What Satya Nadella's Mission Statement Says About Microsoft's Future

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-06-30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - What Satya Nadella's Mission Statement Says About Microsoft's Future
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    What Satya Nadella's Mission Statement Says About Microsoft's Future

    by Don Reisinger
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    2 - Digesting the New Mission Statement
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    Digesting the New Mission Statement

    Satya Nadella presented a new mission statement for his company "to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." This suggests that Microsoft will continue to pursue its traditional role of providing productivity tools to its customers around the world while it focuses on a few important business sectors with the most potential for growth—with the most important sectors being mobile and cloud.
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    3 - Emerging Markets Are Crucial to Microsoft's Future Success
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    Emerging Markets Are Crucial to Microsoft's Future Success

    Nadella said he wants Microsoft to be a major player in emerging markets. The company must "care about taking things global" and touch "all corners of the planet." Throughout his statement, Nadella drove the point home that Microsoft cannot only be a company that succeeds in developed countries, but must also find a way to be successful in emerging parts of the world.
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    4 - It's Still All About Mobile and the Cloud
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    It's Still All About Mobile and the Cloud

    One thing that Nadella has not shifted his focus on is his desire to be a company focused on mobile and the cloud. He said again that Microsoft must be a mobile-first, cloud-first company, and he has made several moves in that regard to reflect that. Look for Microsoft to continue to focus on mobile and the cloud in the coming years as Nadella prepares his troops for battle in those two exceedingly important battlegrounds.
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    5 - Are More Layoffs or Executive Shakeups Coming?
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    Are More Layoffs or Executive Shakeups Coming?

    Nadella seemed to hint in his email that more changes could be coming to Microsoft. Toward the end of his letter to the troops, he said the company must "make some tough choices in areas where things are not working." He added that the "behaviors" of the people within the company would inform its culture. They were interesting comments that seem to suggest that some corporate reorganization is possible and inevitably more people will leave the company.
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    6 - The Enterprise Is the First Concern
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    The Enterprise Is the First Concern

    The enterprise remains Nadella's first concern. He wrote that Microsoft must "reinvent productivity and business processes" as its first order of business. He added that it must provide solutions that help make the jobs of the IT staff "better." He goes on to talk about consumers, but Nadella seems more focused than ever on the enterprise.
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    7 - BYOD Is Part of His Plan
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    BYOD Is Part of His Plan

    One way Nadella will try to focus Microsoft on both the enterprise and consumers is by taking advantage of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. He noted that his company will "drive scale and usage [of its products] by appealing to 'dual-use' customers." He went on to say that he wants to help people do more when they're at work and "in the rest of their life activities with other people." In other words, Microsoft wants to be the company of choice both at home and at work.
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    8 - Azure, Office 365 Are Linchpins of Microsoft's Cloud Strategy
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    Azure, Office 365 Are Linchpins of Microsoft's Cloud Strategy

    As noted, Nadella believes that the cloud will play an important role in his company's future. More specifically, he believes that Azure, the cloud-computing platform he's focused on building out, as well as Office 365, are critical to that effort. As times goes on, it appears increasingly likely that Azure and Office 365 will ultimately determine Microsoft's ability to make good on its cloud aspirations.
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    9 - Windows Remains an Important Part of Microsoft Product Lineup
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    Windows Remains an Important Part of Microsoft Product Lineup

    It's significant that Nadella didn't mention Windows until several paragraphs into his message to employees. He acknowledged the importance of Windows 10, but he stopped short of giving Windows as much weight as the cloud and mobile, which shows where the company is moving in the years ahead.
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    10 - Nadella Ends the Speculation: He Loves Xbox
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    Nadella Ends the Speculation: He Loves Xbox

    There has been near-constant speculation that Microsoft could end up selling the Xbox division. In his email to employees, Nadella again said that Xbox is important and added that he plans to bring together the company's Xbox Live online-gaming platform with its Xbox One console, wearable HoloLens and PCs.
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    11 - Nadella Wants Microsoft to Show Its Softer Side
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    Nadella Wants Microsoft to Show Its Softer Side

    Nadella's message seemed to try to project an image—the image of a company that is more open and engaged with computer users and customers than ever. Perhaps, more importantly, Nadella seemed to show a desire to just be a better company; he said his focus was to be "diverse and inclusive." It's a smart move that could pay off as companies, such as Google and Facebook, are being more closely scrutinized by the courts and regulators at home and abroad.
 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a state of the union message telling employees that the company's future and prosperity depends on how well they execute the corporate mission as he has defined it. That mission requires Microsoft to maintain a laser focus on being "mobile-first, cloud-first." Nadella's email to employees, which was not meant to go public but was inevitably leaked to the press, was as much about what Microsoft needs to become as it was about what it has left behind. The statement was a sign of the changing times in Redmond, Wash., and the company can't afford to become complacent at any level. In part, Nadella was serving notice that Microsoft needs to keep evolving and that more changes in the management structure, besides the shakeup announced June 17, are likely. Microsoft, he said in his message will need to "make some tough choices in areas where things are not working and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value." Here, eWEEK takes a close look at Nadella's email to highlight major takeaways and perhaps, most importantly, the spirit with which it was written.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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