Microsoft Merging Windows And Hardware Groups: Report

Chief Product Officer Panos Panay will oversee the group, and one partner says the move will ultimately be a win for partners and customers.


In a move to bring improved alignment within key teams at Microsoft, the company is reportedly combining its groups focused on Windows client and hardware.

The combined Windows + Devices team will be overseen by Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, as of Feb. 25, according to a report from ZDNet.

[Related: Microsoft Partners Get More Assistance For Windows 7 To Windows 10 Transition]

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CRN has reached out to Microsoft for comment.

The move "will make the Windows Client experience better for the entire PC ecosystem," Panay said in an email to staff, published by ZDNet. "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."

Panay will still report to Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of the Experiences and Devices organization at Microsoft, who assumed his role with the departure of Windows chief Terry Myerson in early 2018.

As part of the latest shake-up, Joe Belfiore, currently serving as corporate vice president for Windows, will be moving to Microsoft's Office business to co-lead the Office Experience Group, according to the report.

Ric Opal, principal and national GTM and strategic partnerships leader at BDO Digital, applauded the move as a way to enhance alignment between hardware, software and user experience.

"Many technologists concoct their own cocktail of solutions to attempt to reduce security and compliance business risks. These efforts by some organizations do not put the user experience at the center," Opal said in an email to CRN. "This announcement reinforces Microsoft's commitment to exceptional customer experiences."

As an example, the move "aligns thoughtfully with solutions such as Microsoft Managed Desktop which drive directly at the core of the security, compliance and user experience challenges in the world," Opal said. "Any movement by Microsoft to align and focus on the software / hardware motion coupled with their unparalleled investments around user experience is a good thing for customers and partners. We need to be focused on value creation for clients."