And, as ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley pointed out, in a letter to employees explaining Monday's executive shuffle, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hailed Larson-Green's "ability to effectively collaborate and drive a cross-company agenda."
Sinofsky's legacy; Larson-Green's challenges
Where Sinofsky helped create Windows 8, championed the Surface tablet, and is credited for making sure software shipped on deadline at Microsoft, Larson-Green's road ahead will be bumpy.
Her job will be to design "future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities," according to Microsoft.
Larson-Green's gargantuan challenge is to help Microsoft retain 1.3 billion Windows users as the siren song of Android smartphones and Apple tablets continue to lure them away. In 2011, Windows OS sales brought Microsoft $11.5 billion in revenue.
If people forgo upgrading to Windows 8 or make the decision to buy a new Apple iPad instead of a Surface tablet, all of a sudden Larson-Green's new job becomes Ms. Fix-It, cleaning up after Sinofsky's best efforts.
Sinofsky's goals of offering tightly integrated Microsoft software and services with Windows 8 and Surface are in line with the current trends among most major consumer technology companies. With every release cycle, Apple more deeply integrates its Mac and iOS devices with iCloud, the company's online storage, sync, and file-sharing service.
Google marries the Android and Chrome OS platforms to the search giant's wide variety of online services including Gmail, Google Docs, Google+, Maps, and local search. Even major Windows PC manufacturers such as Acer and Lenovo are creating cloud-based sync solutions in an attempt to offer services integrated with their own hardware.