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IE Chief Dean Hachamovitch Reassigned

Update: Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone corporate VP, will apparently oversee Internet Explorer's user experience and application development, according to a report by The Verge's Todd Warren.

Dean Hachamovitch, 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 cryptic and brief blog post, Hachamovitch on Monday announced he will join a new team within Microsoft.

While he didn't say what new group he's joining, Redmond magazine columnist Mary Jo Foley reported in her ZDNet All about Microsoft blog that he's 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 (or are) moving into new roles.

The move comes just one week after Microsoft released Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. Since Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7, the company made aggressive moves at improving the browser under Hachamovitch's watch, including notably its 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 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 gained share followed by Google's launch of Chrome.

The inflexion point came at the first-ever Mix conference in 2006, when Hachamovitch followed 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," he said at the time.

It doesn't appear Microsoft will tap anyone to oversee Internet Explorer, Foley noted. Does that suggest Microsoft is going to let the browser once again fall by the wayside? Hachamovitch in his brief post said he is confident that won't be the case.

"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."

Of course, what would you expect him to say?

What's your take on Hachamovitch's move? Is that an omen that Internet Explorer will be marginalized if it doesn't get a new chief? Does it still matter at this point? Or are you confident Myerson plans to ensure future development of the browser?

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/12/2013 at 3:58 PM

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