Microsoft's IE Chief Takes New Role, Windows Phone's Belfiore Picks Up Slack

The Microsoft corporate vice president who oversaw the development of the company's Internet Explorer browser for nine years is taking on a new role in the company.

In a brief and cryptic blog post on Monday, Dean Hachamovitch announced he will join a new team within Microsoft. While he did not say what new group he's joining, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported, according to her sources, that Hachamovitch is joining a team focused on data sciences. The move is part of new Windows group head Terry Myerson's effort to assemble his own team, Foley noted. She also pointed out that most of the key personnel who reported to former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky have moved, or are moving, into new roles.

In Hachamovitch's absence, Windows Phone Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore will oversee Internet Explorer's user experience and application development, according to a report by The Verge's Todd Warren.

Hachamovitch's announcement came just one week after Microsoft released Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. Since releasing Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft has made aggressive moves at improving the browser under Hachamovitch's watch -- including, notably, adding support for HTML 5.

When Hachamovitch joined the Internet Explorer team nine years ago, Microsoft's browser was falling out of favor. That's because in the wake of the demise of Netscape, which Microsoft neutralized, Redmond had little incentive to improve its browser. Microsoft's complacency eventually caught up with it, as the Mozilla Firefox browser began gaining share and Google launched its own browser in Chrome.

The inflection point came at the first-ever MIX conference in 2006, when Hachamovitch followed Microsoft Chairman and Founder Bill Gates in apologizing for neglecting the bug-ridden Internet Explorer 6, which was full of security holes, as recalled by GeekWire on Monday.

"We messed up," Hachamovitch said at the time.

In his blog post Monday, Hachamovitch said he is confident Microsoft will not let the browser once again fall by the wayside.

"Microsoft will of course continue to invest in the browser, in Web standards, in developer tooling for the Web, in privacy, and in even more areas than before," Hachamovitch noted. "There's a new set of capable leaders who will continue the strong work."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.