Former Windows head admits to using an iPhone... but it's not what you may think

Steven Sinofsky no longer works at Microsoft, so it should not be a huge shock to learn that he might be using products made by companies other that his former employer. A couple of days ago, he posted this note on his Twitter account:

Sinofsky later expanded his viewpoints in a new post on his Learning by Shipping blog. He states

Moving beyond the gotcha blogs, there’s an actual reason for using technology products and services other than the ones you make (or happen to be made by the company where you work/ed). I think everyone knows that, even a thousand tweets later.  The approach in many industries to downplay or even become hostile to the competition are well-documented and studied, and generally conclude that experiencing the competition is a good thing.

The rest of the blog talks about how a company should use a product from the competition. Sinofsky says that all members of a team must examine what other companies are doing in their field and use their products extensively, over a period of days and even weeks. He also believes that team members should use these products the way the competition has designed them to work, rather than modify them.

Sinofsky says that companies can even learn about their own products from the eyes of the competitor. Sinofsky states:

I remember once writing a whole “press kit” for what became Visual C++ as though I were the Borland C++ team. It was great fun. Rather than focus on Windows (3.0!) development, I focused on compiler speed, code size, array of command line options, and more. Those were the things that Borland would focus on. I then ripped into Visual C++ as a Borland person, highlighting what options were missing, the slowness of the tools, and so on. Even though VC++ 1.0 had a Windows dev environment, resource editor, class library and more—all assets relative to Borland.

Source: Learning by Shipping

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FYI, when I wrote this the article contained only the opening sentence in what is now the first paragraph, and the tweet.

rippleman said,
do you think we all follow his tweet? I know most of us dont so its still news to us. Sounds like you need to start your own tech site.

When I wrote what I did, there was only one sentence and the tweet text. I have no problem with what the article has become, and I am not one of those people who don't want news printed simply because it does not relate me or because it seems to follow the "slow news day" pattern, but when originally published it was just literally copying an pasting the tweet text with a single sentence. It looked plain lazy on John's part. But he (down below) wrote that it was an editing problem, which makes sense.

Anthony Tosie said,
Sorry for the issues. Something messed up in our publishing system and the story got cut somehow.

No problem, s*** happens. The original seemed to end rather abruptly, and that was my objection. But if there was a reason for it, and not just dumping single line tweets, then we will get through it.

If you're a tech enthusiast, why wouldn't you have a go at all three platforms (Android, iOS and Windows Phone)? It's stupid not to and purely base your decision on Windows Phone just because it's from Microsoft.

Would Android and Windows Phone exist without iOS being there in the first place? You have to give credit to the iPhone models that Steve launched for pushing the boundaries.

I personally use Android, but I have used both iOS and Windows phone extensively, "to become familiar with the work of all companies".

wow....the title...the article....wow

"But not what you think?" It's exactly what I think... he wants to stay current on other platforms.

Haha, this is like a celebrity gossip type article. Yikes.

I'm sure every single design engineer and executive of Microsoft, Google, and Apple all use either other's phones. The only way to stay competitive is to exploit your competitions weaknesses. Plus you have to know how to design around licensing agreements/patents.

And you can't honestly talk crap about a product without actually using it.

That's a good answer and it would be my answer too if I were in his position, heck, even if I was hired at Microsoft I'll say it. You have to be aware of the competition is doing, there's no way to measure how you can be a better choice if you don't.

a real tech person doesn't ignore other tech, they explore all of it... just like Wozniak does, just because he co-founded Apple doesn't mean he can't play with non-apple tech, just like Sinofsky should look at what the competition creates and keep youself up to date on what is out there

Do I like Apple? no not really, do I own Apple products? yes

Gee he doesn't even work there any more, he can use whatever he damn well pleases, without having to justify it.

I don't think anyone would consider my posts to be pro Android or pro iOS, yet I have carried both types of phones for over a six month period as my personal primary phone.

I still have an iPhone and an Android device on my desk that I personally use for testing on a daily basis. (I still think Android is trash and iOS is sadly limited.)

Why? Because I am leader of a technology company and need to understand products on an intimate nature. My techs also work with and carry various type of products from old school Blackberry to the newest Android tablets and phones.

The problem you will find with companies like Apple and Google and 'fans' is that they never touch the competition, so they have no idea what they are missing.

Even the OSS world has hurt itself over the years by ignoring technologies from Microsoft, especially Windows and Vista specifically. There is still no OSS OS concept that deals with GPU scheduling and virtualization technologies, which are extremely important to the current and upcoming generations of computing, even at the mobile platform level.

Instead of mocking Vista, Apple and Linux developers should have bee rushing to try to recreate some of the Vista technologies in their product.

However, here we are 6 years later, and Microsoft has THIS SAME TECHNOLOGY running on Phone class hardware WP8, and Android and iOS and Linux and OS X still cannot handle GPUs in an elegant manner. This is why WP7/8 has a fast UI and manages the GPU to ensure it doesn't get laggy or slow.

What do I mean by elegant, Windows NT manages the GPU processes and threads so that the UI and GP-GPU and graphics never conflict or take priority over essential GPU processes. This is why WP7/8 is FLUID and why Win7/Win8's UI is ALWAYS fluid, even while Crysis 2 is running in a Window on the desktop concurrently with other 3D application and the 3D accelerated Windows GUI.

The Linux and OS X crowd would serve themselves by learning what NT is and how it works and why.

So if Sinofsky wasn't using and iPhone or Android or Linux or OS X, he would nt be doing his job. PERIOD. (And I do not like the guy.)

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