Microsoft doubles down on its Android + Windows efforts in latest reorg

Microsoft Logo 2022Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

Microsoft is reorganizing several key teams and departments once again. Announced by Chief Product Officer (CPO) Panos Panay in a memo earlier this week, the company teams is moving its Surface Duo OS, SwiftKey, Phone Link, Microsoft Launcher, and a handful of other Android under a new dedicated Android org called “Android Microsoft Platform and Experiences” (AMPX.)

Previously, much of Microsoft’s Android efforts such as SwiftKey and Microsoft Launcher were developed under the Microsoft Mobile Experiences (MMX) division, which also focuses on iOS and iPadOS products. This new dedicated Android division is designed to help the company double down on its Android offerings and really focus on the platform as a first party endeavor alongside Windows.

The short version of this story is that Microsoft is moving the bulk of its Android efforts into a new dedicated org under Panos Panay, similar to what the company did with Windows back in February 2020. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the reorg in a statement to Windows Central:

Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. We recently made an organizational change to accelerate our impact and better serve our customers and partners.

Sources tell me that Microsoft has big ideas in mind for Android and Windows over the next handful of years, including more advanced integrations between Android smartphones and Windows PCs beyond what’s already available via the Phone Link app today. Microsoft wants to position Android smartphones as an extension to Windows PCs, with the goal of creating interoperable experiences similar to what can be had with an iPhone and Mac.

Along with the reorg comes new roles for several key players at the company. Shilpa Ranganathan is moving to a lead role in the Windows PM org, taking over from Linda Averett who is moving to a new team focusing on privacy, compliance, and security. Ali Akgun, previous CVP of Surface at Microsoft, is said to be leading the new AMPX group.

Finally, I hear CVP Michael Fortin is retiring, with his role being split up between several different leads in the Windows + Devices org. I also hear that there will be no layoffs as a result of the reorg. Overall, this reorg looks to be positioning Microsoft to better serve its products and experiences on Android in addition to enhancing the integration between Android smartphones and Windows PCs.

Just recently, Microsoft announced that it was rebranding the Your Phone app as “Phone Link” and expanded support for the “Apps” feature to Honor smartphones, which was previously exclusive to Samsung and Surface Duo devices. I’ll be interested to see just how closely Microsoft can tie Android and Windows devices together in the future.

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