I don’t believe I’ve met Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO. But I do know Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and John Thompson (the chairman of the board). I like the new management team.
I’ve been disinterested in anything Microsoft does for almost a decade. Why? My clients—customer-centric, tech-savvy executives in both large and small companies—stopped caring about Microsoft. They used to care a lot. Now, what Microsoft does is largely irrelevant to their business and personal lives. Many of my clients still use PCs. But most have non-Windows phones, and they typically have non-MS tablets. They still use MS Office apps. But they don’t care what Microsoft does.
The “post-PC” strategy that Nadella has telegraphed finally piqued my interest. Of course Microsoft is going to focus on mobile phones and on the Cloud. What else would they do? The big danger I see ahead is for Microsoft to chart a predictable course. If they focus on evangelizing Windows Phones and Microsoft Azure, they’re toast! Nobody will care about Microsoft’s phone OS or about Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing alternative to Amazon AWS, IBM’s cloud, HP’s cloud, or Google Compute cloud.