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Sounds like a PC way of saying that he was not a team player.

I wonder what "team player" means here.

Now I know absolutely nothing about internal MS politics. My immediate suspicion, based on how MS seems to operate, is that's code for "won't bow down to Windows/Office".

I really hope that's not the reason. There have been so many times Microsoft seems to be unable to get out of its own way because they have integrate Windows/Office into something somehow. Maybe he was part of that problem, but the fact us was involved in Windows 8 makes me doubt it since they were willing to make radical changes (good or bad).

If I had to guess, I'd put money on the lukewarm Surface reception being a final straw. The timing seems too perfect.

I really doubt "won't bow down to windows/office" is the problem here, saying as Sinofsky was head of windows. A more likely interpretation is that he expected other teams to bow to windows.

Team Player in this sense probably means something along the lines of, 'plays well with others'.

The article is suggesting that Sinofsky is the kind of person who did not, and that a less contentious person could have done an equally good job without alienating other senior leadership.

An article at The Verge[1] suggests your right. In fact, that article suggests that he may have been fired earlier if things hadn't gone as well as they had during the Windows 8 and Surface launches.

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/12/3638340/microsoft-steven-...

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