Well this is quite disturbing. Here we are, post-launch, and even Microsoft employees seem to have forgotten what Windows 8 is all about.
Admittedly, she’s led by the author of the post to a certain extent (“Windows 8 throws out design features familiar to Windows users since 1995, swapping in simpler, bolder interfaces designed to be operated using a touch screen.”), but really this would’ve been a perfect opportunity to set a few people straight… if she’d actually known the facts.
See unfortunately, Ms Larson-Green simply wasn’t privy to certain information regarding Windows development pre-promotion, and clearly nobody’s thought to fill her in since she got the job. Either that, or she’s decided to re-state Microsoft’s stance on certain issues for reasons unknown.
During her tenure with the Office design team, the entire team was basically hated by us over at Windows UX; the simple reason being, they had some bizarre aversion to making a UI consistent with the general Windows look-and-feel. Their UIs were basically the equivalent of running a Qt app on a GTK-based desktop environment; or running a badly-skinned Winamp on any version of Windows. And we hated them for it.
With that in mind, we essentially locked the entire department out of future development concepts; we’d tried the whole “here, look at what we’re aiming for, please try to match us” approach, to no avail, and then the whole “here’s our frameworks, please use them” approach, still to no avail; so eventually we went for the “oh well, make your product look like a joke” approach. It didn’t do much for consistency, but it made us feel better at least.
So anyway, here we are in 2012, and we have Larson-Green in charge of a development team who essentially hated her, and everyone working under her, for the better part of 8 years. She can blame Sinofsky all she wants in interviews, but the fact is it was her decisions when in charge of the Office team that led to the schism.