It's an eventful month for Microsoft in more ways than one -- its long-serving executive (and Windows lead) Steven Sinofsky is leaving the company, effective immediately. Internet Explorer, Office and Windows interface veteran Julie Larson-Green will be taking on most of his duties by heading up all Windows development, including hardware "opportunities" like Surface; CFO and CMO Tami Reller will take on the pure business and marketing sides of the OS. Microsoft declined to comment to us regarding the departure, although there's rumors of an uncanny parallel to Scott Forstall's departure at Apple --AllThingsD claims that there was "growing tension" between Sinofsky and fellow executives. Whatever the reason Sinofsky left and regardless of where he's going, the move deprives Microsoft of an executive known for getting the development trains running on time.
Windows-focused writer Paul Thurrott has obtained a copy of Sinofsky's email, which might shed some light on the departure. He portrays it as the outcome of some post-launch reflection and a chance to "seek new opportunities" based on his experience. It's clear Sinofsky anticipated that critics would be suspicious -- he's adamant that it was a personal decision and not the result of an internal scuffle. The sudden exit, he claims, is to help make "space" for his new replacements.