Microsoft handed a reins of a Windows and Devices group from Terry Myerson to Rajesh Jha on Thursday, partial of a array of moves signalling that Microsoft wants to pierce a “unifying product ethos” to Windows, Office, and third-party apps.
In an email to employees, arch executive Satya Nadella explained that a destiny of Microsoft lay in “the intelligent cloud and a intelligent edge,” Nadella’s new approach of describing Microsoft’s mission. Familiar names will assistance Microsoft get there: Panos Panay, who helped pierce a strange Surface to market, is now Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, and Joe Belfiore will continue heading Microsoft’s Windows experiences.
But Nadella also offering some discernment as to how he expects Jha to pierce forward, and what he expects out of him: coherence. “The purpose of this group is to teach a unifying product ethos opposite a end-user practice and devices,” Nadella wrote.
“Computing practice are elaborating to embody mixed senses and are no longer firm to one device during a time though increasingly travelling many as we pierce from home to work and on a go,” Nadella wrote. “These complicated needs, habits and expectations of a business are motivating us to pierce Windows, Office, and third-party applications and inclination into a some-more cohesive Microsoft 365 experience.”
What this means for you: It’s probable that Nadella is signalling a commencement of a “One Windows” prophesy that people began articulate about progressing this year. How this will all play out, and what this means for you, isn’t nonetheless known. What we do know is dual things: Myerson’s transition will play out over a subsequent few months, ensuring a well-spoken handover, and we’ll learn some-more during Build. Nadella’s email states that Belfiore skeleton to betray a latest iteration of Microsoft’s Windows roadmap during a developer conference.
What could a one Microsoft product ethos mean?
Nadella’s memo could be seen as giving faith to a some-more one prophesy of Windows, commencement with a underpinnings, famous as Core OS, and relocating adult by “composable shells” that could be blending for several devices. As Windows Central and other sites have reported, this “CShell” would be a modular component that would be specific to a sold form of device: one for desktop PCs, one for notebooks, and so on. What isn’t transparent is either CShell and associated efforts, such as a rumored “Andromeda” folding tablet, were RD concepts or tangible roadmaps. We wish Microsoft will pierce some clarity to this during Build.
Nadella’s memo competence also prove that he expects his engineers to pierce faster to update a demeanour and feel of Windows. Right now, for example, we can go into a Windows 10 Settings menu and make many adjustments to your system. But for certain tweaks, we still have to dive into a some-more superannuated Control Panel, that simply isn’t as friendly.
Finally, Microsoft might be perplexing to cut down on a underline inconsistency between a several flavors of Office apps. Versions of Office for a desktop, web, UWP, mobile, and Office 365, with varying user interfaces and underline sets for consumers and businesses, can emanate confusion. Skype, for example, is a mess.
The names we need to know
The infancy of Nadella’s memo described a new roles of several executives. Here’s a brief list of who’s doing what among a Microsoft ranks:
Rajesh Jha: A LinkedIn exec who after became a executive clamp boss of Office, Jha is now tasked with heading a new group focused on Experiences Devices. Nadella wants a uninformed start, with conformity opposite all product lines.
Panos Panay: Microsoft’s new Chief Product Officer “will lead a inclination prophesy and serve a product ethos opposite hardware and program bounds for a first-party devices, while formulating new categories and opportunities for a whole ecosystem,” Nadella wrote. This roughly positively ensures a viability of Surface and other Microsoft hardware.
Joe Belfiore: The well-liked former arch of a Windows Phone business will continue heading Windows experiences, Nadella wrote. The engaging indicate that Nadella creates is that he sees Windows some-more “deeply connect[ing]” to Microsoft 365, Microsoft’s multiple of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft has clearly got a subscription religion. Expect Microsoft to expostulate this prophesy even more—at slightest within businesses.
Scott Guthrie: Another high-profile cloud name within Microsoft, Guthrie will take a helm of a new group overseeing Cloud + AI, as good as corner inclination like a PC. Microsoft has continued to make AI a focus, including a new proclamation of Windows ML. It’s not transparent either Guthrie will indeed manage this partial of a business, though Microsoft seems to keep perplexing to make Windows smarter.
Eric Lockard will be partial of this team, heading a “Universal Store” effort. It’s not utterly transparent what Microsoft intends here, though a some-more extensive Store app is value meditative about.
Alex Kipman will lead a AI Perception and Mixed Reality team, that will combine all of Microsoft’s speech, vision, MR and additional notice capabilities into one team, Nadella wrote.
As for Terry Myerson? Myerson wrote in a LinkedIn post that he’s “ready for a break.”
Microsoft Build starts May 7. Nadella’s memo sets a theatre for what could be an sparkling conference.