Microsoft CEO Talks About Future in Long Memo

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella distributed a long letter 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.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • gadgety
    So its Services. Mobile at that. "...the industry is in the infant stages of the mobile-first world!" Although not part of the majority, I've worked and lived it internationally since the early 90s. It can hardly be at it infancy, although maybe for Microsoft it is.
  • IInuyasha74
    Yea I kinda honed in on that line too. Microsoft is kinda in its infancy for mobile devices, but ARM and smartphones have been around for several years now with lots of advancements. Saying the industry as a whole is, just shows that Microsoft and its CEO are trying to down play how much of an edge Android and ARM based devices have over Microsoft and the x86 devices.
  • mythostd
    I believe the point he is making with the "...the industry is in the infant stages of the mobile-first world," is that until the last few years most people would use their computer or laptop first with local storage. Now more and more people are forgoing this to work first on their mobile devices with cloud based solutions. I work in a non-technology area of a major corporation and I am am one of just a few people in my area that even have more then just an iPhone for mobility. Most of my co-workers refuse to even consider the cloud, that is even if they know what it means.
  • whiteodian
    Blah Blah Blah. Actions speak louder than words. Start listening to your customers Microsoft if you want to see some big improvements. Don't ignore us and push out what we don't want and do damage control after (Windows 8, Xbox One).
  • IInuyasha74
    Yes they have got a sense of superiority which is making them sloppy in markets which previously they had little to worry about.
    Big PC users are going to use Windows 7 until it dies or a suitable replacement is made, and if that doesn't happen they will go to Linux. Windows 8 makes sense for touch screen devices to a point, but on desktops it is just a huge pain.
    Then Xbox One is so much weaker than PS4, not to mention more expensive. I don't know why people are buying it honestly. It isn't like the Wii U with some really great games to itself, almost all of its games you can get on PS4 so what is the attraction?