Joe Belfiore is one of the most senior executives at Microsoft. His official title is “Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group” which, broadly, means he is in charge of the design of Windows, specifically Windows Phone.
However, it appears Belfiore doesn’t use a Windows Phone at the moment. A tweet sent by Belfiore (spotted by The Verge), who is on a nine month sabbatical at the moment, is sent from an iPhone.
Under Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, employees hid their iPhones for fear of being seen, and so one of the top executives at the company using anything other than a Windows device would have been a problem.
But Satya Nadella, who took over after Ballmer, has taken a different approach, openly embracing technology from other companies, most notably Apple.
In the comments on the post from The Verge, Belfiore took the time to explain why he, the man in charge of Windows design, can use an iPhone — and why it may actually be a good thing.
“My job for the last couple of years has been (1) to curate the PC experience for Windows PCs (including tablet devices) and (2) to curate the experience for Windows Phones,” he wrote.
“In both capacities, it’s very important for me to understand products like the iPhone and Android phones, which are heavily used by PC users around the world, and which represent the competition for Windows Phone.”
To fully understand a technology, Belfiore writes, you need to “live in it” and that is what he is doing.
“On a leave-of-absence, there are tons of talented people [testing Windows] every day, which gives me the possibility of spending depth time on other devices,” he continues.
“I’d go farther and say “it’d be CRAZY not to [use an iPhone]!” he said. In fact, he says, he has used Spotify, a Google Nexus device, a MacBook, and various other non-Microsoft handsets.
“In today’s Microsoft,” he writes, “this practical, customer-focused attitude is well celebrated and supported.”
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