Yes, there’s some new palace intrigue coming out of Microsoft (MSFT): CEO Steve Ballmer was apparently personally responsible for firing former Windows president Steve Sinofsky. Unnamed sources have told ExtremeTech that Sinofsky’s “sudden dismissal” was “enacted by Ballmer himself” and was a “surprise to both Sinofsky and his staff.” ExtremeTech speculates that Sinofsky’s firing had much to do with his supposed reluctance to embrace mobile computing, which the publication described as “a decade of… foot-dragging when it came to tablets and touch-based interfaces.” More specifically, ExtremeTech’s sources said that Sinofsky had worked to stop building in touchscreen capabilities for Windows 7 that would have given Microsoft a much earlier entrance into the tablet market. The sources also said Sinofsky was “widely assigned responsibility by those involved for killing the Courier tablet project and helping drive the project’s leaders, Robbie Bach and J Allard, out of the company.”

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.