Microsoft is making some major changes to the way its Windows organization works this week, meaning it will refocus on the operating system that made it famous. The software giant, which earlier this year put Surface head Panos Panai in charge of Windows, is reshuffling some of the team’s staff.
It comes more than two years after Microsoft decided to cut Windows into two parts following the departure of Terry Myerson, its former head of Windows. Microsoft moved the core development of Windows to the Cloud and AI team (Azure) and set up a new team to take care of windows 10’s “experiences” such as apps, start menus, and new features.
Now, Microsoft is moving some of its Windows development work back under panos-Parnay’s control. Specifically, this means that the Windows infrastructure and developer experience team has returned to what we traditionally call the Windows team, and on behalf of Microsoft, the windows split did not go well as planned. We’ve seen a lot of evidence of the messy Windows 10 development experience, windows update delays, a lack of significant new features, and a lot of recent Windows update issues.
Thurrott.com obtained an internal memo from Panos-Parai detailing the changes. While some of the core parts of Windows, especially the engineering component, will remain in Azure, Microsoft’s restructuring is focused on cleaning up Windows for reliable shipments and updates. These changes also align Microsoft’s Project Reunion app effortwith with the Windows team, bringing win32 and UWP apps closer together.
The Microsoft Windows team led by Panos-Panay will continue to work closely with the Windows Core project under Azure, but the restructuring should make Microsoft more consistent and focused on Windows, proving the importance of the operating system. The use of Windows has skyrocketed as workers and students around the world switch to laptops and PCs to work from home. As companies adapt to new realities, PC shipments are soaring. Microsoft realized the change earlier this year and shifted its Windows 10X operating system to focusing on laptops rather than dual-screen devices.
Microsoft’s focus on developing Windows and Surface bodes well for Windows users. Microsoft’s Surface revenue continues to grow, and there are signs that companies are adopting Microsoft PCs to focus more on Windows and Surface, and that microsoft should be expected to deliver on its promise to better integrate hardware and software.
Microsoft has been trying for years to make these design changes and learn from past mistakes. As Panos-Paray takes more responsibility for Windows, we want to see Microsoft’s Fluent design more consistent across the operating system, and Microsoft’s monthly and annual Windows updates more reliable.