Microsoft is merging its Windows and hardware teams

Microsoft reorg day today, and the biggest changes involve Surface chief Panos Panay taking over Windows client and hardware. ZDNet reports that the previously separate Windows Experience (client) and hardware teams will now be combined into a single group that will be known as Windows + Devices. Chief product officer Panos Panay will take charge of this newly formed unit, in a clear sign that Microsoft is serious about more closely aligning its software and hardware for Surface and beyond.

“Personally I’m very excited to lead the Windows Client for Microsoft, which will help us streamline our decision-making processes, be clear on our priorities, and deliver the best end-user experiences from silicon through operating systems across all Microsoft apps and service-connected devices (OEMs and Surface),” Panay wrote in an internal email obtained 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.”

Elsewhere, Joe Belfiore, who had been overseeing Windows, is said to be headed to the Office team in the fall after a sabbatical to help run things there. He’ll stay in charge of another group called Essential Products Inclusive Community, which is home to Microsoft News and Edge along with associated iOS and Android apps. The corporate shakeup will also see the Microsoft Teams unit getting a new leader, as current boss Brian Macdonald is retiring. Jeff Teper will head up that department, and continue to lead OneDrive and SharePoint.

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