Vacationing Windows Phone Chief Joe Belfiore Defends Use Of iPhone As ‘Deep’ Product Research

joe belfiore
When we last left Joe Belfiore, he announced that he was taking a nine-month-long break from Microsoft to travel the world with his family. Belfiore is Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Operating Systems Group and has been the most recognizable face at Microsoft when it comes to championing the Windows Phone platform.

So can understand why many were quite shocked this morning when Belfiore resurfaced on Twitter with a tweet about his visit to Kyoto. And it wasn’t his luscious golden locks that people were most interesting in; it was the fact that he was posting from an iPhone. That’s right, the chief evangelist for the Windows Phone platform is using an iPhone in his downtime — we can’t say that we’d ever see Phil Schiller or Craig Federighi lending the same credence to Android or Windows 10 Mobile.

As word of Belfiore’s iPhone escapades spread, he quickly took to Twitter to put some water on the growing flames from the Windows Phone community:

However, Belfiore took to the comments section over at The Verge, the first publication to notice his use of an iPhone, to better explain this situation. And we must say, it makes a lot of sense to us:

I have a HUGE AND UNUSUAL opportunity to get to know these products deeply. To understand the benefits and drawbacks of a full ecosystem like Windows, Android, iOS — you have to LIVE IN IT. You have to feel its strengths and weaknesses, be let down, be delighted. And you can’t do that just "playing around" with a device for a couple of days. You have to learn the UI, upload your photos, use cross-device apps and tools… all of it…

Furthermore, there’s a lot of work happening at MS which integrates Windows PCs with iOS and Android devices— like bringing Cortana to these phones so your intelligent assistant can help you wherever you are. I want to experience and understand all that work deeply too…

I’ve [spent] a bunch of time using Google Maps, Spotify, Periscope, a MacBook, a Nexus phone, etc. And.. in today’s Microsoft, this practical, customer-focused attitude is well celebrated and supported. (and.. btw… I love my Surface Book!)

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that a Microsoft product chief is spending some quality time with the competition’s products. And given Microsoft’s increasing willingness to embrace all platforms (OS X, Android, an iOS) — even to the perceived detriment of some of its own products (namely Windows Phone) — this is something that’s probably lauded within the halls of Microsoft.

As for Belfiore, he’s had enough of this little sideshow and is heading back to spend some quality time with his family.