Who are the people taking over Windows at Microsoft?

The tech world is still reeling from the fact that Steven Sinofsky, who lead the Windows team at Microsoft for many years, has left the company just a few weeks after the launch of Windows 8 and Surface. So who are the people who will now be in charge of the Windows division?

As announced by Microsoft in its press release this evening, Julie Larson-Green will take over as the head of both Windows software and hardware development. We assume that means she will supervise the expansion of the company's Surface tablet. Larson-Green received her master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University along with her bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Washington University.

According to a 2010 profile posted on ZDNet.com, Larson-Green joined Microsoft in 1993 and worked on the Visual C++ team. Later, she helped create the user experience for Internet Explorer 3.0 and 4.0 and then joined the Microsoft Office team in 1997 where she lead the user interface design for Office XP, Office 2003 and Office 2007.

Larson-Green led the Office team to create what later became known as the Ribbon UI, which continues to be used in Office products. Microsoft's press release today added, "For Windows 7 and Windows 8 she was responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases."

ZDNet.com claimed in 2010 that Larson-Green heavily supported multi-touch UI for Windows and it's clear that came through with the UI for Windows 8.

In addition to Larson-Green, Microsoft said that the company's current chief financial officer and chief marketing officer for Windows, Tami Reller, will now assume more responsibilities. Microsoft's press release stated, "In her expanded role she will assume the lead in driving business and marketing strategy for Windows devices, including Surface and partner devices, in addition to her current marketing and finance responsibilities."

Reller joined Microsoft in 2001 after her first company, Great Plains Software, was acquired by Microsoft. She joined the Windows team in 2007, and will remain the CMO and CFO going forward despite the expanded duties.

Source: Microsoft press release | Images via Microsoft

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I wonder how many times during meetings Julie said "let's not be technical here, let's just discuss our customer satisfaction instead".

Or how many time her subordinates removed any technical stuff from their presentations not to "offend" her.

Damn, this place is sexist. I'm no Metro fan, but as we have all seen, most people quite like it and the direction Microsoft is going. And yet all people can think about is that one of the minds behind is a female, and this matters/is a bad thing? Good grief, grow up.

Good on her, hope it all works out.

Charisma said,
Damn, this place is sexist. I'm no Metro fan, but as we have all seen, most people quite like it and the direction Microsoft is going. And yet all people can think about is that one of the minds behind is a female, and this matters/is a bad thing? Good grief, grow up.

Good on her, hope it all works out.

Exactly what I thought when I read this. Sad.

bidz said,
Ballmer just wants the chicks to himself.
We all know that he's that type of guy just by looking at him.

I would not want to imagine his tongue flipping out and *rolleyes*

already? geez. sinofsky's career at microsoft hasn't even achieved rigor mortis.

i guess the fanboys at neowin needed closure. lmao.

Well good if you are a fanboy of Ribbon, Metro, dumbing down and constant re-imagining. Julie Larson Green's expertise in dumbing down is unrivaled.

Microsoft only needs to tighten all the services and to clean up the inconsistencies between metro and desktop. But ofc one critical point remains... metro on a normal desktop is semi-flawed. No matter how optimistic you look at it. Its next to impossible to find a user intuitive balance between metro and deskto programs and the many settings windows.

But they look pretty, good luck --)

typu said,
Microsoft only needs to tighten all the services and to clean up the inconsistencies between metro and desktop. But ofc one critical point remains... metro on a normal desktop is semi-flawed. No matter how optimistic you look at it. Its next to impossible to find a user intuitive balance between metro and deskto programs and the many settings windows.

But they look pretty, good luck --)

The thing is, as Windows XP was a transition from DOS-based 9x/ME as well as a merger of their consumer and business OS segments (shifting the consumer grade 9x/ME over to Windows 2000's NT core), Windows 8 signals the deprecation of the legacy Win32 and .NET runtimes, with a shift toward the new, more efficient WinRT runtime. Desktop mode in Windows 8 is what XP Mode was for Windows 7 - a way for businesses and consumers to keep their existing software infrastructure while they could prepare for a departure to newer technology. I am predicting that everything in Desktop mode in Windows 8 is technology that has been marked deprecated inside Microsoft as they shift Windows v. Next entirely over to the WinRT runtime. We're finally seeing touchscreen technology take off in the consumer laptop segment, and that's allowed Microsoft to take off with touch UI development. Windows 8 is just a stepping stone toward a full-touch Windows OS.

Ill apologise in advance as my post will seem misogynistic, but now it makes sense why metro sucks.
Classic Example of a woman trying to pretty up something , but in the process make it harder to use/ less useable.
Placing greater importance on aesthetics over usability and productivity.

On the other hand, she's also the one who headed the Windows 7 UI too. And she's the one with mountains in UI development experience and research time behind her- I think I'll go let her do what she wants.

Hitman2000 said,
Ill apologise in advance as my post will seem misogynistic, but now it makes sense why metro sucks.
Classic Example of a woman trying to pretty up something , but in the process make it harder to use/ less useable.
Placing greater importance on aesthetics over usability and productivity.

Your comment seems misogynistic because it is, in fact, misogynistic.

warwagon said,
Please lets all remember the first photo is that woman who does TERRIBLE on stage.

not everyone has great stage presence give the gal a break least she had the balls to get up and do it

Athlonite said,

not everyone has great stage presence give the gal a break least she had the balls to get up and do it

Well said. Confidence in public speaking is a skill that some people would die to be great at.

Order_66 said,
She's certainly hot!

No... the hottest CEO seat belongs to the girl that was in google and became CEO at yahoo, that's one real figure.

I remember Julie Larson-Green from her demo of Windows 7 at the second to last PDC (not the BUILD conference) and thought she did a good job.

Any more real CEO material left inside Microsoft? This is going to be interesting....
Best of luck to Julie and Reller though

Good to see some high profile women in the IT industry. Not to be feminist or anything but it's not exactly an industry that promotes women, doesn't put them down or anything it's just not seen as appealing.

On a related side note, as a guy I can see why there are not many "obvious" female gamers. As soon as people find out there is a woman online things just get weird. If you ever been on an open chat or on a game you'll know what I mean.

They just need to make the metro desktop version a little more maneuverable and make it more friendlier for desktop use with a mouse, give us the option to boot to traditional desktop, and yes, the start menu needs to make a comeback.
and don't just bring it back in its old design. give it a refresh with a metro look and feel with some new customizing features etc..

Honestly, I don't even know why they took out the start menu in the first place. What good did it do? It just ****ed off users.

aviator189 said,
They just need to make the metro desktop version a little more maneuverable and make it more friendlier for desktop use with a mouse, give us the option to boot to traditional desktop, and yes, the start menu needs to make a comeback.
and don't just bring it back in its old design. give it a refresh with a metro look and feel with some new customizing features etc..

Honestly, I don't even know why they took out the start menu in the first place. What good did it do? It just ****ed off users.

the start menu's departure signalled metro's entrance.
Everything still exists - it just has been moved.

It is the users flexibility to find the new places that frustrates them, and it will eventually go away.

LAMj said,
If you look at Metro and the Desktop, you would know which sex designed which

I heard that all real men use Linux, and all real women use Mac, and Windows is for squares conforming to the norms of society, man.

Also... martinis are for squares, man.

LAMj said,
If you look at Metro and the Desktop, you would know which sex designed which

Well... the same person was also partly responsible for Windows 7's superbar. Just sayin'.

LAMj said,
If you look at Metro and the Desktop, you would know which sex designed which

Actually the overall design of the new startscreen is almost too simple and.... manly? It's the exact opposite to the tacky horrors Scott Forstall was responsible for at Apple. If you would have told me that that stuff was designed by a woman (with very bad taste) I would believe you but Metro? Nope, don't see it.

The Metro UI may be here to stay, and certainly works well with touch-centric tablets. Laptops and desktops will stick with Windows-7; or Windows-8 with some third-party overlay to orient the UI for a mouse and keyboard. Such a waste of valuable talent.

TsarNikky said,
The Metro UI may be here to stay, and certainly works well with touch-centric tablets. Laptops and desktops will stick with Windows-7; or Windows-8 with some third-party overlay to orient the UI for a mouse and keyboard. Such a waste of valuable talent.

Don't know what you mean by that Win8 comment. My keyboard works fine here in Win 8 UI orientation.

TsarNikky said,
The Metro UI may be here to stay, and certainly works well with touch-centric tablets. Laptops and desktops will stick with Windows-7; or Windows-8 with some third-party overlay to orient the UI for a mouse and keyboard. Such a waste of valuable talent.

My keyboard and mouse work great in Windows 8, especially in Metro. It doesn't take that much getting used to. Unless you're extremely resistant to change, like people that are so keen to hate the new UI, it's not that bad.

Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

siah1214 said,
Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

It doesn't need to go anywhere. Just give it time to mature, and we'll be forgetting all about Win32, just like we have with DOS.

siah1214 said,
Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

I dont think Metro is bad, infact i prefer it over aero (especially switching from w8 beta back to copy of w7)

I just think Metro is so new, MS doesnt know how they should change it - or which direction to take it. But im excited, because as it matures the more usable it will become - the more intuitive it will be - the more customized experience - the more options.

Right now windows 8 is just the beginning of metro - i see a windows in which metro is more usable, more customizable, more friendly... and a user favorite.

Right now this is only a taste as to what metro is, it is only... the beginning.

siah1214 said,
Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

Exactly.

So i'd just like to say to all the people saying that Sinofsky was fired because Metro/Win 8 is apparently (to them) a failure...

YOU'RE IDIOTS.

And in 6 months time when Win 8 has sold well i'll be calling you all idiots once again. Because you are.

siah1214 said,
Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

In a disaster like Windows 8, the main responsible is always the head. You don't start kicking everyone. Like if a fiasco caused by the Police, the head will depart first. The others must take the note and simply comply. If not, in 1-2 years you'll see these cut aged women leave, likewise.

PC EliTiST said,

In a disaster like Windows 8, the main responsible is always the head. You don't start kicking everyone. Like if a fiasco caused by the Police, the head will depart first. The others must take the note and simply comply. If not, in 1-2 years you'll see these cut aged women leave, likewise.

"In a disaster like Windows 8"

Citation needed (stupid hater speech does not count).

siah1214 said,
Like I said in the comments on the other thread. Julie was most like the driving force behind Metro. If Windows 8 was failing, she would be the one getting canned. Sorry Metro-haters, it's here to stay.

That's a silly thing to say so soon after release, most people haven't even seen Windows 8 yet, let alone use it.