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'Microsoft needs to change', says CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference yesterday where the new head spoke about how the company as a whole needs to change if it is to remain competitive. Reiterating much of what was shared in the lengthy memo sent out to employees last week, Nadella specifically spoke about the need for Microsoft to focus more on productivity and platforms. There is going to be some amount of change to occur at Microsoft.

Previous product lines will be evaluated to see how they can be moved forward, but more specifically Nadella stated Windows has to change. Much like how Google is taking Android and ensuring it is loaded on absolutely everything, Microsoft's CEO wants a similar solution for Windows. From wearables to Xbox One and PCs, Windows is to be on as many consumer products as possible. It will no longer be the desktop and mobile operating system, but a platform for Microsoft to provide services on.

As well as Windows, Nadella also touched on releasing products on competitor platforms, which we've already seen happen with its Office suite. Lastly, Microsoft has to be more aggressive with its mobile plans, coming in from behind on low marketshare. To be able to compete against Android and iOS, the company will have to start operating by Nadella's mindset – mobile first.

Source: Fierce Wireless

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

114 Comments
  • As in sell more phones?
  • Or drop more workers.
  • Or give free phones
  • Or terminate more phones.
  • I believe!
  • http://memecrunch.com/meme/6P1L/my-body-is-ready/image.png
  • LOL
  • Selling phones happens when you give people a reason to buy them. If your platform makes it seamless and easy to access all your data from anywhere using MS services, that will sway customers who are not deeply invested in one particular walled garden. Users heavily invested in a platform may be swayed when MS offers a superior product and opportunity. This "1 Microsoft" plan is a start, but they need to execute quickly and decisively. Look at the big picture for MS and you will see it is a massive undertaking and a heck of an opportunity.
  • So, what company offers a "superior" product?  Google?  Laughable!  Apple?  Double Laughable!!  Sorry, but MS's services are perfect for me.  None of the other companies even come close.  But to each his/her own.  If you think some other company provides better services the beauty of freedom of choice is that you choose what's best for YOU!
  • I choose Microsoft products and services. But I am a tech at heart, so it easy for me to catch on quickly and make use of the data sync across all my devices. But I am not the customer Microsoft needs, they need the millions of none techies to catch on and move to their platform. I never named any company that offered a superior product because I haven't seen one yet... in my opinion. Microsoft is the closest to a universal one... again, in my opinion
  • Like you, I would like to think I'm a tech person at heart myself.  And yes, I catch on to things pretty quickly if I really want to learn them.  (When it comes to software, etc).  Here's my opinion.  My first computer was an Apple IIE.  That was a few years back.  :)  I have loved using Microsoft products from their inception.  But that was then.  Younger users today don't hold Microsoft in the same high esteem as I do.  There are newer, bigger, entities today that has captured there eye.  And normally when I read reviews from critics, most of them are people way younger than I am and they provide luke warm to bad reviews on Microsoft products because Apple and Google has captured their hearts and minds.  Most writers want to be on the band wagon of the new Kids on the block.  Microsoft is the Studebaker in the tech world and that's how so many people see them.  Anyway, I hope micosoft can win a few hearts in the years to come though I think it's going to be a tough road.  But that's the road I'll be traveling on nonetheless.
  • Atlast!
  • Seems more changing
  • Okay..
  • Well based on what they do ill be the judge of whether this is good or not.
  • Maybe you would care to provide your credentials to make that decision?
  • I will share mine...i am a customer much like millions of others and if what they chose to do doesn't work for me I will spend my money elsewhere. I think Ben Franklin speaks very loud!
  • I wish more peole were like you, that actually looked at things as to howq usefull they are.  If all people did I wonder if Apple and Android would have such a large following??  I wonder what the desktop market would look like.  Who am I kidding Desktop would still be controlled by Microsoft.  Mobile not sure who would have the largest marketshare.  Android has some pluses but minuses.
  • The only minus I have concerning Android is Google's anal probe. Otherwise, I would be using Android. I can get to all of my data and every service I use on Android. FTP, VPN, MS services, everything. WP and iOS? Nope
  • Android as a user platform is horrible. Slow, laggy and full of ads and crap. On the flip side apples system is polished but its my way or the highway attitude keeps me away. Ms windows is the best all round system out there. The best
  • Maybe I should have clarified that I only speak for myself, your a big boy or girl you should be able to do the same when these decisions involve your money.
  • Yes, we have the credentials. We paid for them. We have our "customers" and "users" credentials. They should be valid enough to critic constructively and ask for things.
  • Yes, finally.
  • Starting to make me wonder if the results from this quarter are going to be bad.
  • Nope they'll be rock solid as always, I think. Its just that he knows If they dont change as a Company, Windows will die. Competitors will then chase after Office and their Services are not as powerful as they should be right now. Moving slowly will kill them, they need to adapt.
  • You've misquoted him. What he actually said was "(Other) mobile first, (i)Cloud first" ;)
  • Absolutely right
  • Lol !!!
  • I don't like the cloud. Way to buggy and I like my storage local.
  • Reported for being realistic
  • Heard it all before. Anyway, I'm mostly happy with the 1020 as it is (WP8) so whatever they come up with will be gravy.
  • More and more people are starting to buy windows phones
  • I hope so. With the slow release of products and new software and hardware this fall, it's likely many will wait.
  • Saying is easy, come on show it in real.
  • Awesome! Now make my 1520 able to have dual windows where I can watch a video while scrolling through my apps. You know, like the Gnote.
  • Will be there in threshold update for windows phone
  • Source for that claim?
  • Please provide source!
  • Doubtful. Very doubtful.
  • Love my windows phone
  • Instead of saying it needs to change, he should be saying it IS changing. This sentiment is the wrong one. I don't think he grasps the tech medias need for content and their love to conclude a story. He's throwing them right down the middle... Honesty about faults is great, but unless there is a clear, take charge strategy that makes sense, it looks like the company is flapping in the wind.
  • Needs to change and he's doing just that.
  • So shorten and clarify the message. Project leadership and direction.
  • Hasn't he iterated many times.
  • That's exactly how he comes off to me. Over apologetic about how awful windows and Microsoft in general are doing. And he doesn't seem to have a clear path. Just lip service to the big money shareholders.
  • Well said. Too often the incumbent CEO has said "needs to change", it's high time MSFT didn't go with a safe choice (from within MSFT or not). MSFT have the potential to set the world on fire, insted, they keep dousing the flames of innovation.
  • "Lastly, Microsoft has to be more aggressive with its mobile plans, coming in from behind on low marketshare. To be able to compete against Android and iOS, the company will have to start operating by Nadella's mindset – mobile first." Don't talk about it, be about it.
  • Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. Currently, the company treats their Windows Phone division the way Apple has treated Apple TV, as a side hobby venture, with minimal resources given to it.    How else to describe an inferior version of *Microsoft* applications running on Windows Phone 8, compared to those running on competitor mobile OS'?
  • I look at it as the developers on THOSE OTHER PLATFORMS writing the code for those OTHER platforms. Not to mention they have a greater incentive to do more for those other platforms than what happens on Windows Phone so far.  But I'm with you. Seeing is believing. I'm going to keep my powder as dry as I can since we just had regime change at Microsoft. I remember when Balmer climbed in the drivers seat to replace Gates, MS got off course and we ended up with Windows Vista.. But soon after, about a year, we had Windows 7. One bad ass OS and Office 2010/2013. Then we got Windows Phone, all under Balmer.  Natella just got in and its talking much game we I'll give him time to get his arms around his company. Lets see if he has the sack as well as ring-general-ship to move Microsoft in general and Windows Phone in particular. 
  • One thing... It's not Nadella's company, it belongs to the shareholders, who elect the Board of Directors. That's where the real power is.
  • Welcome to 2010, Microsoft. This was obvious from the day WP launched but you geniuses couldn't see it and the result has been irrelevance for your mobile platform. Now lets see you put those words into action.
  • Said a forum prophet.
  • Haha
  • Well its very late now. MS needs too much work in order to beat Android
  • Release a better Skype app and make Bing Worldwide for Windows Phone if you want to see it do better in Market.
  • Nope. It's ok.
  • No, it's NOT okay. Compared to other platforms, it's crap. It is slow and we don't even have file transfer.
  • Skype on wp is terrible, if several people send messages at the same time.. there is a major lag between your messages being sent and theirs being received, with the latter happening first. Plus they removed the timestamps. Never before I had lost my temper at an app, it was that infuriating lol. I say was, as it has been uninstalled.
  • Skype integration is horrible. I want to be able to say, "It's like iMessage and FaceTime, but integrated into MS products and cross-platform." I can't, though. It isn't really integrated into WP or Win8.x very well. I still have a hard time accessing my Outlook.com contacts (from Live Messenger) and can't seem to delete my legacy Skype contacts. It's hit and miss whether people need my Skype or Live name to contact me. I also don't have the ability to control my kids' access to Skype contacts the way I do with iStuff. Skype under MS is pretty much a poster child for something that should dominate, but is actually in sad shape.
  • Wonder why they don't listen to Skype users? What problems do they have fixing this and Facebook?
  • Timestamps need to return. Skype needs an option like BBM, where you have a 'D' for delivered and an 'R' for read. Hate to admit it, Skype on WP is cr#p.
  • Stop all this staggered phone releases and carrier exclusives! Do you see Samsung or Apple doing this? No! I can go to any mobile phone shop or carrier provider and get the latest i5 or Galaxy5! Windows has to fart around a release a new model over a period of up to a year with restrictions. How on earth is our platform meant to compete and get ahead. People are always interested in my 920 or 1020 but when they go to get one find it near impossible to get hold of, so they go for the phone that's available for everyone! Stupid Microsoft!
  • Indeed, this needs to change and pronto.
  • the problem with microsoft is that they don't do their research well on their markets in different countries, they want to solely relay on those feedbacks yet in some markets users do no participate on these feedbacks as data is very expensive and the majority do not own PCs, android is most popular in these areas. in some countries wi-fi is not every where, 3 or 4G is available in certain areas. How many today use NFC?
  • True. Sadly.
  • This is 'murica problem only. People are happily purchasing WP elsewhere.
  • Being quick, nimble, and flexible is the only way to succeed. The computing environment (outside of slow enterprise environments) changes as fast as weather.
  • They need an Xbox TV device - similar to either Chromecast or Apple TV. Put it out there at $59 and watch people line up to buy it. Then watch the halo effect take place.
  • They need to more agressive with the xbox brand, however before they do that they seriously need to fix the games hub and xbox music. Also we need more xbox live titles (the open source xbox live framework is key - which has disappeared after being briefly mentioned at Build 2014) for windows phone, they are not doing enough to utilise the xbox brand imo.
  • Bingo. Put gaming back on the PC and make Xbox the media streamer that connects the dots with all the other devices we use.
  • Lets see how it goes. Makes me wonder what will happen with Windows Phone, if there will be a need of a new architecture going forward.
  • I suspect that WP9, or whatever it'll be called, will basically be another do-over in mobile, although I'm not sure how many of those they get before their dwindling phone customers all jump ship.
  • I don't think it will. The OS uses the same kernel now so there would be no need to do that.
  • Migrate from the NT Kernal? not going to happen, xp, vista, 7, windows 8, xbox 1 and windows phone 8.0 to name a few run (/ran) on the NT Kernal.
  • Unless Windows proper moves to a new kernel that wont happen. Universal apps are able to happen because W8.1 and WP8.1 are very close to each other in design.
  • Close the gap between new Windows phone software feature announcements and new product release; Cortana has already lost its stream
  • Microsoft had enough trouble getting Windows down into ARM tablets, good luck having it running on wearables. You think your  watch, or smart glasses or home appliances, thermostasts and washing machines, are going to be able to run x86 Windows? And why on earth would you want it to?   To run Office on?
  • They were first to wearable aka the spot smartwatch, most likely they would use windows embedded. Like it or not the next big thing will be home automation as more and more people become too lazy to adjust the thermostat lol.
  • Yeah, and they were also first to mobile and PDAs with Windows Mobile a decade ago, but look where that got them in 2014.  They're nowhere in mobile, riding on 3% global share, and <1% in the world's largest market, China.  
  • LOL, windows ran in non-intel platforms since 90´s.
  • XP ran smoothly on a 400mhz CPU with 1-2GB of ram (with a little bloat trimming), and half of the useless stuff was baked in so we couldn't remove it. Theres no reason at all that we couldn't have an advanced OS on simple devices.
  • MSFT have an OS for that, Windows For Devices - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/dn786369
  • I'm liking this "mobile first" mindset of his - a lot. He keeps repeating, now they need to act on it. Really hoping he actually puts his money where his mouth is, but judging from the very decisive manner in which he has implemented strategy so far I have little doubt that he will make a monumental effort to sincerely do as he says.
  • Change?? Change to the name "Macrohard". :D
  • Microsoft has to be more aggressive with its mobile plans !!! yes, i'm in quebec, canada and there is still provider not salling any windows device... please, be more aggressive !!!!!
  • Exactly.
  • Seems faster
  • I don't understand how his plan is different. "Windows Everywhere" has always been a dream of theirs.
  • Sound bites for media and investors.
  • Bye-bye Windows Phone
  • What I don't like is that windows has gone from the advanced OS (apple was always simplistic and lacked options, google just rushed in with not much but glitter and no knickers, the bimbo phone), to something that has to compete with these companies.
    All due to Microsoft's fear and stubbornness. All they ever had to do was listen to its customers instead of forcing the new ideals and sprinkling glitter (which came out all clumpy).
    Where has microsofts confidence gone.
    Yes this guy portrays confidence by the bucketload but is also busy forcing change, and I'm not sure he's really listening as he states so often.
    The mobile game is new and difficult, but were all here lighting the path for him, I hope he doesn't piss on our torches with his ego.
    N fkn wearables, Chinese have had touch screen mobile phones in watch sized 'wearable devices' for a decade or more. Not just a notification system, a working mobile...+digital tv reciever. Pull yourself together MS, your way over all this drama, don't force things on us, work with us.
    Rant rant rant lol
  • MS needs to change, they need to more agile and launch products with-in weeks of announcing them to capitilise on the buzz and hype that builds upto product launches. Also do away with the silly carrier exclusives, not many people are willing to switch for a phone. Be more agressive and utilise the xbox brand, that is the key imo to the US market. To do that we need to be in a position where all games released on WP have xbox live integration and for that we need the open source xbox live framework.
  • Yes and start with offering a better experience to WP8 users before iOS and Android for MSFT products and services.
  • Wishes..be quick..exact at the point..need low cost beautiful official microsoft/lumia hardware....everyone saying it -)- DON'T SAY IT JUST GO WITH IT..HOLD ON IT & CHANGE THE WORLD...i believe Windows MS & their owners have this capabilities...i feel sad when I think how would great man bill gates think of this bad buissness & products situation of Windows..
  • +925
  • Ennada nadakuthu inga?
  • Hate my self for Buying lumia 8.1 was happy with android, on windows phone 8.1 no option to attach MP3 file on whatsapp and no calling option on FB messenger, but on android and iOS its possible, why windows is doing this to us
  • Whatsapp> Not made by Microsoft FB Messenger> Not made by Microsoft
  • Seriously, stop talking about what you plan to do. Just do it. Words and promises make me think of a politician. Just telling people what they want to hear without doing anything to back it up. Start making apps that are exclusive to WP instead of trying to catch up to the other platforms. You arent going to catch up to them until you have more market share. People arent going to switch to WP when you finally get a standard Youtube app (granted, i like the 3rd party apps better anyway). Make some unique apps that dont exist on other playforms. Useful apps that will actually turn heads. Stop with the carrier exclusives. Im not sure how much ATT and Verizon pay for that crap, but I cant imagine it is worth your dwindling market share. I would probably already own an Icon if it was sold on AT&T. Instead I am stuck waiting until November (or whenever) to upgradge from my WP7 phone. I dont want a phablet and i only get one free upgrade every 2 years, so i dont want to use it on a 925 or whatever is out there. I havent used Xbox Music because I am still on WP7, but it sounds horrible. Fix that crap. Buy Pandora or something. Putting mobile first is great, but not if it means "upgrading WP so that it is on par with last generations iOS and Android". I love the tile layout and some other things about WP, which is why i stay with the platform. But MS isnt doing much else to keep me around.
  • I like all The Lumias in the background so nice.
  • did someone slap ballmer??? his pose is too exicting.....
  • I cannot believe that anyone other than a delusional fanboy would consider any of this positive. Microsoft IS NOT RIM/Blackberry.  The company does not need a reactive crisis manager who is going to gut the company for short term stockholder profit. The course they have been on simply needs some adjustment but the strategy has been sound.  Faster delivery is what is needed, not this sort of BS that is code for dumping lines and laying off staff.  Wait for the eventual stockholder revolt AFTER they make their short term profit and then see one of the best long term investments in the market turn into a bottom feeder stock.  Nothing this guy has ever said has suggested to me anything other than he is going to be a shortsighted profit hound who will chop the company into pieces to make some quick dollars.  Take off the rose colored glasses and pay attention to what his comments usually mean when said by any other CEO. 
  • For all those blathering on about "stop talking and do it," he just told you what he is going to do and you will not like it.
  • I agree.
    A guarantee : Android apps on WP, which basically means the end of WP as a developer platform.
  • Hmmm....I'd be happy if they just fix this Music app. It's the main reason I bought a 1520, and now its completely unusable. 30gb of music on the phone and I can't play any. And to make things I'm on business travel starting this week, with no good way to listen to my music...(besides sp3)...if u are going change something...change the damn music app please..
  • heh, how about trying MixRadio. It works well, plus the PlayMe mode is damn awesome.
  • They should start by dropping the thinking "the world is only the US". They have good products, but I'm getting tired of them only offering them on the US. Bing? US only. Xbox One? US only. Xbox Music? US only. Surface? US only. It's like they don't want to sell their stuff
  • Yes a major overhaul as well as gamble let's c what happens!
  • Seriously, this guy I think is gold for them. I didn't follow MS super close like I am recently when gates or ball we were CEO, but this guy seems to be hitting it out of the park so far. 
  • Yeah, following through on strategies set in motion by Ballmer.
  • Yeah, because balmer had all sorts of good strategies /S  We really don't know what we're balmers and what are nadellas strategies.   
  • Keep in mind, a CEO can talk the talk but, it does not matter till he walks the walk. Saying you can do something and actually doing it is a totaly different story. He's got good ideas but, he's got a long way to make them happen.
  • what they need is one very nice metalic phone, that is also strong... and promote it in movies and TV ads. and make more editions (like the surface pro 3) so that everyone can find a version for him. why not have the lumia phones in plastic and surface phones in metal... people want nice phones nowdays... not saying that lumias are not nice, but most of them are very alike. if you don't like the concept of one variant you won't buy any lumia product probably...
  • Keep more exclusives on Windows Phone, Push Xbox live on Windows Phone (#SaveXboxWP), as this will promote Windows Phone and the Xbox brand even more.  Almost drop support for iOS and Android on a lot of apps to keep the big ones exclusive on Windows Phone and a reason why to get a Windows Phone. If I Microsoft would do one other thing, I WISH, they would bring back Windows Media Center and the eHome team. Would love to see what they could do with the Xbox One interface on a Home theater PC with 12+ tuners and Xbox one/360 as network extenders... It would be EPIC, just freaking epic...