Microsoft's former Windows head now working with founder of Netscape

The former head of Microsoft's Windows division now has a new part-time gig, and it's one where he will be working with the co-founder of Netscape. In a post on his Learning by Shipping blog today, Steven Sinofsky has announced he has joined the Silicon Valley-based Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm as a board partner.

In his blog post, Sinosky, who left Microsoft in November after leading the development of Windows 8, explained what his new gig will be like:

Board partners are unique at a16z. In this position I will represent the firm on the boards of portfolio companies when the opportunities present themselves, but will not be a full-time member of the firm.

The announcement means that Sinofsky will be working with Marc Andreessen, the co-creator of the Mosaic web browser and later the co-founder of Netscape. Netscape and Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browsers famously battled in the 1990s for the World Wide Web audience. Microsoft won that war while Netscape ended up being bought by AOL. In 2012, Microsoft bought the rights to Netscape's browser code but not the name as part of its $1 billion patent deal with AOL.

Andreessen teamed up with Ben Horowitz in 2009 to form Andreessen Horowitz, and since then the firm has made investments in a ton of technology companies, including Twitter, Skype, Foursquare and many more.

Sinofsky says that he will continue to be an "entrepreneur in residence" at Harvard Business School but will later become a full-time resident of the Silicon Valley area. He added that he will "continue to pursue other business and product development opportunities that arise."

As part of his $14 million retirement package from Microsoft, Sinofsky has agreed to not to accept a job at Amazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle, and VMWare until after Dec. 31, 2013.

Source: Learning by Shipping | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Windows Phone Instagram client 6tag may leak your data

Next Story

SweetLabs to have its Pokki Windows 8 Start menu installed on all Lenovo PCs

42 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

...with no user guide, no helpful hints, and a lot of useful functions completely hidden until you swipe in from an edge.

Seriously though, I think the main problem is there was practically no effort by Microsoft, under Sinofsky, to help existing users transition to the new interface.

warwagon said,
Ah good old Sinosky, the man who will forever go down as the man who single handily destroyed windows.

and could have very well started the beginning of the end of Microsoft. The MS ecosystem is WAY behind where it sound be. Due to RT and the dreadful uptake on Windows 8 tablets / Phones, they are in a dire state.

Even the XBOX ONE has had a bad start....and it's not even been released LOL

what I don't get about Msft is... why do they hire folks who do not care about success at at the company, sure they have some good folks.. but overall out of those who've left or been forced to leave... those individuals end up as the biggest company bashers you can find? I question why, when employed at Msft did they not strive to make the company better

You have Sinosky, who was anything but inclusive(according to rumors), pushing his vision of Windows8 without taking in feedback from other teams or the community... Did anyone even see the Surface RT launch where this guy bumbles through the presentation, he could barely speak(fumbling words)? If you're going to get anything right you at least get the launch of your product off without a hitch(this guy failed)... instead I remember headlines of 'IE10 hangs/crashes at Surface launch)

Its as if some of the people Msft employ just do not give a **** when they very much should

I think you have fans of the company like me(and others) who give more of a **** about what happens than folks that work there, boggles my mind

Its like something clicks up top at Msft at the last second and they're like wait a minute is this person out to take a paycheck and not give 110% to both Microsoft and the community

Happens a lot, look up those who've left they're either touting competing products when they themselves did nothing to help while they were there. Just look at Sinosky, total control of what happened during his tenure and failed

these people initially love the company, that is until they try to take over someones spot or try to move higher up. And when they don't get their way, they become bitter,and want to "hurt" the company. one way of doing this is to trumpet a competitors product.

bigmehdi said,
Well, when did Sinofsky bash Microsoft, or became "bitter" ?

when he decided to openly promote the phone he is using,by saying,arent we all htc one users. it is known he didn't like to collaborate with other divisions at Microsoft,and this was perhaps a shot at windows phone.

From text:
" As part of his $14 million retirement package from Microsoft, Sinofsky has agreed to not to accept a job at Amazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle, and VMWare until after Dec. 31, 2013."

Well, they may have added Netscape to the list, if they knew.


Netscape and Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browsers famously battled
in the 1990s for the World Wide Web audience. Microsoft won that war
while Netscape ended up being bought by AOL.


Microsoft won that war, by cheating, and became a convicted monopolist because of it.
bigmehdi said,

From text:
"As part of his $14 million retirement package from Microsoft, Sinofsky has agreed
to not to accept a job at Amazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle,
and VMWare until after Dec. 31, 2013"

Well, they may have added Netscape to the list, if they knew.


They probably would if Netscape still actually existed in the same they did before AOL bought it.
Now though, Netscape is little more than perhaps a small corner of office space at AOL's HQ,
a tiny insignifigant shadow of its former self. Heck, even AOL is a shadow of its former self.

DJGM said,

and became a convicted monopolist because of it.

No, they didn't. But don't feel bad. It's pretty much the norm to have a completely erroneous idea of what happened in that trial.

MrHumpty said,
Netsape was a PoS.

Not before the version 6 of netscape, that became bloated, and suffered from the comparison with ie5. In the past , that was internet explorer 4 that was Pos.
Then later again ie6, suffered from the comparison with firefox.

MrHumpty said,

Netsape was a PoS.


You ingrate. If it weren't for Netscape, there'd have been no Firefox, and ultimately no competition
against the scourge that was Internet Explorer, that browser that ultimately won by cheating.

DJGM said,

You ingrate. If it weren't for Netscape, there'd have been no Firefox, and ultimately no competition
against the scourge that was Internet Explorer, that browser that ultimately won by cheating.

You ingrate. If it weren't for IE, there wouldn't have been competition that ultimately killed Netscape and brought about Firefox.

See how stupid is your logic?

bigmehdi said,
Not before the version 6 of netscape, that became bloated, and suffered from the comparison with ie5. In the past , that was internet explorer 4 that was Pos.
Then later again ie6, suffered from the comparison with firefox.
It was pretty horrible before 6. I used it from 2 or 3 on iirc. Netscape 4 was the last I used.

Edited by MrHumpty, Aug 22 2013, 8:38pm :

DJGM said,
You ingrate. If it weren't for Netscape, there'd have been no Firefox, and ultimately no competition
against the scourge that was Internet Explorer, that browser that ultimately won by cheating.
It's your opinion that w/o Netscape there would be no Firefox or Competition to IE. If only we had access to the alternate universe to back up that claim.

Look, Netscape was decent in the beginning. IE3 was... a feeble attempt and gained almost no traction even though it was bundled. Nobody used it, everybody bought Netscape. IE4 was pretty much amazing, I still remember the DHTML demo at the unveil. Thank god for download resumers as I downloaded IE4 via a 14.4 modem... my room mate wasn't happy. The shell change to Win95 alone was sick at the time. IE5 was just as good. Firefox showed up, finally, and took a good while to become a decent alternative. Opera was always there and a decent alternative.

Netscape was first to the game and made a killing on a piece of software that would turn out to be just a utility. I have no problems with what MS did back then. What happened to them was the market limited their abilities. They produced a PoS browser for 5-6 years and in that time got worked over.

MrHumpty said,
It was pretty horrible before 6. I used it from 2 or 3 on iirc. Netscape 4 was the last I used.

Netscape rapidly became overrated, and gradually became junk. The browser wars were a parade of fanboy stupidity from every direction. One look at people who bragged about Netscape's blink tag support was all anyone needed to know how petty things were. It was year after year of irrational butthurt, and the first time light was shone on the fact that most people didn't give a flying fark which browser they were using as long as the site appeared to work.

People cried and kicked and screamed about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows, but the fundamental problem was user apathy. Nobody CARED about their browser except the people building and boning for the ones losing market share. Hey, your computer comes with a free browser pre-installed; why the crap would you opt to BUY Netscape or Opera?

We all knew commercial browsers weren't going to stick around, and Netscape was Blackberry pathetic about reading the writing on the wall.

Joshie said,

Netscape rapidly became overrated, and gradually became junk. The browser wars were a parade of fanboy stupidity from every direction. One look at people who bragged about Netscape's blink tag support was all anyone needed to know how petty things were. It was year after year of irrational butthurt, and the first time light was shone on the fact that most people didn't give a flying fark which browser they were using as long as the site appeared to work.

People cried and kicked and screamed about Microsoft bundling IE with Windows, but the fundamental problem was user apathy. Nobody CARED about their browser except the people building and boning for the ones losing market share. Hey, your computer comes with a free browser pre-installed; why the crap would you opt to BUY Netscape or Opera?

We all knew commercial browsers weren't going to stick around, and Netscape was Blackberry pathetic about reading the writing on the wall.

Preach on! Even today where techies think everybody has strong beliefs about their browsers it's just not the case. Most will use whatever you put in front of them. This is why Chrome's bundle install with Flash is so important for their market share. If I may put on my tin foil hat for a moment, I think that's also why Adobe refuses to have an auto-updater for flash... they, most likely, make a killing off of all those accidental Chrome installs.

Even back when IE3 was pretty terrible nobody really cared because there just weren't enough using the web to care or to know alternatives existed. If anything MS's obsession with getting a browser on all machines and their crazy marketing got users on the internet to begin with.

DJGM said,

You ingrate. If it weren't for Netscape, there'd have been no Firefox, and ultimately no competition
against the scourge that was Internet Explorer, that browser that ultimately won by doing the same thing Safari and Konqueror would eventually do anyway because Microsoft just happened to be the first major OS to do what every single OS in the world does today and include a single free browser by default.

FTFY.

Joshie said,

Netscape rapidly became overrated, and gradually became junk.

No it didn't became gradually junk. The version 6 was massively rejected (and subsequent versions), because it was slow and bloated. It went directly from version 4 to 6. The version 6 was a kind of error, they've rewritten the gecko engine from scratch.
I remind in my school, almost everyone was using netscape 4.
In each pc I installed netscape 6, it was uninstalled by other students (or administrator, I don't know). Then when ie5 became available, netscape was forgotten once for all.

So basically, you've edited my quote, by comparing the OS with over 90+% market share,
with OSes that barely even have 5-10%. With that, you fail in the most epic way possible.

The undeniable fact is, IE won by cheating, as it was irrevocably bundled with the market
leading OS to such an extent, that it could not be removed with damaging the OS, thus
anti-competitively wrecking it's biggest rival, regardless of which browser was better.

So what if Mac OS and Linux eventually bundled browsers by default? If they'd had the
highest market share, and Windows less than 10%, they'd be anti-competitive instead.

MrHumpty said,

Even back when IE3 was pretty terrible nobody really cared because there just weren't enough using the web to care or to know alternatives existed. If anything MS's obsession with getting a browser on all machines and their crazy marketing got users on the internet to begin with.

Not only were few people using the web, but the web wasn't all that complex. IE3 didn't need to be great because 99% of the web was equally crap. People were using Geocities/Tripod templates, if even that. Bleeding edge sites may have been using those fancy new 'frames'. The only instances of plug-ins anyone could find on the web were Shockwave nightmares and Real audio players--often autoplaying, much to everyone's annoyance.

It was a web that was still learning to crawl and everybody was already being huge hipsters about which browsers were better. Idiotic, through and through.

Joshie said,

IE3 didn't need to be great because 99% of the web was equally crap. .

Presentation of web content is improved today, but implying there's less crap today doesn't seem true to me.

bigmehdi said,

Presentation of web content is improved today, but implying there's less crap today doesn't seem true to me.


Sure, but just the same, every browser today renders today's web equally fine. Critics are alone in seeing mistakes. Everyone else just uses the web without a second thought.

It's like listening to music. The musician will hear a dozen mistakes and the audience will congratulate him for the flawless performance.

Lord Method Man said,

Very ignorant and misinformed comment.

Very redundant reply.

BTW, how so?

Netscape was a magnificent browser up to version 4. MS did cheat by forbidding OEMs by including any browser other than IE (Remember the 1996's Compaq fiasco).

The exchange server, msiehtml and strongarming of companies are indeed proof that MS cheated.

Joshie said,

Sure, but just the same, every browser today renders today's web equally fine. Critics are alone in seeing mistakes. Everyone else just uses the web without a second thought.

It's like listening to music. The musician will hear a dozen mistakes and the audience will congratulate him for the flawless performance.

The public have a somewhat flawless experience exactly because critics see mistakes. Without a critical device in place every technology would stagnate.

sanctified said,

The public have a somewhat flawless experience exactly because critics see mistakes. Without a critical device in place every technology would stagnate.


Back it up with examples, otherwise this is just a platitude.

Last I checked, the web's evolution has been overwhelmingly server-side.

Joshie said,

Back it up with examples, otherwise this is just a platitude.

Last I checked, the web's evolution has been overwhelmingly server-side.

What examples do you want in something so evident? This is the very nature of science, it's auto-corrective. Or maybe Im not understanding you?

sanctified said,

What examples do you want in something so evident? This is the very nature of science, it's auto-corrective. Or maybe Im not understanding you?

Science? I thought we were talking about technology. They're two different things.

You made a claim that technology advances thanks to critics. I'm asking for an example of this happening.

Joshie said,

Science? I thought we were talking about technology. They're two different things.

You made a claim that technology advances thanks to critics. I'm asking for an example of this happening.

So technology is not a product of science?

Really?

anyway, the HID, bug tracking, ergonomic investigations, spatial and iconological interface readings... all product of critical postures towards a ever maturing state of technology.

sanctified said,

So technology is not a product of science?


Cakes are not bakers.

Really?

Really.

anyway, the HID, bug tracking, ergonomic investigations, spatial and iconological interface readings... all product of critical postures towards a ever maturing state of technology.

You're forgetting advancements due to consumer research, adapting to limitations imposed by regulations or availability of tech, and 'mad science'--the architects and engineers who make new things just because they want to see if it can be done.

Criticism is relatively small when compared to the ego of the critic.

Joshie said,

Cakes are not bakers.


Really.


You're forgetting advancements due to consumer research, adapting to limitations imposed by regulations or availability of tech, and 'mad science'--the architects and engineers who make new things just because they want to see if it can be done.

Criticism is relatively small when compared to the ego of the critic.

You seem to choose to ignore that the consumer and the 'mad science' engineers are adopting a critical posture too. Critics are not only those who just publish reviews and even so their labour is important too.

How's about all of you guys stfu... honestly. How is this still going on? The reason browsers have become better is because of search revenue. The drive to gain search revenue drives the designers to create a superior customer experience to get more customers to do more searches.

All this crap about critics, tech, science... seriously. Customers -> Search Revenue. Make Customers happy.

P.S. Most customers have no idea when a page is rendered off spec by a browser. They want it to be bast and 95% on point. most customers will use whatever you give them. Most customers don't even know how to put a web address into the freaking address bar, they go to their search and type it in there.