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Joe Belfiore now focused on phones, tablets, and PCs as Microsoft starts to combine software

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

Microsoft's massive reorganization is starting to take place, and details of the structure of the new operating systems engineering group are becoming more clear. All Things D reports that Windows and Windows Phone head Terry Myerson will have seven direct reports in the new structure. Marc Whitten, who helped launch the Xbox One in his role as Xbox chief product officer, will oversee the Xbox team responsible for the software side. Henry Sanders, who previously worked on Windows Phone, will take control of OS development, while Chris Jones continues to oversee the Windows-related services.

Windows tablets and phones are growing increasingly similar

The most significant change appears to be Joe Belfiore's focus on phones, tablets, and PCs. Belfiore previously worked solely on Windows Phone, and is seen by many as the face of the company's phone efforts. His responsibilities will now blur the lines across Microsoft's big-screen tablets, phones, and PCs. Just as Nokia plans to launch a 6-inch Windows Phone, it's clear Microsoft is working to further integrate its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. Previously, at its Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner promised a "common app platform with Windows," for Windows Phone and "Start Screen innovation."


More integration between Windows 8 and Windows Phone planned

The latest leaked Windows Phone update, known as General Distribution 3, doesn't show many changes towards this goal just yet, but it's possible the company is planning more integration between Windows and Windows Phone with a future 8.1 update planned for early 2014 for phones. With 7- and 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets launching on October 18th alongside Nokia's 6-inch Windows Phone, it's clear Microsoft is reaching a point where it needs to start merging both operating systems even more closely. The company has long promised "three screens and a cloud," with the idea that the software powering devices would become a lot more common and similar.

Myerson will also oversee a new unit that Microsoft is forming to look at opportunities for the Windows software to power new hardware. All Things D claims one such possibility is a focus on wearable computing for that unit. A "Surface Watch" has been previously rumored, with the Xbox team testing variations of the smartwatch with a Surface power connector. Microsoft is expected to announce its Windows management changes later today.