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Steven Sinofsky

Windows 8 was the crowning achievement in a distinguished career of shipping quality products for Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky. That's why his abrupt exit right after it launched was so surprising.

Steven Sinofsky
Steven Sinofsky, then president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division, speaking at a developer conference in 2011. Microsoft

Windows 8 was the crowning achievement in a distinguished career of shipping quality products for Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky. That's why his exit from Microsoft just weeks after the Windows 8 launch seemed so surprising.

But Sinofsky, a strong-willed executive with a reputation for butting heads with those in other divisions, had even been battling with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The company's senior leaders were increasingly concerned about Sinofsky's ability to collaborate with other groups at a time when Microsoft needs more cross-product synergy to better compete against Apple and Google. So once Windows 8 shipped, Sinofsky and Microsoft parted ways.

For more on this story, see Jay Greene's in-depth profile of Sinofsky.

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