Who's who on Microsoft's new operating systems team

Who's who on Microsoft's new operating systems team

Summary: Microsoft's new cross-platform operating system team includes a number of former Windows big-wigs and few of the members of the most recent Windows regime.


The pieces are starting to fall into place following Microsoft's sweeping cross-company reorg, announced back in July.


The first of the newly reorg'd teams -- the OS engineering group, headed by Executive Vice President Terry Myerson -- announced internally on September 9  the newly realigned roster of managers.

Myerson's new team is charged with creating the Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One operating systems powering Microsoft's phone, tablet/PC and TV/console systems. Before being named Executive Vice President of the OS unit, Myerson was head of the Windows Phone engineering team. 

The core platform team in Myerson's new org is still going to be organized around a functional triumvarite, meaning there will be heads of program management, test and development. Myerson did a clean sweep here, as noted by GeekWire. David Treadwell is the new head of program management; Mike Fortin is the new head of test; and Henry Sanders is the new head of development. Treadwell was most recently on Xbox, Fortin on Windows and Sanders on Windows Phone.

The program management/test/development team that had previously worked on Windows 8 consisted of Julie Larson-Green (now heading  Microsoft's Devices & Studios team), Grant George and Jon DeVaan. George and DeVaan seemingly have been pushed aside in the latest reorg, as has Antoine Leblond, who replaced Larson-Green as the head of Windows program management. (Larson-Green, George, DeVaan and Leblond all worked with former Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky, dating back to the time he led the Office business.)

It's not clear whether DeVaan, Leblond and George will stay with the company or leave, according to contacts of mine who asked not to be identified. However, the Internet Explorer team, which is still headed by Dean Hachamovitch, is part of Myerson's new org, though it's still a bit unclear to whom Hachamovitch will report directly, I hear.

It's interesting that the new OS core leadership trio -- Treadwell, Fortin and Sanders -- are all former Core Operating Systems Division (COSD) folks. According to one of my sources, that's not a coincidence. Bringing the old Windows band back together might right some of the perceived wrongs instituted by the Windows management in recent years. Pitting WinDev against DevDiv and focusing on touch tablets while largely ignoring the non-touch Windows desktop experience in designing Windows 8 led to dissatisfaction among a number of Microsoft developers and users. The overarching goal for Myerson's OS division is to break down boundaries further between the different flavors of Windows.

As first reported by AllThingsD this week, Myerson also has chosen a mix of managers to head up the multidisciplinary teams inside the new OS org. Joe Belfiore is going to head up a cross PC-phone-tablets team. Marc Whitten will head up the TV and large screen team, which also includes Xbox Live. And Chris Jones will head up OS services -- which in this new org, include SkyDrive.

There's also a team working on a new device category (expected to be wearable computing devices) inside Myerson's new org.

It's worth noting that the Windows Server team isn't part of the new cross-divisional OS team. Nor is Windows Embedded. Both of those product groups will remain with the Cloud and Enterprise Group, under Executive Vice President Satya Nadella.

Both Myerson and Nadella are said to be under consideration for replacing Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO, as are a few other top Microsoft execs, including Tony Bates, the newly minted Microsoft Executive Vice President of Business Development and Evangelism (and former Skype CEO). Other rumored possible CEO candidates include Stephen Elop, who is rejoining Microsoft as part of Microsoft's recent Nokia handset acquisition, as well as non-Microsoft veterans like Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

Topics: Windows, Windows 8, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • king

    as Jose said I'm amazed that anyone can get paid $6858 in 4 weeks on the computer. visite site.....http://xurl.es/spcem
    • Interesting choice to head PM given Xbone's several recent missteps

      Especially since those were so huge and so foreseeable. Doh. I hope it goes better for this os team that it did for xbone.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Hum...

        I thought that was another guy that left the company.
  • king

    my Aunty Taylor recently got Honda Ridgeline Crew Cab just by working online with a macbook... you can try these out......... http://xurl.es/tk79n
  • "One OS to rule them all and in the darkness bind them..."

    "Myerson's new team is charged with creating the Windows Phone, Windows and Xbox One operating systems powering Microsoft's phone, tablet/PC and TV/console systems."
  • Joe Belfiore

    Glad to see him in charge of WP and tablets!
    • ditto

      Same here. He is a well mannered professional guy who cares about customers. I wish he advances to higher levels in future.
  • Will They Fix The Multi-Tasking?

    Been reading an article over on Ars Technica about how badly Windows handles multi-tasking. For example, doing a 3D render brings the entire system to its knees and makes it unusable for anything else. By contrast, under Linux, I can use 8 threads for a 3D render on my quad-core i7, and still comfortably do other stuff at the same time.

    Basically, 3D and compute-intensive stuff works a lot better on Linux than Windows, on the same hardware.
    • Multi-Tasking

      ldo17 said: "Been reading an article over on Ars Technica about how badly Windows handles multi-tasking"

      I'm actually very interested in this article, but couldn't find it on ArsTechnica. Can someone please post a pointer to it.
      • Re: Multi-Tasking

        • I have had exactly the opposite experience

          under heavy loads that involve both CPU and IO intensive tasks linux grinds to a halt to a point when even the mouse cursor stops moving, the same application running on windows while slowing the machine down never managed to freeze the UI
          • Re: I have had exactly the opposite experience

            Maybe you should write up your experiences. But first you have to find a publication willing to believe you.
    • How is this related

      How is this related to this article?

      It is not a fault! You can set the priorities to lower or higher levels. Higher levels will receive more time slots.

      In desktop Windows higher priorities are given to foreground apps while in Windows server and Linux, the background apps receive higher priority. You can even set the priority and affinity levels in task manager if you like.

      It is related to the windows team's preferences of setting default priorities.
      • Re: In desktop Windows higher priorities are given to foreground apps

        The genius of Linux is that they were able to come up with a single process-scheduling algorithm that works efficiently across all workloads. For anything from a supercomputer cluster through a desktop workstation down to a mobile phone, the same basic Linux kernel gives you maximum throughput with minimum latency. For example, I can do 3D renders using 8 threads on my quad-core i7, and it still manages to spare some cycles for web-browsing or other moderate uses at the same time, without bogging down.

        Windows is hopeless at that.
        • something is telling me that you don't do anything on linux other than

          bashing windows all day long. and that activity takes up all of the "threads" in your head. otherwise you would have paused and thought for a second: is it really possible to achieve maximum throughput and at the same time guarantee minimum latency? in order to achieve maximum throughput you have to dedicate all available CPU cores for your 3d rendering task for the entire duration of the task. If you spend any time at all reacting to user actions you are not getting the maximum throughput.
          • Re: is it really possible to achieve maximum throughput and at the same ti

            What more can I add? I really have done heavy 3D renders on my main Linux box without bringing it to its knees. This isn't something I read about, it's my personal first-hand experience.

            Like I said, the Linux folk are geniuses.
  • The case agains Joe and Terry

    windows phone failed in the market. I love it but let's face it. These guys can't run this division much less all of Microsoft OS approaches. This is why they are bad choices:

    1) Joe rebooted the platform half way, burning a lot of devs and a lot of customers.

    2) Joe can't ship on time. Android outpaces Joe's team almost 3 updates to 1. Apple ships every year, which joe can't do. Mind you, these are major updates. Joe can't even fix a storage bug in WP8 until now. Nokia had to step in and release a temp file cleaner to fix MSFT's mess. HTC people are out of luck, and Samsung probably is just shaking their heads.

    3) Joe just doesn't get the phone market and his developers's needs. He kept WP8 under wraps. everybody expected this huge upgrade and all they got was Joe's kids showing kids corner, along with minor OS updates. And we waited a year? this was the year WP would catch up with android. Instead we're waiting for 2014 to catch up with 2012 android. Thanks Joe. Devs didn't even get the SDK until it was already release to the public. The result: WP8 apps were slow to show up, hurting the platform.

    4) Joe/Terry simply don't get hardware. Joe said "windows phone will not compete on specs". HTC/Nokia were unable to compete in the phablet segment, which has seen Samsung grow a lot because of Joe. Because of Joe, WP can never support modern screens. Because of Joe, WP can't even do any resolution we want...unlike windows. Wasn't the point of the NT kernel switch to be like windows and just run on anything? Because of Joe, HTC could make the HTC one for WP.

    5) Joe/Terry are the 3%. Let me put it plainly: you don't reward students with an F. Joe and Terry get an F for windows phone. They all but killed MFST mobile chances and if Elop takes over, his first action should be to replace both guys. They are directly responsible for the demise of windows phone, which let's face it, has never been so close to being dead.

    and now, these two clowns are in charge of everything? should I expect windows 8.2 in 2015? and all it will do is have kids corner? I'm so disappointed. Please Elop be CEU and get rid of these two guys ASAP. MSFT cannot afford another minute with Joe and Terry at the helm.
  • Can something be done to memory management and multi-tasking?

    32 years ago I was using an IBM 370/165. At peak there were 300 users. There were 8 regions of 32kbytes each for TSO. In other words, only the images of 8 of the 300 users can be in RAM at anyone time, the rest were swapped out to disk (albeit a fixed head one). And of course only one person's code is executing at any one time as there is only one CPU.

    At 300 users, I perhaps felt a few seconds of latency sometimes. When there were less than 100 users, I didn't notice any latency at all.

    Today, I have a third-generation i7 and 8GB of RAM all to myself with at least 1GB *FREE* at any one time. And my hard disk is going gog gog gog non-stop. There is something drastically wrong. This is not acceptable.

    Hope there is sufficient talent in Microsoft to solve this simple problem.

    • Re: This is not acceptable.

      Try switching to Linux (see my comments above).
  • All the same faces in different places...

    As a developer who when alone for the WP7/8 ride. I am a little surprise by the upward movement of Joe B. and Terry M. Smart guys for sure, but leadership thus far in mobile has been questionable at best. I guess that has to be measure against the sandbox they have been given to play in. WP8 is really not a priority for Microsoft in the same sense as competing in the cloud. Sure they want their own ecosystem, developers, and market share but they aren't willing to do the one thing everyone knows must be done...sacrifice some Windows desktop OS market share. The culture of Ballmer just can't do this. Look not further than Windows RT, an OS who's sole reason for being born was to protect the licensing model of the Windows OS. It does little to nothing more that could have been scaled to WP8.

    I am not as harsh on these guys as a previous commenter but they have certainly alienated the developer community with how things are run. The withholding of SDKs for months over something as silly as Kids Corner, forcing WP8 developers to move to Windows 8 to develop WP8 apps for no real apparent benefit, long, really long OS update cycles for missing features a platform that's in third place. Think about this...the Visual Studio team is outpacing the WP8 team in release cadence.

    Maybe, that $900m Surface write-off will get them to think different but currently, Microsoft doesn't get mobile. Windows 8 and Vista before it, are signals that they really aren't that in touch with want their customers want in a desktop OS either.

    Here's to hoping the next CEO has a greater range of vision for the enormous amount of talent that existing within Microsoft.