It did. Windows and Surface are one today

As every year at this time, Microsoft is cleaning up its internal structures. Something revolutionary happened this time. The hardware department and part of the software become one.

Windows is currently broken into two sections. The system layer, i.e. all low-level issues such as the kernel, runtime environments and the like, is being developed by Azure. The application layer, i.e. the system shell, service integration, web browser or software included with the system, is developed by a separate team led by Rajesh Jha. Till today.

From tomorrow the situation will change radically, as Mary Jo Foley was the first to inform . The department commanded by Jha will be absorbed by the hardware department. This means that Panos Panay - the face of the Surface line - will be responsible for the Windows application layer from tomorrow. Rajesh Jha and Edge Supervisor Joe Belfiore will be moved to the Office department. Belfiore will continue to look after Microsoft's mobile applications and Microsoft News service.

Windows and Surface will be even closer connected. This bodes well for Microsoft computers, but I wonder what the hardware partners say.

Microsoft from the very beginning of the existence of the Surface line stood in quite an uncomfortable stride for itself. On the one hand, the company has the ambition to create the best premium class devices. On the other hand, selling Windows to hardware partners - companies such as Lenovo, Dell, Asus or Acer - continues to be one of the company's most significant revenues.

This means that Windows must be built so that it can run on as many devices as possible for a variety of applications and with very different class components. From cheap tablets for schools to extended workstations. This, in turn, means that this system is not quite tailor made for Surfaces - at least not to the extent as competing macOS or iPadOS.

It is not clear what changes in structures will mean in practice. And in fact, if anything really changes. The most logical interpretation seems to be an increase in pressure on the Surface department, which today in the context of Microsoft's revenues or the size of the PC market can be described as a slightly malicious hobby design. However, it seems very unlikely that Microsoft would want to cut itself off from OEM partners.

It is possible that the explanation of this secret lies in Windows Core OS and Windows 10X - which enable Microsoft to create a system from building blocks by clearly separating its individual components (kernel, shell, runtime environment and the rest), somewhat like Linux. It is possible that Windows for Surface will be something slightly different from Windows for partners. For now, however, this is only a fast written theory. The practice will probably look slightly different.

It did. Windows and Surface are one today


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