After a nearly-year long sabbatical, long-time Microsoft exec and demo-guy extraordinaire Joe Belfiore (JoeB) is back on Twitter.
On April 11, 2017, the day Microsoft began rolling out the Windows 10 Creators Update, Belfiore tweeted about being back at Microsoft after announcing in October 2015 that he’d be taking a year leave-of-absence to travel with his family.
After Belfiore left, Microsoft execs divided up his former job among multiple employees. Belfiore actually returned to Microsoft in the Fall of 2016, and was seen out and about on the Redmond campus. But company officials repeatedly declined to comment on what his new role was. (I asked a few times.) On April 11, after a number of months of Twitter silence, Belfiore began tweeting again.
One of my contacts had told me late last year that Belfiore’s new job was to lead the newly created Windows Engagement Team, reporting directly to Microsoft’s head of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson. When I asked Microsoft if this was accurate, I was told the company had “nothing to share.”
I’ve heard Belfiore’s job — at least as outlined last Fall — included oversight of MSN (which has been under Eric Lockard). I’ve also heard Belfiore was working on some consumer shell concepts for Windows 10. Again, Microsoft officials wouldn’t confirm or deny any of this.
Before leaving for his sabatical, Belfiore had been with Microsoft for 25 years in a variety of roles. His last job, according to his Twitter profile, was running “the team building Phone/Tablet/PC versions of Windows.” Officially, his job was overseeing product engineering for the user experience of Windows across devices, including shell/taskbar/desktop/settings; IE and Edge; communications experiences; photos, music videos, maps apps; and Continuum.
I attempted to reach out to Belfiore directly to clarify what he’s been doing at the company since his return, but didn’t hear back from him.