Speaking to ZDNet, Zander says Linux is now a big part of Microsoft's development ecosystem.
“We have some sophisticated kernel developers in Linux and Windows and Azure,” Zander said. And given that Zander has some code which he wrote included in Windows 2000, “I've known these folks for decades,” he said.
As Azure Vice President, Zander leads Microsoft's Azure strategy, engineering, and cloud lines. He also heads up the company's SQL Server, big data, quantum computing and other solutions.
Under the umbrella of Zander's role is Microsoft Core Operating System and Intelligent Edge team (COSINE). This division includes Windows and Devices Group (WDG) since Windows VP Terry Myerson left Microsoft in 2018.
“We took the tech core of Windows and brought it to the Azure team,” he said. “The core is now inside the organization instead of outside of it.” And along with the technological Windows core that came to Azure came the lessons the Windows team had learned in building, testing and maintaining Windows at massive scale.
COSINE is in charge of the OS platform foundation that works across Windows client, Server and Azure. It's in charge of the Windows source code and the hundreds of variations of Windows that the company builds daily.
COSINE also is in charge of the core host for Azure, Zander says, noting he moved the Azure Compute team core into COSINE. That means the COSINE team is “now on 24 X 7, 365 days a year, for running a fleet,” Zander said.
While the Windows team learned from Azure, the Azure team also picked up good habits from the Windows division. How to function at scale was one of the core lessons.
“Any time you have a tech group managing over a billion PCs, there's amazing scale in terms of building, patching and releasing software,” he added.