Microsoft Windows leader Joe Belfiore heading out to sea, returning in summer 2016

Joe Belfiore, Corporate VP of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, is the highly recognizable fellow with the distinctive hairstyle who headlines Windows events. He’s also obviously an incredibly hard-working guy who has led his team through some pretty incredible challenges, including the transition from Windows Phone to Windows 10 Mobile and the successful launch of Windows 10.

Seems to us like he needs a break.

Microsoft being the company that it is, Belfiore’s getting just that. And not just any break–he’s joining his family on a months-long trip on a boat to explore the world. As he explains on his Facebook page (via Windows Central), his kids are getting older, and before they get too old, they’re taking off on “Semester at Sea.” Here’s a snippet:

SO… after dreaming about the idea for years… and with our kids getting ALMOST too old for something crazy… we’ve decided that we are going to take our family on the EDUCATIONAL TRIP OF OUR LIFETIME.

In January – we’re heading out on SEMESTER AT SEA for a journey around the world, along with 600+ college students and a handful of faculty and “lifelong learners” like us.

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. 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!

From Belfiore’s description, he and his family will likely be enjoying the following itinerary between January 5 and April 16, 2016:

  • Embark: San Diego, CA, United States
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
  • Yokohama, Japan
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Shanghai, China
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Việt Nam
  • Rangoon, Burma
  • Cochin, India
  • Port Louis, Mauritius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Takoradi, Ghana
  • Tema (Accra), Ghana
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Debark: Southampton (London), England

When the trip is over, Belfiore will be heading back to Microsoft to continue on as before–albeit more educated and recharged, we’ll wager. We hope he and his family enjoy their trip and learn tons of new things, and we’re sure that the Microsoft team will hold down the fort until he returns.

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So, how will WIndows do without Joe keeping things together?