After much speculation in the last few months, it appears that Microsoft (MSFT) has settled on a leader to replace CEO Steven Ballmer after his 13 years of the helm. The company has decided to promote from within and will name Satya Nadella as its new CEO sometime next week according to several sources. Mr. Nadella is currently the company’s server/cloud product chief. His division accounted for ~65% of the company’s profit in its last quarter.
My guess is that this may signal a backtrack from the new Microsoft “Devices and Services” company.
M$ has been very late to the game in mobile, preferring to concentrate on software and enterprise initiatives involving rapidly obsolescing technology. It’s stayed fat and safe. Not many know that Microsoft was the first major company to push a tablet initiative, but the tech wasn’t quite there and when the first push flopped, they pulled back rather than pressing ahead, leaving the way open for Steve Jobs and the iPad to change the face of computing.
In fact, a lot of Microsoft’s problems have resulted from a failure of courage in their own convictions. The Zune, for instance, ended up being a better system than the iPod, but by the time Microsoft pushed it to that level, Apple had eaten the mobile music world. Now many want M$ to dump the Surface machines, dump Xbox, and concentrate on the two areas where it makes the most profit: Enterprise and Cloud.
Cloud is definitely one of the pillars of near future technology, but I hope that Microsoft doesn’t give up on the hardware (devices). I like their stuff. I like Windows 8.1, whether I’m using it on a desktop, a phone, or a tablet. So I hope they don’t merely throw their hands up and walk away.
IBM still makes a lot of money. But nobody cares, not really, except for the widows/orphans funds investing in them.