Updated below with additional details.

Microsoft’s new Operating Systems Engineering Group — responsible for OS development across Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox — is filling out its executive team under new operating systems chief Terry Myerson, with key roles for some who worked under Myerson in his former role as the Windows Phone engineering leader.

Terry Myerson
Terry Myerson

AllThingsD reports overnight that the new operating systems development leader will be Henry Sanders, who worked previously on Windows Phone.

Joe Belfiore, another Windows Phone veteran with a long history at the company, will oversee OS work on phones, tablets and PCs. Marc Whitten will head up the Xbox efforts inside the OS group, and Chris Jones will lead services.

Not on that list are veteran Windows executives Grant George, Antoine Leblond and Jon DeVaan. InaFried of AllThingsD reports that it’s “unclear whether the trio will land roles within Windows, elsewhere at Microsoft, or end up leaving the company.”

The ultimate effect appears to be a dismantling of the Windows leadership team that had been assembled by former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky. Julie Larson-Green, who headed up Windows engineering prior to the restructuring, was named the leader of the Devices & Studios team under the new “One Microsoft” structure, but will end up reporting to Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO, following his return to Microsoft with the Redmond company’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services business.

The announcements follow the previous Windows group’s completion of Windows 8.1, the update for Windows PCs and Windows RT devices, which addresses many of the initial complaints that followed Windows 8’s release last year.

The management shift also comes at a time of huge change for Microsoft more broadly, including a search for a new CEO following Steve Ballmer’s announcement that he’ll retire within 12 months.

Microsoft isn’t commenting on the AllThingsD report. The company is expected to announce the OS Engineering Group management changes as early as today.

Update, Monday afternoon: Microsoft has announced the changes internally now. In addition to the executives above, David Treadwell from the Xbox team will lead product management for the OS group, and Mike Fortin from Windows will head up test and quality. Dean Hachamovitch will continue to lead the IE team.

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  • Guest

    Typical binary MS move when what would have made sense is something more nuanced. The WP team gets “Metro” better than the WP team, so putting them in charge of UI makes sense if you’re committed to sticking with that. It also reflects the reality of where unit volume is. But their release tempo has sucked, as has their patch/update process. The latter is something the Windows team generally does well. A smart leader would have assessed overall needs and picked the best from both teams.

    • Prayaas

      The slow update thing for Windows Phone is artificial. It was all because:
      1. WP7 to WP8 was a lot of code porting resulting in bugs and bug fixing.
      2. Nokia pressured Microsoft to make support for their hardware in Updates 2 and 3.
      3. Due to delays, they finally decided to ship one major update with ALL.
      And yes, you’re right. The Windows team has done Metro horribly, I prefer any day of the week, the Windows Phone implementation of it, or even the one on Zune. Was better than Windows 8’s implementation.

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