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Microsoft unites Windows and Surface once again

When Panos Panay, the former EVP and Chief Product Officer, left Microsoft, Windows and Surface split up into separate groups. Now it seems that they’ve been unified once again. Pavan Davuluri, a company veteran, will now run both the Windows and Surface teams, according to a memo obtained by The Verge.

Last year when Panos Panay left Microsoft, his responsibilities were split. Mikhail Parakhin led Bing and Bing Chat, and took Windows and Web Experiences like Edge under his wing. Pavan Davuluri maintained his position as general manager of Surface. Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s consumer chief, was there to handle external OEM relationships.

About a week ago, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella outlined a shift in which Mustafa Suleyman left Inflection and Google’s DeepMind to lead a new Microsoft AI division. Under Suleyman would be Mikhail Parakhin and his Copilot, Edge, and Bing teams. Parakhin also reportedly managed Windows engineering, according to one of his employees. Now, Parakhin is exploring “new roles,” The Verge reported, which probably means that he has left the company.

Why does this shakeup matter? Because Surface and Windows have gone together like cookies and cream. Microsoft has used the Surface lineup as a showcase for changes the company has made in terms of a new operating system, apps, services, or some combination of all of them. Separating the hardware and the software isn’t unheard of, but it would break away from the unified, holistic approach Microsoft has generally preached. Now, things are back to the way they were.

Davuluri still reports to Rajesh Jha, Microsoft’s head of experiences and devices — or did when PCWorld asked about the reporting hierarchy last week. Put another way, Copilot, Edge, Bing, Surface, and Windows are now being managed by though the same chain of command. That’s good news, as those are all generally consumer-facing products.

The management shuffle may not have any effect on the Surface or Windows roadmap — though who knows? — but most of Microsoft’s consumer products should move forward together.

Originally Appeared Here

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