Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Microsoft (Yes, Microsoft) Has a Far-Out Vision


Very encouraging article for the future of Microsoft and there are some learnings for everyone.

Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, is focusing on new research as a way to spur growth.
Last June, in the basement of the Microsoft visitor center in Redmond, Wash., Todd Holmdahl, a Microsoft hardware guru, and others nervously walked Satya Nadella, the new chief executive, through a demonstration of a secret project...
..The team leaders thought this augmented reality product (HoloLens) had the potential to be the next big thing in consumer technology, as groundbreaking as the PC and the smartphone... 
...The HoloLens team members were confident in their creation. But they worried that Mr. Nadella, a two-decade Microsoft employee then looking at cost-cutting measures and mass layoffs, would kill it for being too risky and far-out.
Mr. Nadella didn’t flinch.
“He said right away, ‘This is something that we’re going to do,’ ” Mr. Holmdahl said. “We are going to create a new product category, and this is the type of thing that Microsoft should be working on.” 
That response says a lot about the reshaped Microsoft Mr. Nadella envisions — one with fewer internal fiefs and with more willingness to favor big bets on new technologies over protecting legacy cash cows...
...Not long ago, the company had about a half-dozen internal systems for managing the development of software; Mr. Nadella is pushing everyone to use a single one, in the belief that top-notch internal tools will help it create top-notch products (CRITICAL)
...He has rallied them around mantras, like making personal computing more personal through wearables and other devices. To better translate Microsoft’s innovation into products people want to buy, he has directed the company’s research group, the biggest in the technology industry, to work more closely with product engineers. 
And just as important, Mr. Nadella has shown a sense of humility...
... “Their arrogance consumed them,” (MAJOR TRAP FOR BIG, SUCCESFUL COMPANIES) said Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce.com, a longtime critic of Microsoft whose company reached an agreement to cooperate on software integration with Microsoft last year. “Now with Satya, they have a much more open mind about working with people.”

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