Joe Belfiore, the man frequently seen demonstrating the various features of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile onstage and in company videos, is taking a leave of absence from Microsoft for an entire year to spend more time with his family.

Belfiore has taken to Facebook to announce that he is taking a break from his duties as corporate vice president of the operating systems group at Microsoft so he and his family can sail around the world in a one-year cruise onboard the Semester at Sea, a nonprofit educational program for college students and "lifelong learners" such as Belfiore and his wife.

"We think a floating college campus will be an amazing environment for everyone in our family to get a chance to see and experience the diversity all around the world and better appreciate what we have here," Belfiore says. "We've coveted the opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other and our kids - and we're taking advantage of it while we can!"

The Belfiore family is scheduled to take a trip to the northeastern cities of the U.S. before they set sail for the world in January. Belfiore is expected to come back to Microsoft next summer, in time for the Belfiore children to go back to school.

"As for me and my job... when the trip is over, I'll be right back at it!" he says. "I'm proud to have spent the last 25 years working for a thoughtful and considerate company here at Microsoft."

Belfiore currently oversees the team that works on Windows 10 for phones, tablets and PCs. More specifically, he is in charge of the teams working on user experience products, such as shell/taskbar/desktop/settings, Internet Explorer and Edge, photos, music, videos and apps, and Continuum. At one time, Belfiore also headed the Windows Phone and Media Center teams.

Belfiore's announcement comes just ahead of the pending releasing of Windows 10 Mobile. While Microsoft has made no word about when the phone version of its operating system goes live, it is expected to become available in November, around the same time the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are scheduled for launch.

The Windows executive has noticeably been absent from the most recent Microsoft events, with marketing manager Bryan Roper filling in for Belfiore as "demo lead." No word yet has been made about who will take over Belfiore's position while he is away.

The implications of Belfiore going on leave is unclear. If history tells us anything, top executives leaving core projects at such a crucial time may mean Microsoft is unhappy about the direction Windows Phone is taking. Back in 2012, then head of Windows 8 Steven Sinofsky was given the boot after customers expressed their displeasure about Windows 8.

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