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Microsoft Board Names Satya Nadella as CEO

 2:17 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/feb14/02-04newspr.aspx [microsoft.com]

Microsoft Board Names Satya Nadella as CEO

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 4, 2014 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.



 2:20 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/feb14/02-04mail2.aspx [microsoft.com]

Satya Nadella email to employees on first day as CEO

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Subject: RE: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.


 3:26 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Kind of surprised they chose an insider after Ballmer missed just about every major trend that reshaped business and consumer information use. But Nadella was their cloud guy, so maybe he's more tuned in to where the market will be in a few years.


 11:09 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah, nothing wrong with promoting some guy to CEO that has his head in the clouds.


 11:35 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I actually feel for the guy (for now at least). He's inheriting a sinking ship from Ballmer and now gets Gates meddling in things as well. Not an ideal situation by far.


 4:54 am on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

He's inheriting a sinking ship

That ship is hardly sinking, only a little sluggish.

Perhaps MS is a little weaker in the consumer market thanks to Apple but MS has the corporate market pretty sewn up and their balance sheet shows it.

When MS will be a sinking ship is when cell phones (Android and iOS) become the primary computing device, since they've lost the cell phone market, and laptops/desktops use the cell phone CPU. With lap-dock and desk-dock stations, which is already happening but not standardized yet so not a threat.

When people carry their computers and dock them anywhere, that's when ships will sink.


 12:23 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Can we read a push towards cloud services into this?

22 years is a long time to work in one place. That must narrow his outlook and makes him very much an insider.

Bill Gates' is going to be effectively in charge. He owns to much of MS to work there without being the boss.


 12:54 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

That must narrow his outlook

I guess that was an unintended pun, funny nonetheless.


 1:06 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

That ship is hardly sinking

That's what the musicians on the RMS Titanic told themselves too I guess.

It's sinking because the market has changed under their feet. Consumers don't buy their stuff anymore. Nor do they use it at home anymore. Businesses are a bit slower to adapt their ways, but they too are changing: BYOD is only the start. But the days that the business decided what tools to use are over, hence even the almighty Office suite has it's days numbered as it's too heavy a gun to shoot that mosquito anyway - and users know and feel it every single day.

Take a look at your favorite mall or so: see who's inside the Apple store, the Samsung store,the Google Store, and who's at the Microsoft store. I was in Harrods in London over the XMAS period before the sales started. They have a small Apple area: crowded with people looking at things and staff quite busy with the customers. They also had right next to it on the same floor in the same area a MSFT corner, nothing but staff there except for one customer (actually the dude was arguing with the staff about something - didn't bother to figure out what - I was too busy at the time). That's a failure in my book, and worse: they lost the audience - no matter what they tell, make or sell, they'll first have to recapture the audience's attention as they lost it completely. And a small change isn;t going to bring it back, they'll need a game changer - which they'd have used by now if they had one up their sleeve.

Cloud: yeah for sure. But then why would any individual choose the offering of MSFT ? Why not from Google or Apple who make the OS of the next generation of devices and make their offering much more integrated and already turned on on their devices anyway...

Back to the old model then (with Gates back in the picture that's a real chance I guess), but ... they burned their bridges with their traditional hardware partners that used to make windows (and office) inescapable on compatible hardware by selling the hardware themselves, effectively cutting out their most loyal channel (slate really went down the wrong way with them). Sure that's Ballmer's doing but undoing it and regaining trust will be hard. And why would they listen - they can get Android.Chrome for free with much less strings attached than they'll ever get from MSFT.

MSFT's ship has hit the iceberg long ago, by missing the smartphone market and consequently missing the tablet market despite Bill Gates' earlier failed attempts at the latter. They never took it serious (much like Apple doesn't take their apple TV serious "it's a hobby").

Changing this, sure it's possible to salvage the ship, but it requires change. Big changes and neither Gates, nor a mostly unknown dude already there 22 years will offer that.

They're still in denial they have a major problem, so dealing with the problem isn;t going to happen. And till then they'll continue to take on more water. It's only a matter of time till it's too late to stop the sinking.


 2:28 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Microsoft's strength is in corporate markets. They may not sell much at Harrods over Christmas, but how many non-MS desktops or laptops have you seen in offices? They are also pretty strong in SME servers, and Exchange is pretty much the standard corporate mail server.

They may lose their current dominance, but they are not going to "sink" any more than IBM did.


 3:25 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)
It's great news they've finally made their decision, and I wish Satya Nadella good luck in his new role.

I met him some years back at Pubcon when he delivered a keynote address and he seemed switched on to current topics at that time. I doubt he's simply forgotten.

To suggest Microsoft is a sinking ship is completely wrong, imho. Just look at their stock, sales and revenues.

Sure, the market has changed, and Microsoft has admitted it missed some of those opportunities.

The company should not be underestimated. They have a great deal of expertise, and technical depth. If there is any criticism, it's probably that a giant company is tougher to manage, and harder to allow that innovation to be fulfilled.

Here's what Steve Ballmer had to say.

Here's Satya's first interview subsequent to his appointment.


 3:41 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nor do they use it at home anymore.

Nope. Nobody uses MS at home which is why other than Apple, every other computer sold on the planet (Planet U.S.A, ok?) pretty much comes with Windows and Office.

The MSFT store at the Mall is a silly comparison because people tend to buy their computers from big box stores like Costco, Best Buy or direct from Dell, HP, Gateway, etc. and not from MSFT. I've never known anyone in my life that bought anything from the MSFT store and I used to run one of the most elite teams on Windows programmers in the World. Bill Gates even said the product that I designed was, and I quote directly from a newspaper clipping, "The Epitome of a Good Windows Program" so I obviously don't know squat about MS, Windows or the MS marketplace so feel free to blatantly ignore anything I might post on the topic.

Apple is a different story, if you want Apple, you don't have a lot of choices other than, well, you guess it, Apple.


 4:37 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sure but consumers are buying tablets and those MSFT sells direct (well actually doesn't sell is the better description). The consumers are stopping the purchase of desktops and laptops en masse.

And tablets that do get sold don't run windows nor office (regardless if it comes in apple or one of the many Android flavors).

Like or not - that's the change and it's already happening.

That MSFT is still strong in business won't help them in a few years when the kids that don't want to nor know how to use a traditional computer anymore run the place. And that too is happening fast.
Tablets running Android an iOS (and whatnot if anything can prop up in there as a 3rd option) will have taken over. For us: we'll all be old dinosaurs that still know how to use the old stuff (much like we used to look at those using a mainframe). There's money in there til we retire no worries. But there's no money in it to sell new hardware and new software to a mass market anymore.
For us consultants: 2038 will have interesting effects (Y2K all over - maybe even worse).

While some of you might be good at windows or office, love it, hate it, it doesn't matter, it's not relevant: the market has moved on past windows (and past OS X) just like it has moved past VMS, z/OS, VM, CMS, ... and whatnot the mainframes used to run.
Computers back in the 60s meant a mainframe.
Computers back in the 70s could also mean a unix machine.
Computers in the 80s meant either a hobby thing or either a unix machine or less and less that mainframe.
Computers a few years ago meant a personal computer.
In a few years (if not already) it'll mean a tablet.

The world changes. And yes we all miss the boat every so often.
I for one cannot get myself to use a tablet. I have one - but it's just not want I want - yet I'm convinced I'll have to adapt eventually as it'll be all I can buy at some point in the future.
I keep hoping there will remain a market for "content producing" machines that - while probably extremely expensive- still retain what I seek in my "computer". But I'm not betting it'll happen - we might all get stuck with content consuming machines - and very limited content producing ability (blog posts - tweets and whatnot).
Cloud: sure - as I said - these content consuming machines will connect to central computing power and storage - but once you lose the client software, what makes you hope you can beat those that still do have the client software in a game where e.g. Google is years ahead of them.

So why my statement that MSFT is sinking: they're not part in any way of any picture where a tablet is "the computer". They missed the crucial boat completely and their efforts to recapture it failed miserably so far.
Moreover this decision means they're not going to drastically change anything - and hence they'll continue to miss it.

If I'm wrong or right: only time will tell. And BTW: it has nothing to do with me liking or disliking MSFT - yes they have employees that I strongly dislike, and corporate tactics I truly hate, even ethics I highly question. But that's got nothing to do with them being out of touch with the market and not acting to regain that touch.


 5:01 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

They're stopping the purchase of desktops and laptops en masse.

I see you're drinking the media kool-aid.

Not stopping the purchase, don't NEED to purchase, the old gear works TOO WELL.

Tablets are new and the first gen of tablets were slow and crappy like the original Nook, Kindle, iPad the first.

Phones were the same way, old slow crappy phones and crappy hardware with incomplete features now easily replaced with sleek fast feature rich gear that will last for years. The problem there being that phone software only has about an 18 month update cycle so if you plan to keep it awhile, getting a Nexus phone (unless you're an iFreak) is your best option unless you want to get into rooting phones, uploading mods from 3rd parties and other ugliness I'd prefer to avoid.

New tablets are fast and much improved, people are buying them en masse as gifts because of the price point and upgrades because the old ones suck. Got my wife a new Nexus because her original Nook which was bleeding edge a mere 2 years ago stunk even rooted, it was useless and nothing worked on it. She, like many others, were dumping those old Nooks and Kindles, my sis-in-law is on her 5th kindle and still uses a desktop/laptop machine for all her real work.

We also bought the grandkids and my daughter all tablets for Xmas but guess what, they already have laptops and desktops and STILL USE THEM!

Desktop machines mostly stopped needing to be upgraded every other year in a similar manner about 5-7 years ago when the hardware (dual and quad core CPUs) finally outpaced the software and did so in such a major way that my gear survived 3 Windows updates and the quad core CPU with 8GB RAM didn't slow down a bit. However, the mother board finally fried this year so I had to replace it and my new machine is actually a tad slower than the 5+ year old overclocked game machine I replaced. Based on that fact alone, this machine is good for 5-7 years minimum, 10 possible.

The point being of course sales slowed because the desktop product, much like American cars, is now capable of lasting about 10 years without being replaced!

I'm also about to replace my 5+ year old 10" Netbook with a new touchscreen 15" laptop just because it, unlike the desktop, was slow to start with and has become excruciatingly slow compared to it's current counterparts. Why suffer? The netbook must go. It's still quite good for browsing but a Windows security update can bring it to it's knees for about an hour or so, longer if it's a big update.

Of course none of this has anything to really do with MSFT as they're a software company, not a hardware company, and they can provide software and services to any platform whether it's desktop, laptop, tablet or phone, and whether they focus strictly on Windows and ignore the mass market of iOS and Android is the real question. Microsoft may find out they have to stop with the "Windows only" mentality in order to recapture the consumer market.

Either allowing consumers of desktop/laptop products to get rid of Metro on the desktop of Win 8 or alternatively INTEGRATE it properly would be a good start in making peace with consumers along with giving us that stupid start menu button back which is so idiotic it makes me wonder why it didn't happen a month after Win 8 shipped and the backlash never stopped.

Why MS is losing the consumer market is all wrapped up in the start button and the Metro interface, nothing more, nothing less. If you refuse to listen to your customers they'll simply find someone that supplies the product they want.

In my case, Ubuntu to the rescue!


 9:09 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)


sorry but you're just over the top.

Clearly visible things that anybody can verify for themselves, you discount with
The MSFT store at the Mall is a silly comparison

Yet you use arguments based on your
grandkids and my daughter

Seriously ?

But that's something one can argue and disagree about, no problem.

This however
I see you're drinking the media kool-aid

is a personal attack, unprovoked.

That's unbecoming in a civil discussion, even for a narcissistic administrator like yourself.

You can now delete this with the powers you have, feel free. I consider that you forfeited the discussion when you stepped over that line.


 10:22 pm on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

is a personal attack, unprovoked.

Not at all, the media is promoting the myth about death of the desktop, etc.

It was an attack on the media if nothing else, you're just buying into it, and I used my family as a close to home example of what's really going on out there.

People don't need to upgrade as much these days therefore sales would naturally slump and again, I don't know people that shop at the MSFT store and I know a LOT of people therefore it's still a bad comparison IMO.

FWIW, I couldn't even tell you where a MSFT store is here in Silicon Valley and I'm sure there are some but I do know where the Apple stores are, been there, and I do know where to buy MS PC's been there too, but never ever a MSFT store.

That's all I got.

Sorry if you got offended by being associated with the media hype, but you did introduce that particular topic therefore obviously having been influenced. Just because I colored it up as drinking the kool-aid doesn't change the fact or make it an attack since it was already an admitted fact that I didn't state and that's all there is to that as it's really off topic.

It's Satya's problem now ;)


 8:31 am on Feb 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

Bill, you are quite right about sales vs usage.

In the last three years I have bought five tablets (all cheap ones, admittedly) and one laptop.

But we have, in use: two laptops, one desktop, and one netbook, which makes four computers running desktop OSes (Linux as it happens, but that is not the issues here).

We have two tablets that are heavily used, and two that are lightly used.

The tablet format and user interface is not suited to getting work done. Even if Windows loses ground, it will be slowly, and MS will not disappear any more than IBM did.


 6:08 pm on Feb 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I also find it incredibly hard to believe the "hype" that desktop computers are going away. I am sitting at work right now typing away on one (1 of 35 in this building) and I have 2 at home that I would never give up full time to use my Ipad.
I have two Ipads and a Mini, but they are primarily used for generic surfing and some games. I find them harder to use when trying to actual work done.
I can see as Google Glass innovates and Virtual Reality starts to incorporate into our life that Desktops might give way to virtual computers, but were still at least 10 years away from that.
So for the time being MSFT is doing fine, but could be doing better if they could find the next move to make.
I bought MSFT 3 years ago and certainly have enjoyed the stock price rising.
Certainly a bummer the Xbox One hasn't done better.

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