Microsoft Surface Head Taking Charge of Windows Client

(Image credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Microsoft is going through a reorganization that will heavily impact the company's Experiences and Devices unit, according to a ZDNet report today. It will lead to both the hardware and Windows client teams reporting to chief product officer Panos Panay.

The Windows Experience and hardware teams will be combined into one team called "Devices + Windows" and reporting to Panay (all under the umbrella of executive vice president Rajesh Jha). ZDNet's sources claim that this will begin on February 25.

Joe Belfiore, the corporate vice president under Jha, is also reportedly moving to join Ales Holecek to lead Microsoft Office under the Office Experience Group.

Panay is behind the team bringing new form factors to Microsoft's Surface PC lineup, including the Surface Duo and Surface Neo with dual screens, the latter of which will launch with Windows 10X.

Belfiore has spent the majority of his career at Microsoft on Windows, so this is a major shift for him. He won't begin his role until the fall. 

In an email obtained by ZDNet, Panay wrote that "Designing hardware and software together will enable us to do a better job on our long term Windows bets (dual screen, silicon diversity, connectivity, app platform, etc.), and having a single point of Windows Client Experience leadership driving consistent priorities and resourcing across all of Windows client will help all of us accelerate innovation and improve execution."

It's unclear how Microsoft's partners will feel about Windows and Surface being joined at the hip. Microsoft already competes with them by making its own hardware, and now the operating system and the Surfaces will be developed by the same people.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon