×

Former Microsoft exec defends Apple after report of changing software schedule

  • Sinofsky, who oversaw the Windows Division of Microsoft from 2009 to 2012, jumped to defend Apple after a report emerged detailing changes to software release scheduling.
  • He praised Apple for delivering new software updates every 12 to 18 months for 20 years, as well as for disrupting his former company's claim to fame, the PC.
Steven Sinofsky judges onstage at Startup Battlefield Session Five Transform in San Francisco, California.
Steve Jennings | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky took to Twitter on Monday to defend Apple after a report emerged detailing changes to the tech company's software development and release schedule.

"Scanning the landscape, it is important to recognize that in total the work Apple has been doing across hardware, software, services, and even AI/ML — in total — is breathtaking and unprecedented in scope, scale, and quality," Sinofsky wrote on the social media network.

"Few companies have done so much for so long with such a high level of consistency," he added.

Apple software chief Craig Federighi reportedly informed engineers about new scheduling changes that will impact the rollout of the next iOS operating system this fall, according to a Bloomberg report. The changes would give them more time to work on new features and refinements, without the added burden of completing a laundry list of yearly tasks. The changes will also ensure certain key features won't be available.

The report argued these adjustments are Apple's response to missed deadlines and increasingly buggy products.

Sinofsky, who oversaw Windows at Microsoft from 2009 to 2012 and Office for many years before that, jumped to Apple's defense in a 44-part Twitter rant.

Sinofsky described from experience the "Catch-22" of software innovation: balancing features, scheduling and quality. Apple, he emphasized, has been delivering on that for 20 years.

"What is lost in all of this recent discussion is the nuance between features, schedule, and quality. It is like having a discussion with a financial advisor over income, risk, and growth. You don't just show up and say you want all three and get a 'sure,'" Sinofsky tweeted.

"On the other hand, this is precisely what Apple did so reliably over 20 years. But behind the scenes there is a constant discussion over balancing these three legs of the tripod. You have to have all of them but you 'can't' but you have to," he added.

He explained the changes as a scaling adjustment, nothing "more dramatic than that," and wrote went on to praised Apple for disrupting his former company's claim to fame, the PC.

"...to me on Apple, even as an outsider, I feel confident saying that this isn't reactionary/crisis or a response to externalities. Importantly it isn't a massive pivot/'student body left'. It's a methodical and predictable evolution of an extremely robust and proven system," he wrote.

The thread starts here: