I was off the grid for about 2 1/2 hours earlier this evening and when I switched on my new Nokia Lumia 920 to see if I missed anything all I could say was WOW!

Just a couple of weeks have gone by since the Windows 8 launch, the modest (just kidding) release of Microsoft Surface and the yet to happen releases of Microsoft Surface Pro we see that Steven Sinofsky has left the company effective immediately.

In response to all the Twitter activity about his departure Steven has just sent out this tweet:

First lets be clear for all those who want to go there already this is not a result of Windows 8 performance or sales of the Surface RT. Wayyyy to early for those types of assumptions/results. We may never truly know why he has chosen to leave or why Microsoft asked him to leave.

Bottom line is that he was successful in shipping Microsoft’s flagship products Office and then two versions of Windows. Getting monumental tasks like that done will result in some folks not liking you very much while most will still respect you for your abilities to get things done.

In relief of Steven Sinofsky Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has named two folks to step in.

Julie Larson-Green

Since 1993, Larson-Green has worked on and led some of the most successful products for Microsoft, including the user experiences for early versions of Internet Explorer, and helped drive the thinking behind the refresh of the user experience for Microsoft Office. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 she was responsible for program management, user interface design and research, as well as development of all international releases. She has a master’s degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Washington University. In her new role she will be responsible for all future Windows product development in addition to future hardware opportunities.

Tami Reller

Reller joined Windows in 2007 from the Microsoft Dynamics Division where she held a number of leadership positions. She began her career in technology at Great Plains Software in 1984 while still in college, and was the company’s chief financial officer at the time the company was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Minnesota State University Moorhead and an MBA from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif. In her expanded role she will assume the lead in driving business and marketing strategy for Windows devices, including Surface and partner devices, in addition to her current marketing and finance responsibilities.

Of course everyone around the web is talking about this and so rather than repeat all of that I will just give you a list of links to the stories I have discovered about this significant change at Microsoft.