Programming Windows: Ribbonized (Premium)


While Microsoft struggled to make sense of Windows Longhorn in 2005/6, the Office team was busy doing what it always did: shipping the next version of its flagship productivity suite right on schedule. The key to this Mussolini-like efficiency was a Mussolini-like autocrat named Steven Sinofsky, who had come up through the ranks at Microsoft after serving as Bill Gates’ technical assistant in the early 1990s.

Sinofsky had tried but failed to convince Gates of the importance of the Internet in late 1993, and in April 1994 he joined the newly established Office Product Unit as the director of program management, where he led the design of shared technologies in Office 95 and Office 97. He went on to lead the Office group, and he was eventually elevated to senior vice president as he oversaw the development of Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003, and then Office 12/2007.

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