“What I see from Satya is a collection of measured decisions,” said Mendlen. “One of his first decisions, enabling Office on iOS, is a logical decision that seems to have set the tone for this Microsoft era. The new norm from Satya is a thoughtful, measured approach to decision-making that seems to be rippling through the company and changing the culture for the better. I’m seeing a massive shift toward data-centric decision-making, especially in the engineering organizations.”
Forrester VP and principal analyst Ted Schadler saw the Mobile First, Cloud First philosophy in particular as a small step in terms of revenue, but a much larger symbol of where the company is headed.
“Satya Nadella has made major strategic strides in Microsoft’s strategy, operations and culture,” he said. “He has shaken the branches and disrupted the status quo to do it, but the success is in the numbers. Nadella’s focus on software platforms in the cloud and on mobile-first scenarios is a major shift for the software company. Microsoft’s cloud revenue growth is impressive, but still small change compared with the license revenue.”
The one knock on Nadella’s big win with Mobile First, Cloud First and Office for iPad? Some people still don’t know about it. Gartner’s Adrian thinks Microsoft will grow even more aggressive in messaging and advertising to drive its products into consumers’ daily lives.
“Nadella is consistent in his messaging about being the productivity and platform company for the mobile first and cloud first world,” Adrian said. ” Microsoft now needs to drive its vision into everyday familiarity – people need to know what this will mean to them. That will take aggressive focused messaging; at the recent worldwide partner conference for 16,000 people who have tied their livelihood to Microsoft, tweets indicated many were surprised to see Office running on iPad – a major development that had been in the market for 4 months already. They were not aware? They should be. We’ll need to see him continue to tell his story – but he can’t do it all himself, so his success in getting his troops trained to deliver it, and upping the ante on messaging via advertising and events, will tell a tale in the months ahead.”
Open source and developers: A-
In the past six months, Microsoft has made its most pronounced and concerted effort ever to contribute open-source projects and release product code. Back at the Build Developer Conference in April, Microsoft announced unified development platforms and Universal Windows Apps along with the open-source Roslyn C# compiler.
The company followed that up in May by completely open-sourcing its ASP.NET platform while releasing the open-source ASP.NET vNext framework at TechEd. For a company once looked upon as the enemy of the open-source software world, under Nadella, Microsoft has never been more open.