I think Windows 10 will be a test for Satya Nadella. I think no one questions his commitments to services or to cloud computing. He gets enterprise and helped build the platform that will grow the software giant, but is he cut out for rebuilding Microsoft’s consumer market? He has said some interesting things in his short time as CEO about hardware and about consumers.
Now in Nadella Microsoft has a man who is comfortable with the enterprise side of the software giant. He was head of enterprise and development before becoming boss. His background is not in consumer software; he was in charge of Bing and Online services. His conversations so far around Windows and Xbox has been broad but not really specific. The same is true of his views on the company’s growing hardware component.
His obliqueness has made many wonder if he intends to pull out of the consumer computing market. I know it is something many a pundit has advised. Many took the appearance of Office on iPad before Windows as a sign that the new CEO had no place for it.
My personal read on Satya is that I think he is open to things; the guy is clearly a thinker. I think it is interesting that in his comments about Windows he makes a point about appealing to customers and design. Actually the fact he brings design up at all as a differentiating factor is important to me because it signals someone who knows that the OOBE is something one should get right. He has talked about a focus on productivity, in some ways getting back to basics. Nadella has talked about what is core to Microsoft (and no it is not Candy Crush). But he has also talked about the importance of gaming and of the need for devices being about work and play.
The push in making services truly cross platform has been rough on some Windows fans. Some have wondered aloud if Windows makes sense if you get the same if not better on iOS and Android (and they have the apps). I admit I have said it myself. It will be an issue Nadella must answer on the 21st when Microsoft unveils the next update to Windows 10.
Here’s hoping we get an answer (we like).
image: New York Times