BELLINGHAM - Julie Larson-Green still may be getting used to the idea of leading all of Microsoft's Windows operations, but she's comfortable talking about the company's latest product.
She spoke at the 12th Annual Western Washington University Bellingham Business Forum, held Wednesday, Nov. 14. The forum at Hotel Bellwether ballroom raised money to support WWU student scholarships.
It had been a busy few days for Larson-Green. On late Monday, Nov. 12, Microsoft announced that Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, had left the company and that Larson-Green was promoted from corporate vice president to president, leading all Windows software and hardware engineering, a division that has about 6,000 employees worldwide.
Larson-Green didn't spend much time addressing her new position during her keynote address at the Business Forum and she didn't take questions after the speech.
She chose instead to give the 300 attendees an inside look at the thought process that led to the new features of the computer operating system Windows 8, which was released last month. During her PowerPoint presentation, she did joke that she wasn't quite accustomed to the president title as attendees noticed the slides still listed her as corporate vice president.
It has been an impressive rise through Microsoft for Larson-Green, who grew up in Maple Falls. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1986 with a degree in business administration and received a master's degree in software engineering at Seattle University. She joined Microsoft in 1993.
In her speech, Larson-Green noted that the goal with Windows 8 was to push forward with several new ideas while keeping it familiar to users of previous Windows software products. While trying to imagine a "modern Windows," Larson-Green said they took a look at the 1992 version of Windows and considered the societal and technological changes in the past 20 years. They kept that in mind while designing Windows 8.
"So far, Windows 8 is being well-received," she said.
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