In case you haven’t heard the big news yet, the world’s largest software firm has a new boss running the show. On Tuesday (Feb. 4), Microsoft announced that longtime engineering executive Satya Nadella will replace current CEO Stephen Ballmer. They also revealed that company founder Bill Gates will be stepping down as chairman to become Nadella’s technology advisor.
You can read Microsoft’s official press release for yourself here, but all you’ll really find is Nadella’s, personal information—such as his birthplace and favorite hobbies (cricket and poetry)—and see the company bragging about their new leader.
And even though this kind of self-promotion is expected in a big company announcement like this, we think a much more interesting discussion to have is what the new leadership of Microsoft means for you.
Unlike Ballmer, who directed the tech giant using his background in sales, Nadella—only the third chief executive Microsoft—is coming to job with over two decades of technical experience, specifically in Microsoft’s cloud computing efforts.
For years, Microsoft failed to pay enough attention to the cloud. Then Nadella got control of the company’s cloud initiatives division, and the rest—as they say—is history. The list of products that Nadella has piloted since is quite extensive: Windows Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center and countless software development tools.
When it comes to the Microsoft products you use on day-to-day basis, you aren’t likely to see much of a change, but what the new management does indicate is that Microsoft has chosen to keep pushing its cloud strategies forward. And with Gates at his side, Nadella is undoubtedly making big plans for the future.
“With Satya’s leadership, Microsoft is doing interesting things in cloud,” said Brad Silverberg, a Seattle-area investor and former Microsoft executive.
Of course, Nadella will have to tackle some ominous challenges in places he has little prior experience—such as mobile devices. But what you can likely expect from Microsoft in the months and years ahead is an intricate suite of Microsoft products, all enveloped in the cloud.
“The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform,” said Mr. Nadella in his statement Tuesday. “A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”
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