Could Microsoft be ditching Surface? As Panos Panay leaves for Amazon

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After nearly 20 years at Microsoft, the head of Windows and Surface is heading out the door. That’d be Panos Panay, who has been a pretty popular face at Microsoft since Satya Nadella took over the role in 2014. Panay has been very popular at Surface events in the last few years – speaking of which, one is taking place this week. Making the timing this a bit more interesting.

Microsoft says that Yusuf Mehdi will take over as Windows and Surface chief. But this leaves a bigger question about Microsoft – what’s the future of their hardware business? Their hardware business has always been a bit odd. Their making laptops to compete with their partners, all running the same operating system. A lot like how Google makes Pixel to compete with their partners, all running on Android.


Surface devices have never been the top-seller in the Windows world. But they existed to represent what Microsoft’s vision of Windows is. There’s been some bumps in the road, like Surface Duo, which recently saw the end of the road.

Amazon is said to be hiring Panay

So what’s next for Panos Panay? Well, according to Bloomberg, he is heading over to Amazon. This is rather interesting, since he won’t even need to move for this job. Both companies are headquartered in Washington.

According to the report out of Bloomberg, Panay will be taking on the division responsible for its Alexa and Echo smart speakers. Who also has an event this week, showcasing new hardware. Of course, it is Techtember, so this isn’t a huge surprise.

This is a pretty big departure for Microsoft, and a huge get for Amazon. It makes you wonder, what does Amazon have planned for its hardware division as well. Amazon has been making hardware for close to 20 years at this point, going back to the original Kindle. But their hardware has never really taken off. Sure, we all have an Echo device in our home, but many of us got it for free with the purchase of another product.

We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out for Amazon and Microsoft.