Microsoft isn't trying to be cool, its 'empowerment' strategy is about making others cool

Intrinsic to the nature of the tech industry is a sense of pushing boundaries, introducing new ideas, providing new opportunities and positioning users on the edge of "what is" and "what's next" by equipping us with inspiring tech gadgets. It is the latter, those state of the art tech gadgets companies put in our hands, that gives consumers an exciting view of where we are and where we're going.

This perception is complemented by consumer-focused marketing by companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung and further augmented by the tech media that focuses on the low-hanging "consumer-technology" fruit that excites the masses. The popular tech in our hands is used by companies and the tech media as a springboard to launch enticing narratives about technology's next steps which further captivates an already enthralled audience. This possession of mainstream tech while we hang precipitously on the cusp of "now" as we anticipate the "next" iteration of our beloved devices, as aggressive marketing and tech media narratives reinforce our collective allegiance to brands is the nature of "cool" in the tech industry.

Apple and Google with popular smartphone platforms, emerging smart speakers, recognized digital assistants, and more have this in spades. Microsoft? Not so much.

Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs created a company that is virtually synonymous with cool. And Google's pop culture impact was manifest in the motion picture The Internship where the company's culture, innovation, and youthful nature resonated with the trendy term. Despite rivals' success, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella isn't chasing an Apple- or Google-esque definition of cool. His mission for Microsoft is to make its brand a pervasive, intricate, and in many regards, a behind the scenes presence that helps make others cool.

Microsoft's empathy-driven empowerment mission

Satya Nadella grew up in Hyderabad, India and is intimately aware of poverty's impact on the lives of people and how it limits accessibility to technology. He is also the father of a son, Zaine, who has severe Cerebral Palsy. It was the impact of raising Zaine that taught Nadella empathy, the ability to see the world, its challenges and the limits many experience through the eyes of others. Nadella said :

We are in a time, in 2018, when technology's so pervasive in our lives, in our economies, in our societies …time has come, quite frankly, for us to really have the dialogue … as to what are the real benefits of technology, equitably spread? Not only in our country, in our society, but all over the world.

This is one of the most enlightening statements regarding Nadella's motivations in making Microsoft a cloud-driven platform company, with a ubiquitous computing goal that embraces interoperability between platforms. Nadella's early experiences in India combined with the empathy he learned raising Zaine has driven him to ensure that Microsoft provides a means to empower everyone, everywhere with the benefits of technology.

Microsoft: We're cool through you

Admittedly, Microsoft has a history with noncommittal attempts in competitive categories like smartphones (Windows Phone) and MP3 players (Zune); and has been successful with Xbox and the Surface family of devices, which includes the consumer-focused Surface Go. Still, Nadella seems cognizant that a focus on being cool by being the company that makes the latest cool tech gadget, though impactful, is limiting in reach.

Conversely, his view is that Microsoft is the company through tools, platforms, software and aspirational devices that empower hundreds of companies and individuals that make "cool" technology, and is virtually limitless in the breadth and depth of its impact.

Nadella inferred that the pervasive nature of technology within our economies and society should ensure that it is equitably distributed to everyone. By making Azure the world's "computer", driving ubiquitous computing, making Microsoft a dev box for developers, pushing cross-platform software, integrating Windows with Android and iOS, leveraging Windows Mixed Reality to power augmented and virtual reality and much more, Nadella is positioning Microsoft as the means by which companies and individuals bring their ideas from conception to fruition and having a world impact. This exemplifies Nadella's statement,

You join here [Microsoft] not to be cool, but to make others cool. You want to be cool by doing that empowerment ... It's the result that matters.

What's cool to you?

Microsoft logo at Ignite

Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

When we think of what makes something cool to a user the thought of seamlessly and efficiently getting things done with our tech comes to mind.

  • Using Word to edit documents on an iPhone or using Android Launcher to navigate an Android phone.
  • Accessing data across devices that Microsoft's cloud seamlessly syncs across platforms.
  • Receiving text messages and other smartphone alerts on a Windows 10 PC and continuing PC activity on a phone (and vice versa) through tools like Your Phone, Timeline, and Cortana.
  • Microsoft's Seeing AI app on iPhone that helps people with blindness navigate the world.
  • Developers having unorthodox access to now open-sourced Microsoft tools that were once proprietary.
  • Eye-gaze technology built into Windows so people with immobility can navigate PCs.
  • An Autism Hiring Program that ensures a valuable base of talent is not missed.
  • A ubiquitous computing strategy that builds connections rather than walls between platforms.
  • A family of devices positioned to inspire OEMs to innovate and bring diverse products to market with price ranges that include everyone.

Microsoft's definition of cool isn't being the company whose name is on every product that makes the headlines and excites pop culture. For Microsoft cool is about striving to be that encompassing presence that leaves an enduring footprint on every pathway, of every product, of every company and every individual as it strategically positions its tools and services as an integral part of everything we achieve.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • I'm cool!
  • :)) this was Nadella looking in the mirror, talking to himself each day or what?
  • Stop using Microsoft and cool in the same sentence.
  • Maybe
  • I have a work issued GS7 now, and I still have my Lumia 950. The difference between the two OSs are startling. WP still is about 100 times more alive, and beautiful to look at, and use, than Android. MS can make cool products if they want to... I don't think an extremely poor marketing team is any excuse to not try. Satya might not be worring about being the most popular, but he better start understanding that mobile is where it's at, and riding on the back of Samsung, Apple, and Google's success isn't gonna work long-term.. MS has got to have some mobile solution going into the next decade.
  • Marketing is easy when you have a great product. When you have a mediocre product like Windows phones, marketing is nearly impossible. GS7 destroys the 950 in every single way.
  • Actually the only place the Galaxy s7 has the lumia beat is in the amount of first party apps available. The speed, feel, camera, and overall Polish of the device the lumia has it all over the s7.
  • WM10 isn't polished, it was left unfinished. It certainly isn't fast either, especially due to the terrible SD810/808. Samsung skipped it for a reason. The hardware is also terrible. Cheap and uninspired. The camera is better on the S7, you can find plenty of blind tests and it isn't even close. The biggest thing though, is you aren't stuck with Microsoft's feature phone operating system. The S7 is a true smartphone.
  • Spoken like a true hater. And someone who obviously never used it. It was faster loading the same apps than my galaxy note and galaxy phone was. It was smoother, faster and the camera destroyed anything samesong had at the time. We all know you are just here to stir up **** and not give anything meaningful or insightful. The s7 is a big **** compared to my iPhone of the same era. Total *****
  • L950 was well behind the S7 when it came to camera and speed (S7 came out just a couple months later, 950 still had unfinished software at that time). W10M was so bad Windows Central never even review the XL! Doesn't sound like a quality device when even this shill publication skipped it instead of trying to make it look decent.
  • The s7 was a POS when it was released.
  • Who said anything about W10M? I said WP.. WP8.1 is awesome. All Android has over that is apps... You never even used WP; just a troll. Just stop, or choke, and grab a faulty parachute, or something. Lol😂😂😂
  • You used Lumia 950 and WP in the same sentence. Lumia 950 came out with that JUNK win10mobile unfortunately, not with WP8.1.
    I agree that WP8.1 was fine,fast and bugfree...but win10mo was and is a total waste, Nadella style quality delivered by guinea pig insiders.
  • It was smooth, not fast. Big difference. WP8 sacrificed speed for pretty animations. It wasn't a power user platform. It was a grandma device. Basically a feature phone. They were locked down, had limited apps (not just in numbers, but also functionally), and limited hardware. It wasn't a good combination compared to the true smartphone competition.
  • I have a 1320 sitting right next to me. Terrible device because the software is so limiting. Windows fans aren't supposed to like locked down, Apple style platforms. Otherwise, why are they Windows fans and not Apple fans? It is sad when even Apple is more open and flexible than Microsoft.
  • Yes, every way besides looks, ease of use, and intuitiveness, which in my opinion makes WP actually more enjoyable to use. If those two OS's were combined that woukd be the perfect device... But, Android is flat out ugly, and WP doesn't have ****.
    Either way, STFU you broken record🙄🙄🙄
  • Looks? I guess if you like big space squares that waste space, but then you could have that failed UI on Android too if you like. Intuitive? Actually it wasn't, that was a big reason they failed so early and people skipped them on the shelf. It was confusing for people who were used to iPhone. The tiles were unfamiliar, too busy, and overwhelming. It wasn't obvious exactly what you were supposed to do with them, not compared to an icon, which is very obvious. They also weren't as useful or powerful as widgets, so it was the worst of both worlds. The app drawer was another atrocity. Not intuitive to find and was only a single column. You couldn't fit more than a handful of icons on screen at any time. it made finding apps very inefficient, you had to scroll forever. If you use a tile launcher on Android, the greatest thing you can do to make it more useable is change the app drawer to a multi column layout with normal icons.
  • If you don't know how to use it. It was actually very intuitive. But pea brains like yourself would not figure that out...
  • Was easy navigation in app drawer. Tap the letter header of a section and it shows the whole alphabet with letters containing apps highlighted so you can go directly to that part of the list. Same navigation in People app and some other MS built in app.
  • Exactly. Bleached is just a bullshitter
  • You can fix some of Androids flaws with this apps i recommend for everyone:
    Squarehome or Launcher 10
    a Firewall and APKPure for a google-free experience Also, Xiaomi MIUI does fix some core issues of android (like no multilingual search in settings ...)
  • Fix Android's flaws by adding Microsoft's flawed and failed UI? No thanks.
  • I don't say MS UI is flawless (especially lots of these old dialogues), new ones look nicer and all of them are more logical than anything Crapdroid has.
  • Uncharted, Zelda, COD, BF, drone, arcade cabinet, ATM, surveillance camera, Sphero's next robot, water meter, Azure cashier, vending machines, Singapore's smart city project, Australia's agriculture, ZPMC, Nike, organ visualization with Hololens, etc are using MS's dev tools, middleware, business solutions or OS.
    Win10 core is an investment towards the future and it can open to many possibilities.
    As a programmer, these synergies are pretty cool and amazing. As a game programmer, bring Win10+UWP to Xbox enables BC, FC, XPA and GamePass. Mixer and MsStore integration, Mixer and XPA game's API integration, co-stream and other unique features, are all pretty cool too. Pip-Boy (or other HW, toys) using Win10 IOT, Azure + Xbox game integration is not a real product, but it's possible. The possibility is pretty cool.Nadella changed my view about MS (from don't care to wow, MS's the future. Phone market is just soo freaking boring now), he's pretty cool.
  • So cool.
  • I agree ... Visual Studio, Xamarin and all the dev tools make coding more fun than ever. And beeing able to be device Independent without big efford is genious!
  • Cool is caring for people. MS is leading that Imo.
  • Cool? Is that what you call undermining the free speech of Americans with that Gab stunt? Nevermind that American taxpayers get to send you abortion buckets full of cash for all those cush government contracts while your software infiltrates our privacy in every imaginable aspect of our existence. That's NOT cool, brah.
  • I love ppl that think MS is invading their privacy but use Google's services who's whole business model is building an elaborate marketing profile for each person in the world. now days if you want privacy go put on ur tinfoil hat and live in ur leadlined cabin on the side of a mountain in the middle of no where because that's the only way you'll get complete privacy.
  • ^This!
  • And blocking Microsoft telemetry completely is not that hard (ohshutup10, regedit and there some more ways), while e.g. blocking Google' s telemetry on your smartphone while still trying to use its important features and apps is way harder. Not even speaking about stuff like this ->
  • Well, both are quite easier done with a SW-Firewall. On Android you only need root or do it via a VPN.
    The really bad thing is: MS is only sending home with an MS-Account on the device. Android is calling home with no google account.
  • Someone's tin foil hat seems to be too tight today
  • Why?
  • The world is much bigger than good Ole Murcia.
  • MSFT says they want to be the business that cares. Good for them. I hope they accomplish it and show the way for others.
  • Cool as being the option for trusted GDPR enterprise solutions over other clouds in EU. Cool as being totally transparent in personal data privacy. Not cool for letting down W10M diehards by pushing them to Android Not cool for hesitating or potentially halting the release of Andromeda
  • I find Microsoft to be extremely cool in transforming itself again and again. They have been taken by surprise by others so often, but then transformed to leap ahead again. Who would ever have thought this DOS shop to become a global cloud services powerhouse.
    What Satya is promoting will keep Microsoft in business for a long time to come.
  • "We're cool through you", the bulleted list at the end of the article was mostly addressed with Windows Phone. That is the biggest irony, the mantra - "We designed Windows Phone for not all of us but each of us", sums up the empowerment mentality the current Microsoft is pursuing under Satya Nadella. Furthermore the consumer retrenchment also contradicts this empowerment mentality. You cannot say you want to empower all users to do more and remove the tools + ability of your own windows userbase "to do more". As it completely under cuts everything and places everything Microsoft has done to unify the core and kernal over the past decades in jeopardy. Companies and corporations can see this and therefore are not engaging on a scale as they would in the past. Plus with the amount of times OEMs have been burnt, they have begun to diversify and push chromebooks. Fortunately we are seeing many in Microsoft understand if they do not act now and re-engage consumers in the PC space. Then all the advantages they so much enjoy will cease to exist. Hence the Surface Go, it fills a major gap in the market that OEMs no longer want to fill with Windows devices after having been burnt so many times. It's not about low margins, in the past they were happy to churn out low end netbooks with very low margins. One cannot wash out history with fancy words, Microsoft under Satya Nadella has a track record of using fancy words but a utter poor track record of actually committing to them. Secondly, you cannot keep restructuring a company every single year, it's counter productive and annihilates moral completely. As it removes any sense of job security, therefore people no longer care and you end up substandard products or code. Combined with reduced coding hours, resources and no programmatic testing you are going to get buggy Windows releases. We have seen plenty of examples of buggy Windows releases after Satya Nadella took the helm. It was not the fault of Terry Myerson, he got fired because he was in charge of implenting changes mandated by the CEO and someone had to take the fall. So sadly, Terry Myerson took the fall otherwise it would have been whole lotta people. Which would have placed Andromeda + Surface Go and their following derivatives at risk of cancellation. Because unlike Steve Ballmer, Satya Nadella will not hesitate to cut a product that is making a loss. Even if it means foregoing a massive revenue in the future - the mobile division is a primary example of this mentality. Whereas Steve Ballmer did not hesitate to spend over a billion dollars on the RROD issue. If he did not, we would have no xbox one x today. As well as lossing the massively talented xbox division. Actions have consequences, axing the xbox entertainment studios and mobile division are coming back to haunt Satya Nadella. With the xbox entertainment studios they could have drastically increased the reach of Cortana a hundred fold. With the mobile division they could have had a robust UWA platform upon which they could have built WMR and PWA. Instead we have a some convoluted Cortana-Alexa interaction and hardly any UWP momentum. PWA's have little to zero momentum. Amongst all of this there is Skype, it's rudderless, shambolic and lacking any sense of direction whatsoever. All of these negative aspects completely mar all the good work that is been done under Satya Nadella's leadership. Microsoft can make a difference in the lives of many people and Satya Nadella is taking easy route due to risk aversion and that to me is not the mark of a great leader but someone who feels burdened by weight of responsibility of "trying not to fail" but in doing so he is failing everyone around him. He must re-engage consumers broadly than ever before especially with the Windows Ecosystem. He must allow Microsoft research continue to break new ground in medical treatments i.e. Emma's watch - this is what will make Microsoft cool and truly live up to his vision of enabling all users to do more. Once he does these two things, the rest will slowly fall into place as burnt bridges take time and alot more investment to be rebuilt.
  • Ok
  • Lol
  • Bleh... The mobile app is removing my paragraph spacing.
  • Desktop app does that to me too.
  • Do not get me started on that Launcher product. It too is trying to paper over Nadella's mistakes ... AND ... it is just awful.
  • True that. These Nadella apology articles should stop. All of this is based on what Ms haa said but their actions present a different picture. The one that's ignored here
  • MS started turning its stock around under Balmer also. We need to stop pretending Nadella was the savior of the company. The term "cool" is a very subjective word here. What at I thought was cool was the sexy consumer products that Ballmer (and Nadella) brought to Microsoft, many innovative and fresh, yet now now abandoned or ignored. Microsoft still lives in the shadow of its antitrust case, bad Windows releases, and lazy interations of products like Internet Explorer. It'll be several more years before they get out of that shadow but they are making progress.
  • Microsoft is not cool nor does it produce anything that makes anyone else look cool, those days are gone. Microsoft has no consumer play left it is dead man walking with no consumer innovation.
  • Uncharted, Zelda, COD, Halo, Forza, BF, drone, arcade cabinet, ATM, surveillance camera, water meter, Azure cashier, vending machines, Singapore's smart city project, Australia's agriculture, ZPMC, Nike, organ visualization with Hololens and others business and services. Are these consumer unrelated?
  • Wow, just wow. I guess you can attribute car companies to those successes as well because they provide the vehicles to take the staff to work every day to produce all of that?
  • It is cool.
    It makes many products look cool, thanks to UWP, Xamarin, PWAs ...
    And if you check the services you use on a daily base, i bet more than 30% run on Azure.
  • WinMobile isn't their only product. plus, it's not a the same family as Win10 (IOT, AR, MR, Xbox, PC including s-mode and WoA), why keep it hanging when you knew you can never succeed (amount devs and users)?
  • This is the perhaps the most honest insightful piece of journalism about MS in recent history... no not this WC cheerleader piece you've just read... but this one... Seriously? Cool? Uncool? Relevancy is what matters. And that died the day Belfiore tweeted from his treehouse that Windows mobile was dead. You can't just walk away from the single most important form of computing in history... the ability to take your computing needs mobile... and expect anyone under 40 to take you seriously anymore... Google is now completely free, as Pete points out, to completely dominate the world. And yes Google undoubtedly owns the future... everything... starting with its mobile dominance... to App Store dominance... to Assistant... to AI... to Cloud dominance... to IOT... to consumer... to education... to enterprise... and beyond... While MS is so busy caring about how it appears... or doesn't appear, Google is busy building the products that a young... mobile ... generation prefer today. Microsoft's failure...or better yet arrogant refusal... to adapt to a mobile world will eventually bring the mighty Microsoft into conversations alongside other former great companies like Blockbuster... Borders... Eastman Kodak... Studebaker... Pontiac... Sears...
  • Tell me... what are the jobs that can earn a freshman 3k~ 10k+ a month? Def not arcade or convenient store staff. How do you work efficient without menu key, shortcuts, multitasking, multi-windows, window snapping (with kb)? Sure, maybe chrome os is eating US, but you aren't creating next-gen work force. Do they even know Excel Script? As a programmer,
    1) websites + phone app (skin of websites)
    2) PC including s-mode and WoA, IOT, AR, MR, Xbox (go for c# then you can cover both client-side and server-side).
    Which would you pick?
    Market of business solution web app might still have some possibility for newbie or small fry.
    Phone apps and games are def hard since it's already occupied by older or biger players.
  • - Story I wrote sometimes ago - We had a bad hire weeks ago. I'm in game industry. A lead front-end programmer (a few other major studio just reached out to me in the past few days). The freshman who got assigned to my team, knows no Windows. She doesn't know what is installer, don't know where to find the installer and don't know how to install or setup VisualStudio, Unity, Unreal or dev environments. She needs someone baby sits.
    She has no idea how to operate GitHub (resources, codes, branch got deleted accidentally). We have instructions for basic PC setups, but she's slow... she knows no shortcut keys and operates Windows inefficiently with a lotta mouse moving and clicking.
    She's definitely unfit to be a game programmer. What best for her? Reassign and start training her as a planner? designer? IT? Or, staff in the arcade center? * School's IT lab has PC (all software were pre-installed) but she knows and owns only iPhone. Without doubt... she's a trouble to everyone and... a time wasting. We feel bad (I can assure you we've been really nice to her), she prob feel bad about herself too.
    She's lucky she's get hired by a major, but, unlucky cause she knows only iOS. Who's to blame? Her parents? School? Both.
    If you are the typpa parent that thinks "My baby boy/girl's super smart, knows how to use iPad aka Computer without me teaching"
    hnnnnn... poor kid…
  • That makes no sense. Why would you hire someone for a job who doesn't meet any of the requirements?
  • HR's to blame. * according to my friend who's in another studio. They also hired many young cute looking girls recently. They have no skills and there's "adult considerations" behind it. And we all know what will happen, a few months later. But my point is, (parents that make) kids grow up thinking iOS and Android are the computer they can depend on the rest of their life... will have hard time when they leave school.
  • Wrong. You do not need windows to learn programming. You can very well learn Java on Linux or Mac. Learn both Android and IOS dev on Mac. You can learn so many things and you won't even need Windows, and guess what, it does pay off!
  • Pay off? C++ is my root. Havok took me 4 months to start (had 0 3d programming knowledge back then) and I created a tps demo about active ragdoll and fullbody IK. JavaScript, C#, Java, HTML, MySQL, OpenGL, Python, HTML5, PHP, ActionScript, jQuery, AJAX, DirectX, Unreal Engine, Unity, UWP... I can start fumbling those on day1 (without books or teaching of course). Before jQuery was even a thing I created my lib and PNG animation.
    When students around me follow teachings, using all static keyframes with their Flash projects, I created dymatic keyframe.
    I created a game engine using html5 for a company.
    etc, etc. And I quite my job, fly to Japan with 0 Japanese, got head hunted, now working in a major game studio, and few other majors (HQ in US, EU or Japan) have just contacted me. There's one thing I'd like to give it a try when I'm free and would like to present it in our senior programmers meeting.
    A DreamCast mem-card-like device using Win10-IOT and Azure and let it talk to a XPA game (can be on PC, Xbox or Arcade), you know, same UWP with mother-child architecture. This is not happening with Android or iOS. * you don't see drone, arcade cabinet, ATM, surveillance camera, cashier, vending machines running iOS do you?
    * Apple only deal with their own devices and drops deprecated API faster than others. (Xcode has got to be the worst piece of software human can ever created btw)
    * Android is a API-all-you-can-tamper-OS, it's trouble.
  • And yet developers continue to flee to Android and IOS...look I get it, you are a MS fan, but that won't change the truth, that MS has become another for so many, consumers or business men.It matters **** how many windows 10 installations are out there since 99% of them did not had a choice, again this does not prove that people love windows 10, but more like they had to update because of reasons.
    The only thing I seem to appreciate at them is the Xbox. I do own one and it's ok, until that imbecile decides to retrench someday.
  • I'm not a MS fan (and I only do logic). My professor specifically told me to never work for MS and I was more into games, didn't care much about Windows, IT, tech or whatever. I was more of a 1st party Android phone fan because I, as a programmer, cannot accept buggy API-tampered phones.
    * Same as Android or iOS today, Windows and other services and products had no synergy. Go buy some statistics, phone app and game market are both occupied by older or biger players. There's very lilo opportunity for you, esp newbies. Same as win32 on PC, it's already a mature market.
    And as a programmer, coding yet another skin for a website is boring. I'm having fun in the game industry so I don't plan on leaving (yet, the only not-game that interests me is AI and 2 feet robots). But if I'm in IT, 1) website + skin of a website vs 2) deploy one set of codes to machines, PCs and servers, option 2 def look way more interesting and fun. Thanks to Win10.IOT, I don't need to learn Assembly, network & communication can be done much easier. And as far as I can see, now's just the beginning (e.g Azure cashier, Singapore's smart city project, ZPMC, Nike, medical field, drone, surveillance, etc). You can def wait or skip, till all possible business solution and products are all explored (a mature market only old guys and big guys can survive).
  • > I was more of a 1st party Android phone fan
    Sorry, wrong choice of a word. I wasn't and will never be a fan of whatever product, company or person. Being a fan makes no sense to me. But I'll totally use whatever psychology to build my fan base for the business.
    * Not a fan, but the only person that I respect in this world, will be my father. I did the if-else and iOS is too pro-feature-lacking, WinMobile will never gain traction, so I picked 1st party Android. if-else, that's all. I can drop Android for a 6" WoA (like ARROWS Tab V567/P but with snapgragon 1k) any second, cause I've already prepared / migrated my data for Win10 (year 2018, I use cloud saves and version controls. I store nothing locally) and there are features Android, Google or Sony can't provide.
  • You are in a specialized field, of course your tools are specialized. The only point you made was your HR department is poorly run.
  • Already said HR's the one to blame.
    But Do you think girl can survive even as a planner, designer, IT department or accountant? Or front desk, in-house restaurant, coffee?
  • Again, almost everything you mentioned requires some training or specialized knowledge. You certainly don't need to know Windows to work as a barista/hostess, which is the only job you mentioned that doesn't require schooling or experience of some sort.
  • A good barista has a 2 years training or at least 2 year experience. Starbucks has (with some exceptions maybe) no baristas, they have coffee machine operators.
  • She most definitely can't survive in the financial world without knowledge of Windows. While most of the tools are specialised, most emails for most companies runs on office 365. Most of the specialist software is also integrating with Office 365. I have also seen many creatives begin to return to Windows as their advancements in touch technology (Surface Book in particular) have made their work far easier to accomplish as opposed to on Android and Mac. Her best bet would be to work in a restaurant.
  • That's def true. Like Urbautz said, girl cannot be a barista. She's not even from Catering, her background is Multimedia, sorta relate to IT but a lilo towards design. Yet, she's unfamiliar with Windows. * I heard, she applied IT, planner and programmer. "Was a team leader" is on her resume and she had quite some fan on the internet (girl gamer). Path for kids like her... programmer, planner, designer, sound designer, director, producer, accountant, IT, law firm, secretary, barista are all outta option.
    That leaves job like reception, waitress, convenient store staff, arcade center staff.
  • Union is the answer
  • "Blockbuster... Borders... Eastman Kodak... Studebaker... Pontiac... Sears..." The best example is Polaroid. They OWNED the "instant picture" market for decades, and dismissed digital cameras as toys.
  • MS isn't unique anymore. The end.
  • Microsoft is sitting on the throne waiting to be dethroned.
  • Microsoft was dethroned a long time ago. Just the iPhone matches sales of all Windows devices combined and Android is three or four times that amount. When it comes to computing platforms, Microsoft isn't even number two.
  • The numbers ARE amazing these days. When you count up all of the PCs, phones and tablets sold last year, Windows accounts for around 15% of those sales. 10 years ago, that number was around 95%.
  • Microsoft is doing great job lately by making its services available on all platforms (almost). I like that Visual Studio and MS SQL Operation Studio are available on Mac now.
  • I don't know about yall, but I work at Starbucks and I'm starting to see a lot more Surface Pros/ Laptops/ Surface Books among younger people. No idea if that has anything to do with Microsoft being cool or not.. but an observation none the less.
  • Thank the Salmon Sisters. lol
  • That’s because they offer features that the Starbucks special (MacBook) can’t touch,
  • There's nothing cool about MS or what they do.
  • Jason, as much as I like your optimism, I don't think this strategy it the best for MS in the long run. The more it fades from consumer minds, the less business it will have. Not having a viable mobile platform, plus lending intelligent speaker market will lead them to a very hard spot: the more consumers use Google/Apple/Amazon platforms, the more they get used to non-MS applications. And this will eventually hurt them on the enterprise level (no Windows licensing, and that will impact AD, SCCM, other server stuff).
  • MSFT has built up a legacy of turning their backs on their windows supporters and instead, moving to make apps and features for competitor companies. To hell with MSFT.
  • Yes, thanks to Microsoft's "strategy", I'm nearly completely back into the Apple ecosystem. I feel much cooler now. Thanks Microsoft!
  • The writter forgot (too young) Microsoft won the battle of Pocket PC's against Palm.
    At this time every user wanted phone on a pocket PC but Microsoft (and probably Balmer) Did not imagine the development of Aerial networks and missed the bend
    Don't forget also that At this past Time, Microsoft was accused of dominance. Apple saw the hole....
  • 🙂 How "young" do you think I am?😉
  • Microsoft lost the battle as a company selling Enterprise software like Windows and Office software, Nadella knows it and that's why they invested on Linux OS on Azure datacenters, provide Linux subsystem for Windows and purchased GitHub.
    Open Source is powering AI, Internet of Things and modern biomechanical robots of the 2020-2030 decade. Microsoft is now a services company, and I really like what they're doing with Windows 10 to empower citizens around the world that want to have a great job in the Industry 4.0 era.
  • This reads like a Nadella press release Jason. Empowerment is another of those cool kids' cliches so in arguing a little against cool you are in fact reinforcing that and trying to persuade us that nerdy is now cool. Get it? Instead I would suhhest that this MS promo is simply trying to find a way to overlook the MS abandonment of consumers and exiting that market.
  • "This reads like a Nadella press release Jason" Then I guess this piece succeeds in part at doing what I intended it to do. Note, I take no stance in the piece regarding whether or not I agree with the strategy or not. My goal for an audience that often asks in so many words "What is Microsoft/Nadella doing?" and "Why is Microsoft/Nadella doing it?", particularly when the competition has such a mainstream and consumer-focused appeal, was to explain from the company's perspective that "Microsoft isn't trying to be cool, it's trying to make others cool." The goal wasn't so much to convince anyone that the strategy was the right one, but to clearly communicate what the strategy and motives are whether we agree with them or not. So that next time someone asks why isn't Microsoft competing in such and such a way with consumer focused products like Apple and Google, you can point them to this article that clearly answers that question.😉 Also as I said in the piece MS made some blunders, mobile and others. But Nadella's goal is (who opposed the Nokia purchase and didn't see the value (miss) of a third platform) is ideologically different than Apple's and Google's. He sees a pervasive integration of a range of Microsoft products and services at various levels (apps on devices to systems and platforms running on Microsoft's cloud) as the primary focus rather than an Apple-esque device focus. Even Surface and HoloLens are a means toward that end. They're aspirational products primarily designed to inspire an industry of OEMs to emulate these devices that will deliver Microsoft solutions through the industry. So yes, MS had some high-profile flops and like you I'm confident some of its messaging is spin. But given Nadella's cloud history and current cloud focus, his opposition to the Nokia purchase, and his personal history, I do believe that ideologically he is committed to a course for MS that focuses on empowering (providing tools other use to achieve) not only because of past failures in mobile and other hardware. I think he would have had this cloud-focused, tools-provision, cross-platform leadership strategy even if Windows phone succeeded.
  • Reading these comments is like deja vu all over again. For more than a year, since ms dropped mobile I have been arguing that in the long run people raised on phone systems will not want to learn windows systems for work, they'll stay with their comfort zone in android and that other thingy. Nadella screwed up by not recpgnising the key role of mobile in the wider, longer future of computing and do not get me started on his usa_centric view of the world.
  • Lumia 950 XL is pretty cool. At least me, myself and I think so.
  • And me. Still rocking my 950xl but I admit that WP8.1 was better than W10M.
  • There are already generationS that can live and work without Microsoft and don't even know Microsoft exists, both in personal life computing, as well as at work using professional software. For increasing number of World's population nowadays Microsoft is irrelevant and doesn't even exist. Let that sink in. Also "journalists", can we please stop exploiting Nadella's personal story about his son (despite the dude has personally written about it in his book) for the sake of vindicating Microsoft's current strategy when we talk about his empathy as Microsoft's core values? Ok, we know the example he gave, we got it the first couple of times and it's enough. No need to shove it in everyone's face and spreading the "news" of his personal drama. Obviously tech "journalism" is no different than any other form of journalism, relying on shock value and flash news. Have some respect, clowns
  • MS is cool for share holders....they have done well...
    For enterprise - MS is doing, servers, office, Windows.... For consumers...Google, Apple and Amazon are cool....
    MS has nothing to do with those guys Cool...depending on the user....