Microsoft’s Ralf Groene recently shared that he is now the corporate vice president (CVP) of Design Windows and Devices at Microsoft. Groene has a long history at Microsoft, including heading the industrial design team for Microsoft devices from 2015. Groene’s new role as CVP Design Windows and Devices includes designing Windows as well as the Microsoft on Android experience. In his new role, he continues to head the design of Microsoft hardware. Groene’s LinkedIn profile states that he began his new role in March 2020, but he didn’t update his profile until earlier this week.
Groene is the lead designer of Microsoft’s Surface line and has been involved with several design choices that have been well received. His expanded role including the design of Windows could help end some of the frustrations people have expressed regarding the inconsistent design of Windows 10.
Groene’s new role began in March according to his profile, which lines up with Panos Panay becoming the leader of the Devices + Windows team. That change reportedly was part of a larger reorganization which took effect in Spring.
While it’s unclear what role Groene has played in the design of Windows at this point, there does seem to be a shift regarding UI design and Windows at Microsoft. Panay being placed in charge of Windows, along with Groene’s new role, could iron out inconsistencies in the operating system and improve the user interface. Panay teased a new Windows 10 UI earlier this year and Microsoft confirmed last month that some elements of Windows 10X will come to Windows 10. We’ll have to wait and see to find out what Microsoft has in plan for the future of Windows.