This piece does a great job documenting the cultural shift that occurred at Microsoft in the last five years, specifically under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella. What’s interesting here is not that Microsoft didn’t have the core service that are powering the company’s current growth at that time, but it was how they were being channeled. Ben Thompson shows that former CEO Steve Ballmer knew their services were the key to their productivity dominance, but that he couldn’t see them other than a way to push Windows as a platform.
While Microsoft is still transforming as a company, it’s interesting that it many ways they had these same services and tools to spur the change years ago, but needed a cultural shift to enable it.
Ben Thompson comments:
A month after taking over as CEO, Nadella introduced Office for iPad. Quite obviously, given the timing, the work had been done under Ballmer; some reports suggest the initiative in fact started years previously. Ballmer, though, wouldn’t release it until there was a touch version for Windows 8; some wonder if he would have ever released it at all.
It’s all a bit of a moot point; in the end Ballmer’s delay gave Nadella an easy win that symbolized the exact shift in mindset Microsoft needed: non-Windows platforms would be targets for Microsoft services, not competitors for Windows.
Read more at: The End of Windows