Two Microsoft Windows veterans depart the company today

Microsoft's Windows team will be without two of their most influential team members when the new year begins on Wednesday. Jon DeVaan, who worked at the company for almost 30 years, has announced he will leave Microsoft along with Grant George. Today is officially the last day for both men at the company.

Jon DeVaan, pictured attending the Windows AppFest in India in 2012 to help launch Windows 8.

According to GeekWire, DeVaan announced his departure on his personal Facebook page Monday. He later sent out an email statement saying, "I am spending time with my family and holding space open to see what opportunities develop.” He first joined Microsoft in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become the Corporate Vice President of Windows Development. He is credited with helping to launch Windows 7 after the poor reception to Windows Vista.

George was Microsoft's long time head of testing in the Windows division. AllThingsD reported his departure today. As with DeVaan, George did not offer a specific announcement on what future endeavors he will be partaking in.

Both DeVaan and George were rumored to be leaving Microsoft for the last few months, as part of the company's reorganization that put Terry Myerson in charge of all operating system development. A few weeks ago, it was revealed that two other major Windows leaders, Ted Dworkin and Jensen Harris, are now a part of Microsoft's Bing team.

Source: GeekWire and AllThingsD | Image via Microsoft

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42 Comments

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Not really they said they will remain open to see what other opportunities are available to them.. So basically they are after another job.

GotBored said,
Not really they said they will remain open to see what other opportunities are available to them.. So basically they are after another job.

Or a job not as taxing.

Not as taxing as an executive position? Might want to retire then, don't even need to make appearances at the office every now and then that way.

GotBored said,
Not really they said they will remain open to see what other opportunities are available to them.. So basically they are after another job.

Ya, opportunities don't always mean another 'job'. If you think they need the money, you don't know who they are.

These are people from the 1992 era Microsoft where 4 of 5 employees were millionaires. And that was a long time ago...

What other opportunities would they be open for? I never said it was about money, some people have a job just to keep them occupied every now and then.

GotBored said,
What other opportunities would they be open for? I never said it was about money, some people have a job just to keep them occupied every now and then.

People also start charities and companies or devote their time to teaching or other hobbies.

Bill Gates still works and has a 'job', but that is different than him being 'after another job' when he left Microsoft.

I think this isn't a big deal. This is just a lot of older men leaving. This business isn't really for the 50-60 year old crowd of workers. More like get a nice severance and see you later on the beach.

Edited by ccoltmanm, Jan 1 2014, 1:57am :

ccoltmanm said,
I think this isn't a big deal. This is just a lot of older men leaving. This business isn't really for the 50-60 year old crowd of workers. More like get a nice severance and see you later on the beach.

Ray Ozzie would disagree...

John Nemesh said,
Like rats fleeing a sinking ship....more to come, just wait.

Sure. The founders all got old. How long so you expect them to stay?

John Nemesh said,
Like rats fleeing a sinking ship....more to come, just wait.

Of course, just like all the other original Microsoft veterans that left over the past 20 years and retired on their millions. They got out before they would have to apply for food stamps.

Really?

Really. MS has lost all touch with the things that made them successful. They ignore what their customers want, miss crucial changes in the industry, then spend YEARS trying to make up for lost time. They ditched the open (to develop for) OS for a closed, proprietary "walled garden", aping Apple, trying to mimic their success...at the very time that Android, with it's open platform, is now dominating. (and Windows 8 and 8.1 ARE partially "closed". It will run unsigned x86 code, but "metro" apps still need Microsoft's blessing and a 20-30% cut of the gross)

No matter how many millions MS is willing to waste trying to convince the world that they are being "scroogled", the truth is that they are well on the road to total irrelevancy in the market. THAT campaign reeks of fear...and with the latest numbers, we can see why.

They have also aggravated the very people who could save them, their hardware partners, by becoming an outright competitor to them. Look for more and more "alternatives" to Windows machines being made going forward.

They are doomed if they try and stay with their strategies they have been following under Ballmer. If they persist in shoving "Metro" down everyones throats, if they persist in developing "closed" ecosystems, and if they persist in "transforming" the company into a "devices and services" company, they will be gone within a decade. Just watch.

John Nemesh said,
Really. MS has lost all touch with the things that made them successful. They ignore what their customers want, miss crucial changes in the industry, then spend YEARS trying to make up for lost time. They ditched the open (to develop for) OS for a closed, proprietary "walled garden", aping Apple, trying to mimic their success...at the very time that Android, with it's open platform, is now dominating. (and Windows 8 and 8.1 ARE partially "closed". It will run unsigned x86 code, but "metro" apps still need Microsoft's blessing and a 20-30% cut of the gross)

No matter how many millions MS is willing to waste trying to convince the world that they are being "scroogled", the truth is that they are well on the road to total irrelevancy in the market. THAT campaign reeks of fear...and with the latest numbers, we can see why.

They have also aggravated the very people who could save them, their hardware partners, by becoming an outright competitor to them. Look for more and more "alternatives" to Windows machines being made going forward.

They are doomed if they try and stay with their strategies they have been following under Ballmer. If they persist in shoving "Metro" down everyones throats, if they persist in developing "closed" ecosystems, and if they persist in "transforming" the company into a "devices and services" company, they will be gone within a decade. Just watch.

It's not that Microsoft is losing touch with what there good at but the fact that they need to adapt to a new generation before new form factors completely obliterate PCs. And their OEMs were pathetically achieving form factors Microsoft wanted them to produce. HP failed to make the slate PC form factor. While other slate PCs such as the Samsung Series 7 were far too expensive.

All the OEMs sold PCs that never had the quality that Apple had in their macs that honestly made me want an iPhone before they came out with one. It was the idea, Apple has the best quality experiences, they put things together so nicely, I loved the ecosystems, all of it. It was everyone wanting such a perfect experience from Apple on their phone that made everyone tickled pink inside following the announcement.

Apple wasn't granted a special wish to stay ahead of the curve that allowed them to make the iPhone. Microsoft could've delivered too. They tried with Longhorn. They have tried with slate PCs and Windows 7. They try and try, but its the OEMs or the chipset makers or whoever, that fail to produce the hardware or the drivers, the entire experience.. Look at the HTC HD2. Any Windows Mobile phone could've been that good and we could've had Android without Android a long time ago.

This isn't Microsoft taking a bold leap of faith. It is Microsoft finally ****ing standing up ready to tackle Apple and Google and any ****ing OEM like Samsung who decides to put their best efforts into their own Android creations while shunning development on their Windows counterpart devices and limiting their availability. It is their first bold step to producing quality hardware with quality software experiences. Microsoft didn't make a surface desktop PC because the new form factor is the tablet. They'll make phones and tablets and anything that will deliver a experience that will tie in with their promised ecosystem, the one that is the future.

Kinda glad they were let go. Seems like Terry is making some drastic changes to the team. Can't wait to see what the new guys will bring to the table.

j2006 said,
Kinda glad they were let go. Seems like Terry is making some drastic changes to the team. Can't wait to see what the new guys will bring to the table.

Jensen Harris was a terrific guy; I enjoined his blog about Office Ribbon, the reasoning behind it and why it was making sense to use it. Not some remarks like "this is what our metrics shows people want...". A great loss...

Fritzly said,

Hardly a promotion... Isn't it?

if he receives a better pay package, I'd consider that a promotion. But no one would know.

If you pay attention, all these guys getting canned and transferred are all Sinofskys people. Terry Myerson was the leader of the windows phone division. He was promoted and is now the leader of Windows,period. He is the one who brought over Joe Belfiore, who was responsible for designing the windows phone UI, which was then implemented as the Windows 8 UI as well.

What you are trying to imply is wishful thinking. In fact, the windows phone guys have completely taken over the windows division,and its going to be a tough pill to swallow for some folks who are still in denial about the future of windows,which is Modern UI and WinRT.

vcfan said,
If you pay attention, all these guys getting canned and transferred are all Sinofskys people. Terry Myerson was the leader of the windows phone division. He was promoted and is now the leader of Windows,period. He is the one who brought over Joe Belfiore, who was responsible for designing the windows phone UI, which was then implemented as the Windows 8 UI as well.

What you are trying to imply is wishful thinking. In fact, the windows phone guys have completely taken over the windows division,and its going to be a tough pill to swallow for some folks who are still in denial about the future of windows,which is Modern UI and WinRT.

If that is "The Future", then it won't be a surprise when they keep losing market share to Chromebooks, Apple and Android!

Order_66 said,
More windows 8.X casualties...

Or just time for them to depart and spend time with their families. They are retirement age.

vcfan said,
If you pay attention, all these guys getting canned and transferred are all Sinofskys people. Terry Myerson was the leader of the windows phone division. He was promoted and is now the leader of Windows,period. He is the one who brought over Joe Belfiore, who was responsible for designing the windows phone UI, which was then implemented as the Windows 8 UI as well.

What you are trying to imply is wishful thinking. In fact, the windows phone guys have completely taken over the windows division,and its going to be a tough pill to swallow for some folks who are still in denial about the future of windows,which is Modern UI and WinRT.

You are simply passing one failure for another, I personally love WP8 and I am a recent convert to the OS, can't say enough good things about it, however it's not gaining any real traction in the market, I wish this was not true because I would love to see a future with WP8 and beyond because it is simply a joy to use.

There is no "denial" about the future of "modern UI", at least on the desktop, it has been shown to be a complete and utter failure since its inception, to witness proof of this one only has to take note that the OS has only seen minuscule growth only 3 months out of the entire year with windows 7 actually overtaking 8.x in the other months.

Enron said,
More baseless speculation...

Yes, first Sinofsky, a few others, then Ballmer, now Devann and George, and with windows 8.x only showing minuscule growth 3 months out of the entire year and windows 7 even overtaking 8.x for a few months.

Completely "baseless" indeed....


/s

Order_66 said,

Yes, first Sinofsky, a few others, then Ballmer, now Devann and George, and with windows 8.x only showing minuscule growth 3 months out of the entire year and windows 7 even overtaking 8.x for a few months.

Completely "baseless" indeed....

/s

So, let's get rid of all the management who brought us Windows 8, yet continue to refine Windows 8 and further integrate its design language across all product lines?

I could see if they were scrapping the idea entirely or altering course while these people were leaving, but that couldn't be further from the truth... and no, adding a 'start menu' back doesn't count.

John Nemesh said,

If that is "The Future", then it won't be a surprise when they keep losing market share to Chromebooks, Apple and Android!

This really isn't accurate.

In fact there were more Windows 8/8.1 tablet purchases in 2013 than people buying Macbooks.

The Chromebook numbers from the article the other day were cutting out a specific definition to elevate the Chromebook sales perception. They created a class that all Chromebooks fit into with most new Windows 8/8.1 notebooks falling out of the definition because they had multi-form factors.

Enron said,

So, let's get rid of all the management who brought us Windows 8

The management that brought us windows 8 deserved to be fired.

Enron said,
More baseless speculation...

Sinosfky is out, several key members are out. Ballmer is foced to quit. One of the most famous applications for windows 8/8.1 is about to skip Modern UI menu. and even one of the latest features of windows 8.1 is how to skip Modern UI partially.

My bet:
a) they are too old (however Gates and Ballmer are still teens). /s
b) i blame haters /s
c) but... but... but... google is worst! /s
d) Apple stink /s

Brony said,

My bet:
a) they are too old (however Gates and Ballmer are still teens). /s
b) i blame haters /s
c) but... but... but... google is worst! /s
d) Apple stink /s

What is the point of these irrelevant comments?

ccoltmanm said,

I'm sure they got good pay packages and benefits. I doubt it's cut throat.


In a way you are right: I should have used inverted commas. The phrase was not meant to literally indicates slashed throats; it is commonly used to describe an action " to settle the score" between two factions.