(Related: Microsoft open-sources ASP.NET on GitHub)
In terms of developers in general though, Microsoft’s outlook is still in need of a shift. Mendlen believes the focus should be on what developers can do for Microsoft’s platforms, rather than how much money they can make it.
“One area that is still not quite right is the developer business,” he said. “The current focus is on monetizing enterprise developers versus enabling Microsoft’s platform success. That’s one thing I’d expect Satya to look at. That is a core problem that needs fixing ASAP. The developer business is over US$1 billion annually. My sense is that revenue shouldn’t be a driver for that business.”
On the subject of Windows, we simply haven’t seen enough yet to give Nadella a real grade. What Windows 9 looks like and how it’s received will serve as the true barometer of whether he can right the desktop ship after the unmitigated disaster that was Windows 8 and 8.1. At the moment, all we have to go on is his official word confirming the longstanding rumors that Windows 9 will unify all versions under a single operating system, and a 3% Windows revenue increase in Q4.
(Related: Can Microsoft rescue Windows?)
Overall, Nadella’s first six months get a solid B+ in our book. Much has changed under his leadership, but much remains the same. Forrester’s Schadler is optimistic, but believed more must be done before the ship is truly righted. Echoing a similar point, Gartner’s Adrian has observed a shift in the message Microsoft is sending to customers and developers, a message the company now needs to deliver on.
“The early signs are hopeful that he is turning the Microsoft juggernaut in the right direction, but still a tremendous amount of employee, product, and partner development to accomplish,” Schadler said.
“Microsoft is once again talking not just about what they want to sell us, but why,” said Adrian. ” It’s a return to an “information technology will change your life” story. It has. Now what? Microsoft believes it can shape the answer , and that is a step up they will seek to make good on in the year ahead.”