Panos Panay, the highly visible leader of Microsoft's Surface tablet development team, has a lot more responsibility now. Microsoft has quietly put him in charge of engineering for all of its premium devices, including Windows Phones, Xbox, Surface Hub, Microsoft Band and HoloLens.
The promotion was first reported by ZDNet which confirmed the news with Microsoft that Panay "will be taking over (engineering for) premium devices." It's not yet known what his new official title will be at the company. It's a big sign of confidence from Microsoft on Panay's execution of its Surface tablet division, which went from being a big money loser for the company to a successful division, thanks largely to the sales and critical success of the Surface Pro 3 that launched in 2014.
The big question is how will Panay's decisions affect Microsoft's future hardware products. Will we seem more risks taken with new Lumia Windows Phone devices, and will he put an Intel chip inside them, as our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino recently speculated? How will Panay influence other products like the Xbox family, Microsoft Band and the Surface Hub in the next few years? Only time will tell.