“Fire the leadership now!” exclaimed the Mini-Microsoft blog on March 21, the day that Microsoft announced it was moving the Windows Vista launch from late 2006 to January 2007.
If a Wednesday Wall Street Journal report is true, Microsoft may be set to do just that. The Journal reported that Microsoft is planning to replace current Windows boss Jim Allchin with the head of Microsoft Office development, Steven Sinofsky.
The Sinofsky appointment would take effect around the time Allchin is set to retire, which—as Microsoft announced last year—is timed to coincide with the completion of the Windows Vista release. According to the Journal, “People familiar with the matter said the restructuring is not directly tied to the Vista delay.”
The report on Microsofts planned changing of the Windows guard comes the day after company officials revealed a new delivery plan for Vista. Microsoft is now planning to launch Vista in January 2007.
Volume-licensees who want to upgrade Vista over older versions of Windows will be able to do so in November 2006. But Vista wont be available preloaded on new hardware or in the retail channel until January, as opposed to the latter half of this year, as Microsoft officials had been promising since August 2004.
A Microsoft spokeswoman, contacted for comment on the Journal story, said, “Microsoft doesnt respond to rumors, and there is no organization news to share at this time.”
If and when Sinofsky, senior vice president of Office, does take over as head of Windows, the move will have far-reaching impact on the way the team operates. Sinofsky has the reputation of a strict, schedule-bound manager who keeps the trains running on time.