The Woman Behind Windows Talks Touch and The Future of Computing

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Julie Larson-Green is taking the position recently vacated by Steven Sinofsky. She today gave an interview to the MIT Technology Review where she discussed her opinions on various subjects.

First and foremost were her thoughts on her former boss, Steven Sinofsky. Sinofsky left Microsoft in a fairly sudden and mysterious manner, and rumors swirled around that his departure was in shame. After being asked for her thoughts on the man, she answered with the following:

Steven is an amazing leader and an amazing brain and an amazing person, but one person can’t do everything. It’s really about the team that we created and the culture that we created for innovation.

Of course, she was asked about more than just her opinions on her former boss. Questions included what she was planning on changing. Windows 8 has been criticized fairly heavily by many for promoting the tablet-centric interface so heavily at the expense of the traditional desktop view. The tablet-optimized view, codenamed “Metro,” pushes a simplified and often less-powerful view on everyone. While this is fantastic for tablets that run Windows 8 or Windows RT, it isn’t so great for those using traditional, non-touchscreen computers.

Microsoft Surface w/ Windows 8 Logo

Larson-Green has no plans to change this approach. Many have speculated that Microsoft will change its strategy with Sinofsky gone, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

When asked about her opinion on Microsoft’s new-found interest in making hardware, she had the following to say:

Surface is our vision of what a stage for Windows 8 should look like, to help show consumers and the industry our point of view on what near perfect hardware would look like. We believe in Surface as a long-term product, but we know that partners will have other innovations and ideas. One of the things that’s always been nice about Windows is choice—you’re not locked into one size, one shape, one color, one version.

Her explanation sounds similar to Google’s explanation for their Nexus line: basically, it sets the bar that other manufacturers strive to beat. Consumers whose needs are best met by Microsoft’s hardware can go with that option, but the majority of consumers are expected to go with products from other companies.

The full interview is certainly worth a read, as it contains various different thoughts and ideas about the future of Microsoft’s most influential product.

[MIT Technology Review]

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