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Microsoft splits Windows engineering teams to focus on cloud, AI offerings

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Microsoft splits Windows engineering teams to focus on cloud, AI offerings

Microsoft Corp. is reorganizing its Windows engineering teams as part of the company's strategy to ramp up its focus on cloud and AI offerings.

To facilitate this focus, the company's Windows and Devices Group will be split into two new engineering teams: Experiences & Devices, comprising Windows, office and third-party applications and devices; and Cloud + AI Platform, which includes cloud-computer service Azure and various AI efforts. Terry Myerson is stepping down as head of the company's former Windows and Devices Group.

Rajesh Jha, executive vice president of the Office Product Group, will lead the Experiences & Devices team. "The purpose of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a memo to employees titled "Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge." The "modern needs, habits and expectations of our customers are motivating us to bring Windows, Office, and third-party applications and devices into a more cohesive Microsoft 365 experience," he wrote.

Other executives on the Experiences & Devices team will include Panos Panay as the company's Chief Product Officer and head of the devices unit; Joe Belfiore, who will continue to lead on Windows experiences; Kudo Tsunoda, who will continue to head the New Experiences and Technology unit; and Brad Anderson, who will continue to lead the Windows Enterprise deployment and management unit.

Scott Guthrie, currently the head of Microsoft's Azure Cloud platform, will lead the new team focused on the company's Cloud + AI Platform. "The purpose of this team is to drive platform coherence and compelling value across all layers of the tech stack starting with the distributed computing fabric (cloud and edge) to AI (infrastructure, runtimes, frameworks, tools and higher-level services around perception, knowledge and cognition)," Nadella wrote.

Jason Zander is being promoted to executive vice president of Azure and will now lead this team. The Customer Service, Marketing and Sales Insights teams, previously led by Gurdeep Singh Pall, will join James Phillips' Business Applications Group. Also joining the Cloud + AI team are Eric Lockard and his Universal Store and Commerce Platform team; Alex Kipman, who will lead the new AI Perception and Mixed Reality team; and Eric Boyd, who will head the new AI Cognitive Services and Platform team.

Harry Shum will continue to lead Microsoft's third engineering team, AI + Research.