Señor Steven Sinofsky, that’s who. The man of the moment hasn’t left the news since his departure as Windows boss.
A report by ExtremeTech on the former executive claims that Microsoft actually wanted to develop a Windows 7 tablet in 2009, around the time when Windows 7 was receiving final touches (pun always intended).
Sinofsky, though, did not agree with the idea.
“Ballmer had been frustrated by Sinofsky before. Microsoft partners apparently had a reference design for tablet hardware ready in time for Windows 7. Sources tell us that Sinofsky refused to add support for it in Windows 7,” the article claims.
All this happened before Apple had released their first generation iPad. Had Microsoft released a capable tablet then, it would have given the company a pretty good head start on its rival.
Windows 8 was in the earliest of stages at that time, and Sinofsky felt that since this was a much more ambitious project that focused more on the touch interface, it made sense to delay the tablet devices until Windows 8 had taken shape.
As more and more reports float up it seems somewhat certain that Sinofsky was fired by CEO Steve Ballmer.
We may (or may not) know what actually became the final nail in the coffin, but rumors of a growing rift between the two senior executives are aplenty.