Microsoft’s VP of Operating Systems, Joe Belfiore, is taking a leave of absence to sail the world with his family from November until the summer of 2016, according to a post on his Facebook page.
“We’ve coveted the opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other and our kids — and we’re taking advantage of it while we can,” Belifore writes.
Starting in November, his kids will be enrolling in Semester At Sea, an educational cruise program which he describes as a “floating college campus,” run by the University of Virginia.
The boat carries 600 students, plus some faculties, and families like Belfiore’s.
He describes it as the fulfillment of a lifelong dream: Semester at Sea goes all over the world, with stops at cities every continent except Antarctica.
Belfiore promises that he’ll be back in the United States in time to get his kids back into their public school routine, at which point his oldest child will be entering 7th grade. At that point, Belfiore says he’ll be re-taking the helm of Windows.
As far as timing goes, Belfiore’s decision is raising some eyebrows among the Windows faithful: As noted by ZDNet, his departure lines up with the November launch of Windows 10 Mobile, the version of the operating system for Microsoft’s phones, which is one of his main areas of responsibility. This means that a top Windows Phone executive won’t be around for the launch of Windows 10 Mobile. It’s not a great confidence-booster for Microsoft’s mobile strategy, which is already under siege.