Tuesday was a big day for Microsoft and an even bigger day for the cloud and mobile computing, now touted as the new core focus for newly appointed Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer. Nadella who has been with Microsoft for 22 years is no stranger to the cloud. He has transitioned from the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.

So what does this mean for Microsoft? How will this change things in their organization?

Microsoft’s new focus for the future

The word “innovation” is heavily featured across several of Microsoft’s new YouTube videos, surrounding Microsoft’s announcement of Nadella taking over as CEO. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and Nadella all echoed the same sentiment of leaving traditions behind and moving forward with more innovation. In Microsoft’s YouTube video of Satya Nadella addressing employees, he explains that what Microsoft “respects is innovation on a go-forward basis.”

What does that mean exactly? Plenty of companies are always looking to innovate, to make good products and services better. For Microsoft, in particular, it appears to mean focusing on mobile computing and the cloud.

Mobility & the cloud

Bill Gates spoke about the “challenge in mobile computing” and the “opportunity in the cloud”. And he was enthusiastic about moving in this direction, as he should be. It’s where the IT in enterprise companies and government agencies has already gone.

In the YouTube video of Satya Nadella addressing Microsoft employees, Nadella goes on to tee up the core challenge, saying, “we now need to make Microsoft thrive in a mobile-first and a cloud-first world”. In Nadella’s first interview as CEO, he goes on saying, “It’s a mobile-first, cloud-first world.” Is this the CEO who gets Microsoft famous for being the mobile and cloud company or is it already too late?

They are by no means blazing a trail in this respect, as the US Government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Cloud First policy three years ago. It mandates that Federal agencies are to take advantage of cloud computing to minimize cost, maximize capacity utilization, and improve the flexibility and responsiveness of IT. This includes adopting collaboration platforms that offer mobility.

Companies like Huddle that were born in this “mobile-first, cloud-first world” built their products from the ground up to be cloud-based and optimized for mobile collaboration. Microsoft’s flagship product, SharePoint, has only recently moved into the cloud and is still plagued by the lack of robust mobile features. Can Satya Nadella make the difference?  We wish him the best of luck.

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