Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind the new OS, is leaving the company effective immediately.  Sinofsky the public face for Windows 8 and its new Metro interface has lots of nice things to say about his former employer, the 23 year veteran of the company was the possible next CEO of Microsoft.

Steven Sinofsky departure barely two weeks after launching the flagship Windows 8, could not come at a worse time for the software giant as they struggle to compete with Apple and Google in the gadget market.  Shares of Microsoft Corp slid Tuesday after the surprise departure of a key executive; the shares were down 2.8 percent in afternoon at $27.21.

Sinofsky is credited with unveiling the most radical revamp of Windows since 1995, designed to catapult Microsoft back into the forefront of Internet-based, touch-screen technology and reinvigorate a stock price that has been static for the past decade.

Analysts fear that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is driving out talent just as the company needs it most and moved to tighten his grip on the company.  Ballmer has replaced the heads of Microsoft’s five main operating units in the past four years making company employees and shareholders skeptical.