The team behind Microsoft’s Surface is now in charge of Windows’ UX

Panos Panay, the face of Surface will now be in charge of Windows Experience. Will there be a new user experience for Windows going forward? We hope so.

25 Feb 2020

It is nothing new that Microsoft reorganizes and reshuffles its internal structure regularly.

It was first reported by ZDNet that the face of Microsoft’s Surface line, Panos Panay will now take charge of Windows Experiences. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the moves later.

Panos joins Microsoft in 2004 and has been the face of Microsoft’s surface, though his portfolio is much larger than that.

Microsoft PanosPanay
Panos Panay in a Microsoft Surface’s event in Shanghai (Image credit: Microsoft)

Before the change

Devices: Panos Panay who serves as Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer leads product lines such as Xbox, Surface Hub, Microsoft Band, HoloLens, and Microsoft Surface.

Windows: Joe Belfiore was in charge of Windows Client (basically the front-end design, functionality and UX of windows).

After the change

Panos Panay will be in charge of both Devices and Windows Client. Both Devices and Windows Client are within the Experiences and Devices engineering group of Microsoft.

Panos wrote in an internal memo obtained by ZDNet 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.”

What are the Microsoft engineering groups?

Microsoft divides its organizational structure into multiple engineering groups. As of 2019, there are 4 core engineering groups:

  • Cloud and AI: This is the main driver of growth within Microsoft and consists of Azure, Visual Studio, and Microsoft Dynamics.
  • Experiences and Devices: Practically what we use almost every day, including Windows, Office and Skype. These products are grouped together to ensure a unifying product ethos across end-user experiences and devices.
  • AI and Research: Help Microsoft to establish a presence in artificial intelligence. Bing belongs here.
  • Core Services Engineering & Operations: These include typical core corporate divisions such as marketing, finance, legal, HR, etc.

Cloud and AI & Experience and Devices were created back in 2018 to focus on intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.


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