Skip to main content

Microsoft’s executive shake-up casts a shadow on upcoming Surface event

Panos Panay at AMD's CES 2023 presentation.

In what some are calling the “end of an era,” Microsoft revealed that long-time Surface and Windows leader, Panos Panay, would be leaving the company. The announcement comes just days before Microsoft’s Surface and AI event on September 21, where the company is expected to reveal new devices like the Surface Laptop Studio 2.

Panay is a mainstay at Microsoft events, as well as the champion of Surface devices during Microsoft’s presentations. Microsoft says the former executive won’t be at the event on Thursday, according to Tom Warren.

Earlier in the year, Microsoft announced 10,000 layoffs in a move to make “changes to our hardware portfolio,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the time. It seems Panay, who was Executive Vice President and reported directly to Nadella, decided to leave on his own, though. “After nearly 20 years at the company, Panos Panay has decided to leave Microsoft,” an internal email shared with Digital Trends reads.

Nadella added a note to the email, saying that the company “remain[s] steadfast and convicted in our strategy, and Yusuf Mehdi will take lead on our Windows and Surface businesses and products externally.”

The new Bing preview screen appears on a Surface Laptop Studio.
Luke Larsen / DigitalTrends

We expect to see several new Surface devices at Microsoft’s event on Thursday, possibly demonstrated by Mehdi. In addition to the Surface Laptop Studio 2, rumors suggest Microsoft will reveal the Surface Laptop Go 3 and the Surface Go 4.

A lot of the key details have already been spoiled, though. A massive leak last week revealed specs for all three devices. The leak shows the Surface Laptop Studio 2 arriving with Intel 13th-gen processors and Nvidia RTX 40-series graphics. It also says the device will carry a 14.4-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 120Hz refresh rate, which is identical to the original Surface Laptop Studio.

In addition, the Surface Laptop Go 3 will arrive with an Intel Core i5-1235U processor, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of memory, according to the leak. Outside of hardware, Microsoft is expected to announce AI updates to Windows Copilot and Bing Chat.

Microsoft won’t be live-streaming the event, but Digital Trends will be on the ground covering all of the announcements as they’re revealed. A replay of the event will go live several hours after Microsoft’s keynote.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
Can you use the Surface Pen with the Surface Laptop Studio 2?
New Surface Laptop Studio 2 with a Surface Pen.

The Surface Pen is an excellent accessory for the Surface Laptop Studio 2, and yes, it works well with it. You can use the Surface Pen on the Surface Laptop Studio 2 for all kinds of tasks, from note-taking to doodlin, and sketching. The screen of the next-gen Surface Laptop Studio might be the same as the last one, but it still really lends itself to that sort of nuanced interaction, letting you get pixel-perfect drawing and writing from the Surface Pen.

Th Pen is still magnetic too, so it's always on hand when you need it.

Read more
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Go 3 is a more capable budget laptop
Surface Laptop Go 3 at Microsoft debut event.

At today's Surface event, Microsoft announced the third generation of its budget-priced Surface Laptop Go, the premium Surface Laptop Studio 2, and the Surface Go 4. Sporting a Microsoft pedigree, the Surface Laptop Go 3 is worth considering if you're looking for a nice-looking touchscreen notebook.

Microsoft upgraded several components in this year's offering to make the Surface Laptop Go 3 more competitive. Microsoft upgraded the processor to a 12th Gen Core i5-1235U, which deliversa massive upgrade of 88% faster performance. Memory and storage capacity are larger than ever for a Surface Laptop Go, with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. At the same time, battery life increases from 13 to 15 hours, so you can go all day with this laptop.

Read more
Microsoft’s Copilot AI will have an ‘energy,’ apparently
The Microsoft Windows logo surrounded by colors of red, green, yellow and blue.

Microsoft has just unveiled the latest version of Windows 11, and it features updates across the operating system, from AI to new tools and features.

Among the updates are changes to Microsoft’s Copilot AI tool, which will have more features to help users in apps like Word and Excel, as well as within Windows 11 itself. Copilot can be used to summarize meetings, write emails, help with analysis, and much more.

Read more