Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella distributed a long letter (opens in new tab) to employees on Thursday, detailing the direction he plans to take over the next several years. Gone is former CEO Steve Ballmer’s plan to transform Microsoft into a "devices and services" company. Instead, Nadella describes a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.
"More recently, we have described ourselves as a ‘devices and services’ company," he writes. "While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy. At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more."
He says that Microsoft will now think of customers as potential "dual users," those who not only use technology at work and school, but in the home environment as well. These people demand new cloud-powered applications such as time and calendar management, research services, collaboration and more. Microsoft will approach these customers with a platform mindset while developers and partners will “thrive” by creatively extending Microsoft experiences.
Nadella writes that Microsoft defines mobile by "experiences," not devices. He says the industry is in the infant stages of the mobile-first world, and Microsoft will be in the forefront, creating new categories and experiences that focus on the home and office needs of dual-users.
"Across Microsoft, we will obsess over reinventing productivity and platforms," he writes. "We will relentlessly focus on and build great digital work and life experiences with specific focus on dual use. Our cloud OS infrastructure, device OS and first-party hardware will all build around this core focus and enable broad ecosystems. Microsoft will light up digital work and life experiences in the most personal, intelligent, open and empowering ways."
Later on in the letter, Nadella addresses recent rumors that Microsoft may spin off the Xbox division. He said that Microsoft is fortunate to have the Xbox in its family, and will continue to invest time and resources to “delight” Xbox gamers. The company’s productivity efforts have actually benefited from the Xbox department: camera technology in Kinect for Windows, speech recognition in Skype, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and so on.
"I truly believe that we spend far too much time at work for it not to drive personal meaning and satisfaction. Together we have the opportunity to create technology that impacts the planet," he writes.
To read the entire letter, head here (opens in new tab).