We have come across very interesting news from tech giant Microsoft. They have announced to combine the Windows client and Surface teams into a single dedicated team led by the product chief Panos Panay.
The operating system and PC hardware can theoretically be located on the same roof after this decision. The combination is called “Windows + Devices,” and will be headed by Panay according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley.
The experienced team lead of the Windows team Joe Belfiore is also expected to move to the office side of the house after some time this year. A Microsoft source confirmed the story, but Microsoft has not been publicly announcing it yet.
In an interview given to an internal memo, Panay said that he’s extremely delighted to be heading the Windows client for Microsoft.
He also added that the venture will help them streamline their decision-making processes and they will also look out for their priorities and provide the best end-user experiences in all Microsoft apps and services linked with OEMs and Surface from silicone through operating systems. “We think this will improve the experience of the Windows Client for the whole PC environment,” said Panay.
Surface + Windows: Unfair advantage?
So basically, this lethal combination is going to align Windows and Microsoft’s PC business to a great extent.
Similarly, like Apple’s software and hardware teams work closely together or Google’s Chrome book and Pixel teams stay connected with Android and Chrome OS developers. The Android ecosystem is prosperous and of course, it is working out for Apple.
Naturally, the PC industry is far more fragmented and fragile. An astonishing shock in 2019’s sales was immediately followed by a predicted drop as soon as the industry sailed on the Windows 7-10 transition.
However, Microsoft witnessed a whopping $2 billion rise in the Surface sales despite its company heads and executives noting a few faults within the consumer Surface business. It is very natural to understand that the Windows teams and the Surface hardware group are working at the same place so we can certainly expect some kind of collaboration. This collaboration is certainly going to take this to a whole new level. If we check out the background then Microsoft has always synchronized its Surface announcements with corresponding updates within Windows.
In October 2018, Panay and Yusuf Mehdi, the corporate Vice-President of Microsoft at that time openly attached products like the Surface Pro 6 to collaboration, Office, and Windows.
It was reported that the PC makers were afraid of Microsoft’s entry into their business and some of them also thought that the PC business would be taken over by Microsoft when they launched the original Surface a couple of years ago.
Microsoft placed the Surface tablet and the Surface Studio as a leader in response to this situation, thus creating a market for PC manufacturers. However, the ‘trailblazing’ efforts by Microsoft have not led to an increase in similar products.
If we take a closer look at the Windows tablet market, the Surface Pro (2017), the Surface Pro 6 and the Surface Pro 7 have not been facing any sort of competition of late. OEMs have not been paying much attention to the tablets in comparison to the traditional clamshell designs.
On the other hand, Microsoft is coming to the market this fall with the foldable Surface Neo, joining companies like Lenovo and their ThinkPad X1 Fold. Is the restructuring of Microsoft a grave threat to the wider PC industry? Obviously it isn’t.
However, there is a feeling that Microsoft’s decisions have impacted the business of the PC makers and the ease of doing business is getting hurt badly. Microsoft’s latest actions such as giving importance to the cloud and also away from the PC add fire to the fuel.
So it is important to note that the decisions taken by Microsoft should be beneficial for everyone and not just for Microsoft. We’ll have to see what Microsoft says about the latest reorganization in public.