New Microsoft CEO faces challenges, to say the least

“As Microsoft Corp prepares to unveil insider Satya Nadella as its new chief executive, investors and analysts are weighing how effective the 22-year veteran will be in re-igniting the company’s mobile ambitions and satisfying Wall Street’s hunger for cash,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters. “he world’s biggest software firm faces a slow erosion of its PC-centric Windows and Office franchises and needs to somehow challenge Apple Inc and Google Inc in the new realm of mobile computing.”

“Most agree that Nadella’s background in creating Microsoft’s Internet-based – or ‘cloud’ – computing services makes him a safe pair of hands to take the company forward, but there remains a question over his ability to make Microsoft a hit with consumers, or with impatient shareholders,” Rigby reports. “‘He is the right person to drive safe, right down the middle of the fairway, and continue Microsoft’s strengths,’ said Rajeev Chand, managing director and head of research at tech investment bank Rutberg & Co. ‘What we don’t know is will Nadella help with the consumer revival, or with the mobile revival. Mobile is an open hole in his background.'”

Microsoft's Satya Nadella
Microsoft’s Satya Nadella
“Microsoft’s problem is stark. More than 90 percent of PCs run Windows, but only 4 percent of smartphones do and an even smaller slice of tablets,” Rigby reports. “‘I would advise him (Nadella) to take a fresh look at mobile, or bring in some talent who really understands the space,’ said David Smith, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner.”

“One analyst calculated that Microsoft is losing $2.5 billion a year by keeping a full, native version of its Office suite unavailable for iPad users in the hope that its Surface tablets will become a hit with businesses, but there’s no sign of that happening,” Rigby reports. “‘They have to port Office to iPad, they have to do it,’ said Schadler. ‘That’s an important, immediate decision that Satya’s going to have to drive.’ …It is expected that co-founder Bill Gates will relinquish the chairman position, to advise Nadella on technology and allow another board member to take on the task of dealing with investor relations, an idea that has broadly been welcomed by investors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Satya Nadella would be the wrong choice for Microsoft CEO. 🙂

As we wrote last week:

It’s tough, if not impossible, to deliver the type of change Microsoft needs when you’re a lifer.

As for Office for iPad:

iPad and iPhone are already firmly ensconced into the Fortune 500 and SMB without Microsoft’s bloated morass of insecure spaghetti-code. The world is rapidly learning that it can live without Office and, by failing to pollute iOS devices with their crapware, Microsoft is spreading the news better than anyone.MacDailyNews, January 30, 2013

The more people who learn the fact that they do not need Office and the quicker they learn it, the better. For all we care (being 100% Microsoft free for as long as we can remember) wait until you’re dead, Microsoft. The world would be a better place without you and your ilk.MacDailyNews, March 1, 2013

The longer Microsoft dithers, the more people wake up to the fact that Office is not necessary. iPad is taking the enterprise by storm. No Microsoft Office needed. Take your time, dummies.MacDailyNews, April 10, 2013

Microsoft had a chance to preserve one of their cash cows by making Office for iOS and Android. That window of opportunity is closing, if it hasn’t already. The world has or soon will realize that, no, actually you do not need Microsoft Office to word process or create spreadsheets and presentations. The failure to create Office for iOS and Android in a misguided push to sell tablets and phones running Microsoft OSes will be looked at as one of, if not the, biggest mistake Microsoft made during their ill-fated attempt to recover after being repeatedly, unmercifully steamrolled by Apple’s Steve Jobs with the iPhone, iPad, iCloud, App Store and the rest of the formidable iOS ecosystem.MacDailyNews, July 12, 2013

Related articles:
Satya Nadella? Seriously, Microsoft? – January 31, 2014
Microsoft said to be preparing to name Satya Nadella CEO – January 30, 2014

19 Comments

  1. He will not have a chance unless his contract states he can tell Gates and Ballmer to piss off. But it’s the new MS, they don’t have a chance as is, Ballmer has seen to that.

  2. “They have to port Office to iPad, they have to do it”

    They missed that boat a long time ago. If they had offered Office for iPad from the outset, it would have been widely adopted, but now iPad users have learned for themselves that Office is no longer needed.

    1. Office for iPad might happen. But don’t look for it until MS figures out that Surface is sunk. I’m still betting that will be in mid-summer this year. But with this shuffling of the guard, I may well lose my bet, pushing the inevitable into 2015.

      1. I think it might well happen at some point, but whatever happens, Microsoft missed their opportunity with that one and they don’t get a second chance. They thought they were being clever, while their stubborn hope that Surface would be the future proved that they were really being unbelievably stupid.

        By allowing people to use alternatives on iPads, they have lost the ubiquity of Word. People moved away and won’t now come back.

        Internet Explorer used to be the ubiquitous web browser, but Microsoft pulled it from Macs and then they failed to offer anything for mobiles. Once a significant proportion of users were no longer using IE, it became impractical to have web pages that exploited non-standard features unique to IE. Web sites had to become standards compliant. The rapid rise of mobile computing also allowed Steve Jobs to pull the rug from under Flash too

  3. New CEO, same old major dinosaurus shareholders, Gates & Ballmer, to resist the inevitable breakup.

    To remain relevant MSO must become Office, Inc. & encompass all platforms or it dies as Windows already is doing in the eyes of mobile users.

    What is not acknowledged yet, is that mobile is becoming mainstream in workplaces. Damn few people sit down & write a solid page of text a day, so why MSOffice?

    Do I think or care what MS does? No! It has little mindshare left in my work.

    1. I’m in one of those offices, though, where a solid page of text an hour is not enough. MS Word is virtually required. (The rest of Office, not so much, but we do use Excel and Outlook, too.) Could we do it in something else? Sure, but the compatibility issues would be a nightmare. Easier to just use Word.

      Do I like it? Of course not. I would rather have better compatibility with OpenOffice or some other word processor that didn’t cost $400/license and didn’t come from Small & Limp. (Cost is another serious problem with it.) But it is still where the corporate world hangs its hat, especially in the financial and legal realms, and I kinda work between the two in the title industry.

      Otherwise, I’d be happy to use anything else!

    2. MDN’s next article “Bill Gates expected to take a bigger role” just validates what I said above. Can you say rubber stamp!

      In terms of total user eyes every day, it is mobile that has trounced Microsoft as MS kept the trillion ton Microsoft Mountain solidly fixed in one place.

      I’m going to be radical. Without Microsoft reinventing itself, Apple may not try hard enough to stay #1. So I’m rooting for Microsoft to break itself up to stay competitive.

      MS believes everyone should have Office so that the one day a year you need to do an extensive complex job, you have Office to help you. How on earth can you remain competent in such a complex product using it one day a year.

      Tablets are becoming the norm because we typically only do light duty tasks each day in terms of text, images or numbers … on average.

      No one in their right mind would say every computer in the company needs a copy of Adobe Creative Suite, because everyone does image work at least once a year. Yet a lot of companies just routinely get WIn PCs w/Office on them regardless of whether the computer’s job is to answer emails in the shipping department or not.

      Bill gates may be smart & brilliant at doing “deals”, but he doesn’t know the world’s average “computer user.” He doesn’t live or work with them by what I guess. Given Gates won’t let his kids touch Apple products, he won’t get any opinions on that either from his kids who are living reality today.

  4. Microsoft will now be run by a troika of Nadella, Gates as technology adviser and Ballmer on the board. Can’t imagine a better team – for Apple. I like their strategy, I like it lot.

      1. Ah yes Captain Ballmer on board the Titanic. Who can forget that image?

        It does sound like Ballmer will now indeed go down with the ship.

        I doubt we will see a better package than iWork from MS, given the executive interia @ MS.

  5. this guy is perfect.

    They’ll need him to steer MS farther into the server room and business infrastructure side after they realize their mobile and consumer efforts are doomed.

    MS has an IBM style change coming… even if they don’t see it.

  6. More than 90 percent of PCs run Windows

    Not any more, although it depends upon where you are in the world. Certainly in the USA, Windows is at about 87% or less. (Hard numbers current numbers welcome). I base this on recent estimates that OS X is up to at least 12 % and the assumption that Linux is still at 1%. Apologies to the other OS users (BSD, OS 2…) as I haven’t seen your usage numbers in years.

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