Deconstructing Sinofsky

I’ve seen plenty of commentary today about the Steven Sinofsky interview with Ina Fried at CNET Most of it is some variation of “WTF?!”

Here are some of the best examples I found.

Jimmy Rogers, Shipping Seven:

Sinofsky, head of Windows engineering over at Microsoft, gave the most corporate, double-talking interview I have ever heard.

Chris at LiveSide:

What happens when you take the man in charge of the world’s most-used operating system and ask him to talk about the future? Not a lot when that man is Steven Sinofsky.

Paul Thurrott, Paul’s SuperSite Blog:

Here’s a recap of today’s Windows 7 stories: Nothing happened. That said, there was enough nothing to generate three different articles.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, The PC Doctor:

CNET News interviewed Steven Sinofsky in an attempt to get some concrete information about Windows 7. The bottom line – a whole lotta nothing.

Dwight Silverman, Dwight Silverman’s TechBlog:

Written as a Q&A, it’s one of the most maddening interviews I’ve ever read. Fried, to her credit, pounds away at Sinofsky’s wall of obfuscation, but just can’t crack it.

In a nutshell, Sinofsky’s message is: We’re not talking about Windows 7 until we have something to talk about. And he says it over and over as Fried tries to find an opening that will make him spill at least a few beans.

Josh Phillips, Windows Connected:

This is the longest interview about nothing I have seen in a while. The WindowsVistaBlog has another lengthy post that amounts to nothing.

Also from Josh, via LiveSide, is this LOL translation of Sinofsky’s message:

i iz keeping it on lockdown, kthxbai.

Funny, I actually learned three things from it, as did Ina Fried, who did the interview and didn’t seem excessively frustrated by the experience:

The other thing that Sinofsky talked about at length is his approach to revealing information. He explained why things have been so quiet and (my read here) why we will continue to hear less about Windows 7 early on than we did about Vista or Windows XP.

Microsoft clearly feels it was burned with saying too much about “Longhorn” early on in development. It’s not just the bad press, Sinofsky said. By announcing plans and then changing them, he said that developers just decided to wait until Vista finally shipped to start taking it seriously. That’s a bad thing, particularly when many of Vista’s changes were the under-the-hood kind that required developer support to make them pay off.

After 15 years of hype, I really don’t object to a little mystery and a little more confidence that the demo I’m seeing will be in the final product. Let’s not go overboard, though.

3 thoughts on “Deconstructing Sinofsky

  1. THIS! … THIS is EXACTLY the kind of marketing (believe it or not, this IS marketing) that Microsoft needs to do!

    Hats off to Steven for making people so interested with a load of…. absolutely nothing 😉

  2. Hey Ed,

    Thanks for featuring my post on your Sinofsky round-up post. Believe it or not it was my first post on Shipping Seven so I’m glad it got picked up by somebody like you!


  3. I was pleased to see this:

    “We’re very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they’ll work the same. We’re going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model.”

    Perhaps by the time Windows 7 is RTM the vendors will have caught up. They’re getting better in the 64 Bit arena but still have a ways to go, making it a good thing Windows 7 will support both 32 and 64 Bit.

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