On March 27, 2014, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO presented a summary of Microsoft’s concept of the intersection between cloud and mobile to the press in a webcast lasting a bit longer than a half hour. The title of this webcast is simply Satya Nadella press briefing webcast, but, in my opinion, Nadella used the opportunity to extend on themes introduced when he assumed the position of CEO for this mature ISV. Anyone following Microsoft® with a half hour to spare should benefit from viewing the recording.
One of the most important of these themes is innovation, which Nadella mentions barely more than a minute into the presentation: ” . . . . our customers want to know what is our innovation agenda . . . ” He notes ” . . . the team is really ready for it . . . ” When this observation is put together with a fragment from Nadella’s preface, where he observes he’s only been in this position for fifty two days, one can readily see how Microsoft has used little more than 5 weeks to mount a credible market message about a business, once a follower of a set of leaders, to one recently added to the leadership ranks, running at the head of the pack.
Nadella goes on to introduce two new slogans: “ubiquitous computing” and “ambient intelligence”. My immediate reaction when I heard the first of these was to flash on some comments made by Larry Page during his last Google Quarterly Earnings Report, where he spoke of what I would summarize as a “proliferation of screens”.
Perhaps its safe to say the same thread runs through both of these visions of a near term future computing paradigm: for Page, more and more segments of human interaction take place over “screens”, at the same time, these “screens” likely provide the crucial conduit for software to enter daily life for Nadella, and, the “ubiquitous computing” opportunity resulting from this congruence creates ” . . . an amazing canvas for innovation and amazing opportunity for growth for our company”.
If Page and Nadella both share this same view, albeit from different vantage points, is it safe to say Microsoft plans on challenging Google on a much more panoramic field than simply search, or even Apps?
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