Windows 8 could have been the rave of the world, and still could be if Microsoft put out the service pack that it badly needs. All of the unhappiness over it could have been made to go away if it wasn't for one thing: Sinofsky's hubris. 'I know what you want better than you know what you want' might work for Apple (at least while Steve Jobs was alive), but the corporate IT wonks of the world won't put up with that from Microsoft. I think that the Microsoft board still remembers Vista and it hears the lack of love from IT.
Come on, how hard is it to put in a control panel switch to tell the OS which mode to boot up in: touch-tablet mode or desktop mode? Same thing for Aqua. For gosh sakes, the switch is already there in Win 7. No Start button? Get real. Do they realize how much it will cost us in training? Touch screens cost real money right now and it will be quite a while before they drop in price enough for me to justify replacing our flat screens.
I think the reason Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky was told to hit the road is because his management style is team-focused and Microsoft wants to collaborate across divisions. As Sinofsky reached ever more powerful positions, it became increasingly clear that, while he was brilliant and certainly added some needed artistic panache to Windows, a top executive who embraced competitiveness and divisiveness would be an impediment to the overarching corporate goals.
The best theory that I have heard goes something like this:
Sinofsky's launch of Windows 8 has been a spectacular success but that he has stepped on a lot of toes along the way. (Yes, even Steve Ballmer's toes.)
Now that Windows 8 is out, so is Steven Sinofsky and his roughshod cowboy way of doing things. It is time to mend fences in order to build a spirit of collaboration among disparate units of Microsoft who are used to working in a vacuum.
Unifying paradigms between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (more or less resulting in Windows RT) will require more than just collaboration between Windows units but also among Office groups (separating the Office for Mac group from the Office for Windows group never did make much sense to me). And, to complete the transition, most other Windows applications will need to have consistent 'metro-style' offerings as well.
Collaboration will have to be the new mantra.