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Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore takes over Internet Explorer app development

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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore with the Nokia Lumia 920
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore with the Nokia Lumia 920

Microsoft’s Dean Hachamovitch revealed earlier this week that he is switching roles to a new team inside the software giant. Hachamovitch has essentially been the Internet Explorer man at Microsoft for a number of years now, heading up the development of the company’s browser rendering engine and the apps across Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. The Verge has learned that Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore will take over some of Hachamovitch’s responsibilities for Internet Explorer. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer plans have revealed that Belfiore will lead a team focused on the app side of Internet Explorer and the user experience.

Microsoft has had separate teams working on its trident rendering engine and the end user Internet Explorer apps that ship with Windows and other platforms, but the company is splitting the leadership of those teams even further under the new operating systems group and Microsoft’s broader vision. Belfiore, who is known for his Windows Phone work, is taking on an increased focus on phones, tablets, and PCs as Microsoft looks to combine common APIs, Stores, and user interfaces across all three. Part of that work will involve overseeing the app side of Internet Explorer development, while the trident rendering engine and IE platform remains in the core operating systems group. Belfiore might be seen as the face of Windows Phone right now, but his role is expanding into new areas.

Windows planning on hold until Xbox One is done

The Verge understands that planning for future Windows projects is still largely on hold until the company is finished with the Xbox One roll out and parts of its reorganization. Microsoft is planning to unify its Windows Phone and Windows app stores into a single location for consumers, and it recently took the first steps towards this by simplifying developer registration into a single account. The software giant has long promised tighter integration throughout its products, and it’s likely that we’ll start to see parts of that over the course 2014. Microsoft’s internal changes all fall under Terry Myerson, potentially the most important man at Microsoft as the company seeks to promote collaboration and closer integration of its Windows-powered devices.

"Windows RT was our first ARM tablet. And as phones extend into tablets, expect us to see many more ARM tablets, Windows ARM tablets in the future," said Myerson at a recent financial analysts meeting. With the potential for Windows RT and Windows Phone to move even closer, a merging of app stores, and a new focus for Belfiore on the browser, Myerson believes the company is preparing for progress with Windows. "We have a very clear vision of what we want to get done, and we're moving very fast."

Update: Joe Belfiore confirms the news personally with a Tweet stating, "I’m still doing phone work, just adding IE & Windows UX as part of my next role focused on 'phone/tablet/pc'."