Quartz recently interviewed Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise division, to discuss topics such as Microsoft's move to the cloud, what the cloud business means to the company, and if Microsoft's future is that of a services company. Nadella is reportedly one of the candidates Microsoft is considering for the CEO role, and as previously reported, the company expects to name its new CEO in the early part of 2014.
When asked about the future of Microsoft as a services company, Nadella said that he thought reconceptualizing Microsoft as a devices and services company is absolutely what the company's vision is all about.
"Office 365 and Azure on the services side are representative of it," he told Quartz. "Does that mean we won't have our software available for other people to build on? No. Windows is available outside of our devices. Windows server is available outside of our data centers. We think that's important because there will always be distributed computing."
"But at the same time, there is also the customer expectations that we should complete the scenario. That means running a cloud platform, running a cloud service. So were conceptualizing the future of Microsoft along those pivots," he added.
BGR points out that this move represents a fundamental change in Microsoft's business strategy. For decades the company built a business based of licensing its software to device makers. With Microsoft focusing on the cloud, it's showing that these licensing fees are no longer an important part of the equation. Microsoft is a devices and services company now, and is betting on building a cloud platform that Google, Apple and other competitors won't be able to match.
"It's all going to move to the cloud in some shape or fashion," Nadella said. "It need not all be a public cloud run by one North American company. It can be a private cloud or a public cloud. In our case we're participating in both those markets. We've built a big business here. But we're still a low-share player. We have a significant commercial business, but in the big scheme of things, when you say $2 trillion, we're nothing. So the way we look at it is how do we become part of the fabric which is helping with this digitization of everything."
To read the full interview, head here.