Sinofsky joins venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz

The man viewed by many as instrumental in guiding the fate of Windows, Steven Sinofsky, has decided to try his hand in the VC industry, joining Andreessen Horowitz's board.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Former Windows president Steven Sinofsky has joined the board of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (often shortened to a16z) as one of its partners, stepping deeper into the VC world.

Making the announcement on his Learning from shipping blog, Sinofsky said that he is relatively new to the VC world, and that although he has a lot of learning to catch up on, he is excited to be doing it.

"I can't think of a better place to do this than a16z, as they share the commitment to learning and sharing that learning, for example through all the blog posts the [general partners] write," Sinofsky wrote.

Sinofsky met a16z co-founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz late last year, and said that he was impressed by how they focus on products, innovation, and entrepreneurs with similar interests.

"The very first time I got to hang out with [these] folks, I saw things that reminded me of the values that contribute to all great product (and company) efforts," he said.

Although stepping onto the board of Andreessen Horowitz would presumably take up more of Sinofsky's time, he promised not to neglect his responsibilities as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School, or the other commitments he currently has or will establish.

Sinofsky's departure from Microsoft in late 2012 came at an unexpected time for the company. His resignation occurred very shortly after the launch of Windows 8, sparking speculation that he may have been pressured out of the job for any failings of the product, or even quietly fired for it.

Some were happy with the news of Sinofsky's departure, stating that it would allow changes to be made to the product, such as the return of the Start button. Others saw him leave behind a legacy of both highs and lows, improving the engineering behind Microsoft's products, but also division between internal teams.

Sinofsky's former contract with Microsoft contains a non-compete clause that prohibits him from working for any Microsoft competitor until December 31, 2013. Despite the speculation around his departure, he has publicly stated that the decision to resign was his.

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