Taking Microsoft from the desktops era to cloud and mobile era.
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
Up until 2010 Microsoft enjoyed a demigod like status in the tech circle but soon things started to go downhill thereafter and just when the world was about to give up hopes on Microsoft- A senior executive from within Microsoft, of whom the world had never heard of before took responsibility as the CEO and gave Microsoft the comeback it deserved.
That senior executive was Satya Nadella.
Coming from the city of Hyderabad and working at Microsoft for close to two decades before he was chosen as the CEO and excelling as the CEO- Satya Nadella’s story is an example of perseverance and hard work. His foresight in predicting the future of technology and steering Microsoft towards it, coupled with his audacity of challenging the already set rules are taking Microsoft to newer heights. Since he took the reigns of Microsoft from Ballmer, Microsoft stock has almost tripled in its value which goes on to prove that Satya Nadella has been doing one hell of a great job being the CEO.
Past few days have been monumental for the tech industry and marked the achievement of a very big milestone and that is Apple inc., achieving a trillion dollar market cap. With three other tech titans that are Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet inc., in the race to reach that milestone, we would very soon be seeing multiple trillion dollar companies taking over the world. This just proves how technology is transforming and changing our world at a never before seen pace.
Microsoft which can be rightly called the big brother among these tech titans was in a way the precursor to this tech revolution and was in part responsible for the creation of this giant tech-ecosystem which paved way for the creation of many other tech companies which are solving bigger problems of the world and corporations alike. Up until 2010 Microsoft enjoyed a demigod like status in the tech circle but soon things started to go downhill thereafter and just when the world was about to give up hopes on Microsoft- A senior executive from within Microsoft, of whom the world had never heard of before took responsibility as the CEO and gave Microsoft the comeback it deserved. That senior executive was Satya Nadella.
Satya Nadella in many ways challenged the existing norms and rules Microsoft was so far abiding by and as it turns out his new approach has already started to yield results and is, in fact, taking Microsoft to new heights. The one major change which Satya Nadella brought about in Microsoft was to shift its focus towards becoming a “cloud first mobile first” organization. The reason why you now have all the Microsoft apps/office working like a charm on your iPhone or Android device is that of this very strategy that Satya Nadella implemented.
He was quick to realize the dominance of mobile OS’ like Android and iOS would have on traditional Operating systems(windows) which have been the bread and butter of Microsoft. Microsoft would have lost millions of consumers using MS office and other apps on their phones, which would have meant millions of customers moving away from MS, which obviously now isn’t the case.
Another strategic decision taken by Satya Nadella was that of withdrawing support for windows 8/windows phone mobile operating systems; as it turns out the third man i.e, . Windows phone OS had nothing to win in the battle that was being fought between Android and iOS.
So far Microsoft relied on a revenue model of pay once and use for lifetime OR pay once and renew after few years which wasn’t working so well as it did in the 90’s and 00’s- this has changed now and a lot of MS products including Azure and office 365 etc., are going by the monthly subscription fees rather than making the customer pay up a bomb when he’s buying. The one direct impact of this strategy was that though the big ticket revenues have declined for Microsoft, there’s a large volume of subscription-based revenue which will keep the money flowing steadily for years to come.
Few of Nadella’s acquisitions have also played out well and are taking the company forward, Linkedin, for example, will be of strategic importance as it is the most trusted network and source of Microsoft’s ideal customers which are enterprises and their key decision makers. The more recent acquisition of Github too has created a sort of soft corner for Microsoft in the hearts of open source believers and geeky coders, which so far had an image of a giant devouring its competition. Acquiring Github is surely going to help Microsoft in building a close relationship and staying up to date with the coding fraternity of the world.
A lot can be learned from Satya Nadella’s tenure as the CEO and the initiatives he had helped implement within MS :
-Rules will always be there but at certain times rules can become shackles and can hold the company a prisoner.
-We will have to be audacious enough to challenge the status quo and do what is necessary.
-A regular and steady stream of revenues is any day better than the irregular stream of revenue with too much gap between the highs and lows.
-Yes, there are competitors, sometimes collaboration is the answer than to kill the competition.
-It’s better to never fight a battle than to be a third opponent among two dominant opponents.
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