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Wow. That was unexpected. In an interesting development today, Microsoft today announced that President of Windows and Windows Live division Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company with immediate effect. Julie Larson-Green is said to be taking over his place at Microsoft.

In a letter to staff, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer thanked Steven Sinofsky for his contribution to Microsoft. Sinofsky joined Microsoft back in 1989, and was promoted to President of Windows and Windows Live division after Jim Allchin’s departure following Windows Vista’s release in 2006. Both Windows 7 (released in 2009) and the recently released Windows 8 (year 2012) were developed and launched under Sinofsky’s command.

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Here’s what Ballmer had to say on Sinofsky leaving Microsoft:

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.”

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Steven Sinofsky on left, Julie Larson-Green on right

Coincidently, Scott Forstall, former Senior Vice President of iOS Software, was ousted from Apple in the similar fashion late last month. The growing rift between Forstall and Jonathan Ive, and the fact that he refused to sign apology over iOS 6 Maps debacle reportedly led to his departure from Apple. His responsibilities at Apple have now been taken over by Jony Ive.

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Scott Forstall

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