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Encouraging teamwork is key

Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella said encouraging teamwork and communication would be key to leading Microsoft and its new restructuring plan.
Nadella recently gave The New York Times his first interview as CEO, where he discussed the influence both Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have had on him over the years, and said that the goal is to make Microsoft one of the few 100-year-old+ companies.
Ballmer was known as an energetic and passionate figure at Microsoft, but Nadella said that he learned the importance of staying grounded from Ballmer.
"I went on to ask him, 'How do I compare to the people who had my role before me?' And Steve said: 'Who cares? The context is so different. The only thing that matters to me is what you do with the cards you’ve been dealt now. I want you to stay focused on that, versus trying to do this comparative benchmark,'" said Nadella. "The lesson was that you have to stay grounded, and to be brutally honest with yourself on where you stand."
From Gates, who will be devoting more time to Microsoft to work closely with Nadella, the new CEO said he learned to stand his ground thanks to pressure testing from Gates. 
He’ll argue with you vigorously for a couple of minutes, and then he’ll be the first person to say, Oh, you’re right,'" said Nadella. "Both Bill and Steve share this. They pressure-test you. They test your conviction."
While part of the big news of Nadella's new CEO position was that Gates was going to spend more time at the company, Nadella said the two of them working together is nothing new. He added that Gates would be spending more time on campus and helping to get the team motivated to create new and exciting products. 

While Gates and Ballmer will continue to be big names in Microsoft history, Nadella is looking to create a name for himself with his own leadership techniques. After sharing that participating in a cricket team as a youngster has helped shape his ideas of leadership today, Nadella said that pumping up his team and encouraging individuals to effectively communicate ideas will be his main priority. 
"The thing I’m most focused on today is, how am I maximizing the effectiveness of the leadership team, and what am I doing to nurture it?" said Nadella. "A lot of people on the team were my peers, and I worked for some of them in the past. The framing for me is all about getting people to commit and engage in an authentic way, and for us to feel that energy as a team.
"I’m not evaluating them on what they say individually. None of them would be on this team if they didn’t have some fantastic attributes. I’m only evaluating us collectively as a team. Are we able to authentically communicate, and are we able to build on each person’s capabilities to the benefit of our organization?"
Nadella added that the restructuring process and unification of Xbox, PC and Windows Phone would heavily depend on the effectiveness of the team, and the ability to identify a successful product from a dud. 
"One of the things that I’m fascinated about generally is the rise and fall of everything, from civilizations to families to companies," said Nadella. "We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings. There are very few examples of even 100-year old companies. For us to be a 100-year old company where people find deep meaning at work, that’s the quest."
Nadella, who was born in 1967 in India, studied Electrical Engineering at the Mangalore University before moving to the U.S. to study computer science at the University of Wisconsin. From there he worked at Sun Microsystems before finally making his way to Microsoft to work on research for the company's online services division. He's been with Microsoft for over 20 years now and has held several roles, such as the business division on Office, helping to build the Bing search engine, leading the Server and Tools business, and transforming Microsoft’s cloud business.
He was named Microsoft CEO earlier this month after Ballmer announced his retirement in August 2013. 

Source: The New York Times

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100 years...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/21/2014 11:16:19 AM , Rating: 5
Think they will have their operating system finished by then?

RE: 100 years...
By purerice on 2/21/2014 11:18:27 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to say they already act like a hundred year old person, but that would be insulting to my 103 year old neighbor.

RE: 100 years...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/21/2014 11:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
Might eventually give them a shot at second-millenium edition. Or will they call that millenium-edition one?

RE: 100 years...
By inighthawki on 2/21/2014 9:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
You realize a millennium is 1000 years, right? 100 years is a century.

RE: 100 years...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/22/2014 10:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Thus, the 'eventually'.

RE: 100 years...
By Souka on 2/22/2014 8:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
Their browser is already 100 years old....

RE: 100 years...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 2/22/2014 10:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
I was commenting on the fact that Microsoft seems to believe their current-generation gaming console is something of a 'prequel'. Or, they might be numerically challenged.

RE: 100 years...
By someguy743 on 2/21/2014 11:58:01 AM , Rating: 1
If Nadella can make "Windows 9" a well thought out masterpiece that nearly everyone likes and he can help Microsoft catch up to Google and Apple in tablets and smartphones that will certainly help them become a 100+ year company. I guess they'd be working on "Windows 65" by 2075.

Maybe Microsoft should consider moving the headquarters from Redmond, Washington down to the San Francisco area. There's a heck of a lot of brainpower and creative people there who like the Silicon Valley lifestyle, the weather, and all the other things to do in Cali when they aren't working like crazy.

RE: 100 years...
By CaedenV on 2/21/2014 2:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
While Windows is important, I think that it's success or failure will have little bearing on their ability to last another 100 years.

Patent leasing, and corporate deals are what will keep MS going in the future. Windows, Office, xbox, and WP are just there to keep a public face, and partly as a throwback to what made MS who they are today. I am sure that these products will continue to be important... just not make-or-break important. This is how MS managed a record year in spite of launching a new console (which is very expensive indeed), having a lack-luster OS, and completely tanking a tablet product line.

RE: 100 years...
By ClownPuncher on 2/21/2014 3:32:51 PM , Rating: 5
Move to California? Yea, so they can start paying huge corporate tax and have to deal with the mindless idiots from areas like UC Berkley. No, your state sucks and your parents think you're fat.

RE: 100 years...
By wordsworm on 2/21/2014 11:24:49 PM , Rating: 1
Windows 8 was their best operating system to date. So, I don't see how making a great OS automatically makes it a best seller.

RE: 100 years...
By retrospooty on 2/22/2014 9:07:51 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... Good one.

RE: 100 years...
By fteoath64 on 2/22/2014 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 1
MS people needed focus and direction and is looking to him to provide that!. So for Windows 9, if MS can start a second team to look into Windows on Linux (yes, based on Linux kernel, just like Android) but put a Windows framework apps layer on top, then they might have a very compelling new Windows version. Forget compatibility of legacy, just all new apps of old ones re-compiled and tested. Hopefully with HSA support to handle the new AMD chips that could really do parallel heterogeneous computing!. Tat would be strong progress. Can be done in 1.5 years with the resources they have.

RE: 100 years...
By coburn_c on 2/23/2014 1:06:20 AM , Rating: 2
Hah, the NT kernel is far superior to linux and has a thousand times the hardware compatibility. I don't know what gave you the impression linux is better, but it's just flat wrong. Linux is open, that's its claim to fame, making it closed by adding on DRM and proprietary code will make it a bloated, pointless mess.

RE: 100 years...
By Gondor on 2/24/2014 2:42:35 AM , Rating: 1
... thousand times the hardware compatibility

Yes, that must be why it runs only on three architectures nowadays.

wrong birth year
By Gungel on 2/21/2014 11:24:55 AM , Rating: 3
Nadella was not born in 1969, he was born in 1967.

RE: wrong birth year
By amanojaku on 2/21/14, Rating: 0
Its not all software fault
By KOOLTIME on 2/21/2014 2:20:13 PM , Rating: 2

Thats due to collaboration grid lock. How many pieces of hardware and software from how many companies are in a single
workstation - thousands of companies.

Getting all those companies to play ball under a single format, just so someone can get a PC at home to surf the internet, when its thousands of companies responsible to get all those parts delivered to a persons door step.

Its humanly impossible to QA 100% perfection on such devices, when you have thousands of companies involved in its make up.

Get rid of BOB 2.0!
By jnemesh on 2/21/2014 11:59:17 AM , Rating: 1
They need to get rid of "metro" and focus on what their customers actually want. Obviously they haven't learned ANYTHING from their failure with "Windows Bob", the last time they tried to engage "casual" users. No, they try it again, and FAIL again, with "Metro", yet refuse to back down, even when sales numbers make it obvious to everyone (except the people who make the decisions) that no one wants it! If they keep acting deaf to their customers, if they insist on a "Windows everywhere" plan for the future, they are DONE.

By Shadowmaster625 on 2/21/14, Rating: -1
RE: ekk
By NellyFromMA on 2/21/2014 1:05:30 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, their software is so awful that they contributed to revolutionizing essentially every industry possible and birthed several new ones in the passed 2 decades at least.

It's so terrible that without Microsoft's terrible software, our lives would literally be NOTHING like they are today thanks to their terrible contributions.

It's especially terrible how they gave Google any relevance as a company by being the by-far primary client used to do web searches before and after Google's rise.

Yeah, how truly terrible -_-


RE: ekk
By ven1ger on 2/21/14, Rating: 0
RE: ekk
By amanojaku on 2/21/2014 3:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Or it could be said that because of MS it became an obstacle to progress and Google was able to succeed in spite of MS.
This argument is tired. There are MANY alternatives to the products and services MS offers. Few have gained traction because the majority just aren't that good. That doesn't means everything MS makes is good; I'll pull a number out of my ass and say 70% of what MS makes is either crap or just OK. It's just that the alternatives aren't compelling, either.
I agree that MS has come a long way in creating better software but other companies prospered in spite of MS, while others went under because of MS and its interference.
The first part of this statement is true, the second part needs some qualification. Which companies? My biggest complaint was that MS had a habit of buying companies and killing off their software. Blame the business owners for selling when they didn't have to.
There were better operating systems long before MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 and several Windows iterations after that.
Truth, and there are better operating systems today, depending on the use case. However, many great products fail for various reasons. I was a longtime champion of UNIX, and thought UNIX would eventually dominate the world. Now, I won't touch a UNIX release other than AIX. All the other companies have gone out of business for the same reason that I generally wouldn't recommend AIX over Windows: high prices for hardware and software. UNIX companies priced themselves out of existence. MacOS was never an alternative to Windows in the server space, and Apple's desktops were too expensive, as well. You could get a PC for half the cost of a Mac, and it ran the same software. Apple finally got the message and started lowering its desktop prices after OS X was released. Linux? It's still not an OS that granny can use. "You can't install the software? Did you check the dependencies? Did you try compiling from source?"
Netscape was a better browser than IE
Yes, it was, but it wasn't included in the OS. The average person didn't have the patience to ftp to Netscape, navigate the directory structure, and download the latest Navigator release for his/her system. If Netscape wanted to stay relevant, it should have negotiated with MS to include Navigator on the Windows CDs. Netscape also stopped improving Navigator, and IE eventually became the better of the two. We started calling it Nutscrape, because that's what it felt like to use the last versions. This is what led me to use Opera for a while, since I hated IE.

Even Jean-Louis Gassée recognized the need to bundle a browser with the OS.
or many Word Perfect was better than Word.
For a while. I don't remember when, but Word just blew Word Perfect out of the water, and nothing has touched it since. And I was using Word Perfect on DOS 5.x.
But we now have MS to thank for being anti-competitive and removed competition that had good products but could not survive the juggernaut that MS was becoming.
Proof? There are many people who look back at the antitrust cases and wonder if the rulings would make any sense today.
Apple may have gain dominance because at the time they did have a better operating system back then and extremely good software.
I can't remember a time when the MacOS was better than Windows, or even good. I saw so many bombs (the MacOS version of a BSOD) that I could have started an air force! Even current versions of OS X are crap. A $600 Mac Mini with two GiBs of RAM barely even runs a web browser properly, with significant performance problems. A $400 Windows machine with 2GiB of RAM doesn't have that problem, whether it's running XP, Vista, 7 or 8.

As to the software, Apple became popular because of its initially exclusive software, namely Visicalc, WordStar and dBase, which were produced by 3rd parties. When Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, and SQL came out, they destroyed Visicalc, WordStar, and dBase. And Apple sales.

RE: ekk
By drycrust3 on 2/21/2014 3:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't means everything MS makes is good; I'll pull a number out of my ass and say 70% of what MS makes is either crap or just OK.

When I first started using a PC at work, I tried out all the different types of word processors, graphics packages, spreadsheets, etc on the file server. The one thing that stood out time and time again, was that Microsoft products did pretty much exactly what they were designed to do. If they weren't expected to do something, then they probably didn't do it. If something wasn't on the menu, or if something wasn't mentioned in the Help section, then it was 99% certain that that product didn't do it. However, if it was on the menu and it was in the Help section, then that feature would work, and it would work well.
the second part needs some qualification. Which companies?

Microsoft has a long history of aggressive treatment towards competitors. Whether that is right or wrong isn't the point, that is the way Microsoft decided to be. One day there will be no more Microsoft, and then how history judges Microsoft will be up to those who write their history.

RE: ekk
By w8gaming on 2/22/2014 2:36:32 AM , Rating: 3
Apple failed to compete with IBM and Microsoft in the 80s has nothing to do with MS being anti-competitive. Apple had failed to compete with the various PC vendors with their lower prices and choices of configurations. Sounds familiar?

RE: ekk
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2014 7:19:52 PM , Rating: 1
Google only thrived because Microsoft was way late with Bing. Had Microsoft known how to make a viable search engine and entrench themselves, they would have probably bullied bribed and crushed Google out of the market like they have every other competitor. Bing would have been the default Windows IE search, virtually guaranteeing a monopoly.

If you look at the market today, the only competition Microsoft has is in areas where they just flat out dropped the ball (mobile, web search, devices).

I agree that Microsoft has done some things that have translated into a positive, but to portray their behavior as something a bit too much to swallow.

RE: ekk
By atechfan on 2/22/2014 6:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
Bully? Google is king when it comes to bullying. They take what they want and use the threat of delisting from searches as a hammer to crush complaints about the theft.

RE: ekk
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2014 6:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah cause Google was the company nailed in Federal court because of anti-trust violations and almost broken in half. Due to using their market position to harm competition and a score of other shady sh*t.

Oh wait, my bad, THAT WAS MICROSOFT!

You should read up on Microsoft's rise to power and get some perspective. Don't worry about checking their closet for skeletons, that ran out of room long ago, they're stored in a warehouse now.

RE: ekk
By atechfan on 2/23/2014 6:38:07 AM , Rating: 2
I was around during the rise of MS to power and the anti-trust accusations. So I think I know a little more about it than someone getting info from Wikipedia, or whatever.

Some of this history lesson will seem por-MS and some anti-MS. I know that surprises you, but it is possible to have a balanced view.

The ONLY reason that MS even had a chance to become big was that IBM picked them. IBM had no real interest in the new home computer market. Their bread an butter was big iron, and they thought the personal computer would never amount to anything. But someone within the company convinced the brass to give it a try. But they didn't want to put any effort into it, so, unlike their mainframe and mini-computer businesses, they didn't develop their own OS and processors, but instead outsourced it.

Bill Gates managed to sell IBM on an operating system that they didn't even have yet, then went out and bought one. Anyone who has seen "Pirates of Silicon Valley" knows that much, I suppose. Both Intel and MS benefitted from IBM's seal of approval. While the IBM PC was inferior in many ways to the competition at the time, it was IBM, and "No one ever lost their job buying IBM."

The PC managed to sell to businesses for the mere fact it was IBM. But IBM made another decision that cemented the place of the PC. They allowed clones, which made the PC and PC compatible rule the business world, and made MS-DOS the de-facto OS.

On the home front, there were many systems more successful than the PC, because they were cheaper. But home PCs were little more than a hobbyist industry at the time, and the numbers were small compared to PCs in business. Ironically, these home systems soon progressed to be more powerful and have better OS's than the PC. AmigaOS was way better than MS-DOS, having true multitasking and better memory management.

The PC started to have a surge in the home market in the early 90s. By then, between prices coming down, and the fact people were getting used to PCs at work, the PC was starting to push Commodore, Tandy, Atari, and the others out of the home market. This started to get what was before considered "business software", like the word processor, used in the home. Sure, there were attempts to make them on Commodore 64s, and the like, but they didn't have the needed usability to make them popular.

Ok, step back over to the PC world. Wordperfect was the clear winner at the time for word processing on DOS. MS was just getting started at the time with Word, and it kinda sucked at the time. Windows was in its' infancy then as well, with 3.1 being the first that saw any real use, and even then, it was just something that launched on top of DOS.

WordPerfect's case against MS was that when Windows 95 was launched, Word had access to hidden API calls that Wordperfect did not. This was true, and MS was ordered to publish those API calls. It should have stopped there, but Wordperfect, by then, had stopped improving, while Word was passing it easily. Especially after Corel bought them.

Wordperfect started complaining that an unfair monopoly in OS was the reason. But at the time, the business world was still ruled by DOS, not Windows, so any unfair advantage that the Windows API calls gave Word didn't matter. Businesses thought that Win 95 was not stable enough and was just a toy for home users. Plus, it was hardly a monopoly. IBM was using OS/2 by then, which was superior to Windows 95 in most ways, and was gaining traction in enterprise.

IBM tried to make a consumer version of OS/2 with Warp, but MS trounced them on marketing. The Start Me Up ad campaign was hugely successful and cemented Windows 95 as the home OS of choice. In the mean time, MS was quickly improving NT for enterprise. NT grew out of a failed collaboration with IBM. For one reason or another, they went separate ways, with IBM going with OS/2 and MS going with NT, but they both grew out of the same project.

NT was a far superior kernel to the 95/98 line, which were basically hacked on to DOS, with many of the limitations of DOS still present. NT started to pick up a lot of enterprise use. During this transition, Wordperfect floundered. They like to place the blame on MS, but they really just stopped improving.

The other anti-trust cases were even weaker. At least with the Wordperfect case, MS did do what they were accused doing. Just calling Windows a monopoly at the time is questionable. This was also the era where many professional uses of PCs were dominated by Digital, Sun, or SGI as well. MS had plenty of competition at the time.

Step forward to the browser and media player wars. MS faced multi-million dollar fines for the "crime" of including a browser and media player with their OS. By this time, people expected their computers to access the internet and play videos and music. It was unreasonable to expect MS to ship an OS that had no browser or media player. The average person was not going to FTP Netscape or Opera. The fines for just giving users what they wanted were ludicrous.

Now to address your accusation that MS used bribes. I sure that if they were bribing people, neither the threat of breakup, nor the enormous fines, would have happened. MS gets accused of being anti-competitive in both US and EU, and gets severe penalties. Google gets accused of being anti-competitive in both US and EU, and they get told "Promise not to do it again". Who sound more likely to have bribed their way out?

RE: ekk
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/14, Rating: 0
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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