Bill Gates wants to help Microsoft improve Office, praises CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is currently spending most of his time with his charitable work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but in a new interview he reveals he wants to help Microsoft, and its current CEO Satya Nadella, in his role as technology advisor, particularly with Office.

In the interview with Bloomberg Television, Gates says:

"But of all the things Microsoft needs to do in terms of making people more productive in their work, helping them communicate in new ways, it's a long list of opportunities Microsoft has to innovate. And taking Office and making it dramatically better would be really high on the list there. That's the kind of thing I'm trying to help make sure they move fast on."

Gates made that comment in response to questions about Apple Pay, the upcoming payment system that will be launched by Apple later this month. He admitted that "Microsoft should do as well or better" in that area of technology. He added:

"Well Apple Pay's a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive. So the fact that in any application I can buy something, that's fantastic. The fact I don't need a physical card anymore, I just do that transaction and you're going to be quite sure about who it is on the other end, that is a real contribution. And all the platforms, whether it's Apple's or Google's or Microsoft, you'll see this payment capability get built in. That's built on industry standard protocols, NFC. And these companies have all participated in getting those going. Apple will help make sure it gets to critical mass for all the devices."

Gates also offered praise for Nadella, who became CEO of Microsoft in February. Gates said, "I'm very happy with what he's doing. I see a new sense of energy. There's a lot of opportunity there, some things the company isn't the leader on, and he sees that he needs to change that." When asked if he will be going to more NBA basketball matches now that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the owners of the Los Angeles Clippers, Gates said, "I'm not a guy who spends a ton of time watching sports games, but my friends who own teams, I enjoy spending time with them. So at some point probably."

Do you think Gates is correct in his thinking that improving Office should be a high priority for Microsoft?

Source: Bloomberg Television

John Callaham