Microsoft to pay out US$10m to Windows 8 architect Sinofsky

31 Jul 2013

Pictured: Former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky launching the Surface last year

Former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky is in line for a US$10m pay-off from Microsoft, provided he doesn’t work for tech rivals like Google or Apple before 2014.

Sinofsky was removed from his role as Windows chief last year just after the launch of Windows 8.

Sinofsky is banned from working from quite a substantial list of companies for at least the next year, including Oracle, EMC, VMware, Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

According to the SEC filing he is also banned from trying to persuade tech giants like IBM, Dell, Intel and Nokia to cease being Microsoft customers.

According to the deal Sinofsky will receive a package consisting of 418,000 share options worth US$10m that are due to vest mid-2016.

The SEC filing points out that Sinofsky has handed back his Microsoft codecard, his American Express card and phone card and any other Microsoft property in his possession.

He has also agreed to reasonably cooperate with Microsoft in any legal matters that emerge over the next four years and will refrain from soliciting Microsoft staff to work with other companies.

He has also agreed not to make any disparaging remarks about Microsoft, its officers, directors or products. In return, Microsoft has agreed that it will refrain from making disparaging remarks about Sinofsky. How very civilized indeed.

The filing also reveals that Microsoft’s Surface tablet devices have yet to make a profit. The Surface RT and Surface Pro have so far brought in revenues of US$853m.

In its most recent financial results Microsoft said it recorded a US$900m charge on its Surface RT inventory.

Microsoft said its sales and marketing expenses were up 10pc to US$1.4bn due to its Windows 8 and Surface advertising campaigns.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years