Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years.
So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond around his vision of Microsoft's "mission, worldview, strategy, and culture." The leaked memo was first published by Geekwire and Microsoft has since confirmed to The Register that the text is genuine.
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"Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," Nadella wrote. "I'm proud to share that this is our new official mission statement."
Nadella's comments come as Microsoft approaches its 2016 fiscal year, which begins on July 1. It will be a year in which Wall Street's eyes will be on Redmond like never before.
In the next 12 months, the software giant is expected to not only release Windows 10 for desktop and mobile but also revamp its Office productivity suite, even as it increasingly tries to move its customers to the cloud and subscription pricing models, as Nadella acknowledged in Thursday's memo:
Today, we live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, and the transformation we are driving across our businesses is designed to enable Microsoft and our customers to thrive in this world. It's important to note that our worldview for mobile-first is not just about the mobility of devices; it's centered on the mobility of experiences that, in turn, are orchestrated by the cloud.
So all-in, then. But how does Nadella plan for Microsoft to achieve this ambitious vision? Unfortunately, here we get into a bit of the classic Nadella mumbo-jumbo that will have a familiar ring to anyone who remembers the book-length memo that Redmond's chief exec released shortly after taking the corner office:
First, we will reinvent productivity services for digital work that span all devices. We will also extend our experience footprint by building more business process experiences, integrated into content authoring and consumption, communication and collaboration tools. We will drive scale and usage by appealing to "dual-use" customers, providing productivity services that enable them to accomplish more at work and in the rest of their life activities with other people.
Right, so from here on out we'll spare you the verbiage and give you the highlights.
So, about these "experiences" Nadella talks about. They will all be backed by the cloud, in one way or another. They will also be extensible in ways designed to attract developers to Microsoft's cloud.
To keep them there, Nadella wants to give them access to Microsoft's big technology bets – the stuff like machine learning and rich data management that other companies might not have.
The "best instantiation" of Microsoft's vision will be visible in Windows PCs, slabs, and phones, Nadella says – in other words, you'll be able to get Microsoft stuff on your iPhone, but don't expect to get all the coolest stuff.
Microsoft is also going big on gaming, by bringing together Xbox Live along with Redmond's PC, console, and mobile gaming efforts – and that includes HoloLens.
As for culture, Nadella rattles off all the usual stuff about growth, leadership, recognizing potential, adapting to uncertainty, and being open to new ideas. Moreover, he wants Microsoft to be customer-focused, diverse, and inclusive. And, in a rare nod to his predecessor, he's sticking to Ballmer's notion of "One Microsoft," rather than a bunch of competing divisions.
"We stand in awe of what humans dare to achieve, and we are motivated every day to empower others to achieve more through our technology and innovation," Nadella wrote.
Of course, he couldn't let a memo like this go without recognizing the Big Day: July 29, the Windows 10 ship date. And from the sound of it, folks in and around Microsoft's Redmond HQ can expect some extra-special pestering as that date approaches:
Certainly we want to upgrade as many of our current Windows 7 and 8.1 customers to Windows 10 as possible through our free upgrade offer. More than that, though, we see this as an opportunity to support and celebrate how people and communities upgrade their world every day. To that end, starting on July 29 when Windows 10 becomes available, employees are invited to volunteer some time and upgrade their communities as part of the broader movement. More details will be available in the coming weeks — our hope is that not only our employees, but customers and partners as well, will get involved and be inspired. Together, we can make a big difference in our world.
So remember, when your doorbell rings this July, it might not be the Jehovah's Witnesses. It might be someone who wants to achieve "magical things." Well, close enough. ®