abandon Windows enterprise users, but to begin evangelizing Windows 8, and even Windows 7," he said.
"Sinofsky had a very distinct management style, and part of that was informational control, something he instilled in Microsoft," Miller concluded. "The question is, will they want to continue that or will they change going forward?"
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Microsoft launches toolset for capturing 'ambient intelligence'
- Microsoft kicks off sales of lower-priced Office subscription in bid for iPad dollars
- At Build, mobility gets a boost with universal Windows apps
- Microsoft gets strategic with its Enterprise Mobility Suite
- Microsoft sketches out final Windows XP security updates for next week
- Microsoft teases touch-first Office for Windows
- Cortana's voice is synthesized in part from an AI character in Halo
- Hell freezes over: Microsoft makes Windows free for some devices
- Windows Phone 8.1 confirmed, with Cortana digital assistant
- Ex-Microsoft employee pleads guilty to trade secret theft
Read more about Windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Windows White Papers | Webcasts