Microsoft's Satya Nadella: What's Changed A Year Later? - InformationWeek
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2/10/2015
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Microsoft's Satya Nadella: What's Changed A Year Later?

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella looks towards a collaborative and holographic future, we reflect on his first year at the helm.
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(Image source: Microsoft)
(Image source: Microsoft)

A year ago, Satya Nadella stepped into Steve Ballmer's shoes as Microsoft's third CEO, bringing new vision and ideas to a slow-moving company. Nadella's appointment sparked an exciting year of mostly positive change as he prepares the company for a more modern and collaborative future.  

The Microsoft that exists today is a far cry from the Microsoft of February 2014, when Nadella kicked off his "mobile first, cloud first" strategy -- a slightly different direction from Ballmer's "devices and services" vision. His ideas were ambitious at a company thirsty for innovation and fresh perspective amidst rapidly changing technology.   

Since he took over, Nadella has overseen the update of Microsoft's cloud platform and tightened its focus on better serving customers. He admitted that Microsoft made mistakes in Windows 8 and promised more activity in the ever-growing Internet of Things space.

Nadella's focus is evident in his plans for the upcoming Windows 10. With a cross-device design, Universal Apps platform and singular Windows Store, the new operating system lends itself to a mobile and cloud-savvy audience. Microsoft will offer free upgrades for Windows 10 during the first year of its availability, a smart move that will hopefully help to broaden its consumer audience.   

[Bill Gates: Fears AI, Loves Dogs]

The newly released Office suite for iOS and Android tablets demonstrates Nadella's commitment to accommodating consumers regardless of which devices they use. Microsoft is acknowledging that it's not the top player in tech by makings its services more available. Its acquisition of email startup Acompli -- one of many in a recent wave of purchases -- led to the debut of Outlook for iOS and Android.

Its focus on reinventing productivity is one that promises to propel Microsoft into a mobile- and cloud-based future, and these sections of the business are already showcasing their potential. A recent quarterly earnings call reported that cloud computing drew in $5.5 billion during the most recent quarter; the Surface earned $1.1 billion.

One year isn't enough time to judge Nadella's long-term success. There are still plenty of questions that Microsoft needs to answer about Windows 10, and there's no guarantee that its new OS will put the company ahead of competitors.  

So far, though, Nadella seems to be positioning Microsoft to better compete with competitors like Google and Apple. Let's take a look back on the changes Nadella made during his first year as Microsoft's CEO.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2015 | 2:09:55 PM
Glass Houses and Microsoft

"...Scroogled, a petty campaign designed to mock Google's privacy policies and scare consumers. "

 

I hadn't heard of this, but does Microsoft really think consumers trust them ?   Mr. Nedella would do well not to confuse software monpolies with a perceived  "trust" which would allow them to have some sort of ethical high ground on Google.  

Google is arrogant and really does want to run the World, but so does Microsoft.  So why would we listen to any warnings about Google from Microsoft ?    It shows how disconnected Microsoft actually was to their consumer base.  

 I think most people realized the irony - so I am glad Microsoft stop lying to itself and realized there are better ways to keep people busy.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2015 | 1:57:51 PM
Microsoft Reduces Troop Count by 18,000

Interesting to hear of troop reductions at MS.  This really speaks to the management skills of Gates and Ballmer.  MS has needed to trim it's troop force for years but I guess when you have billions (literally) it makes companies slow to keep lean and mean.

This is a major reason MS is in the shape they are in now, so I do give Mr. Nadella credit for recognizing this and acting upon it.

 

The 18,000 probably was a conservative count.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2015 | 1:49:47 PM
Re: Windows 10

@Whoopty   Skipping Window 8 ?   Are you mad ?   Seriously though I had the same intention, but then I also needed new hardware.  And I could not find many of the latest models with Windows 7  installed - so I was forced to deal with Window 8, where I spend all of my time working on the old platform and trying to make Windows 8 world of panels work for me.  

 

Something as simple as split screen, has turn into a chore.   It won't work unless you are using some Windows 8 based interface.  So here comes 10 ? 

I would not be interested unless it was free.

Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2015 | 1:43:12 PM
Microsoft Spelled Backwards = Free Upgrade for Existing Customers

".....Microsoft will offer free upgrades for Windows 10 during the first year of its availability"

 

Finally Microsoft figured out that upgrades ought to be free for those who have already purchased their OS.  Remember Win95  ? 

Releases like this were to fatten the coffers and now that they are good and fat - it is time to do as Apple does and offer upgrades for free.

 

Thanks Microsoft.

Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/11/2015 | 12:00:47 PM
Windows 10
I'm pretty pumped to see how Windows 10 turns out and plan to skip over 8 entirely, even though it's a lot more well received these days than it was closer to release. 

Overall Nadella seems like a more capable CEO than Balmer was. Less of a showman, which is what Microsoft needs. It doesn't have that core fanboy audience like Apple does, it needs to appeal to its more practical, traditional customers. 
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