Microsoft needs a focus on faster product releasesEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Things, they be a'changin'. On the Microsoft campus, things are finally coming to a head, with an announcement today revealing who will take the mantle of CEO from Steve Ballmer. The man that'll take the Microsoft wheel is Satya Nadella, a Microsoft employee for the last 22 years. Most recently, he was heading up Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise team as their Executive Vice President. So, Microsoft promotes from within -- but that's not that big of a shock, right?
What's this mean for the company as a whole? Is everything going to change? Will the company that's put so much behind Windows Phone finally skyrocket to the top, win the mobile race, and surprise everyone right out of their socks? Or is it all going to go downhill from here on out, and this marks the start of Microsoft's doom? (DOOM.)
It's too early to say. Yes, there are people out there who think the big MS should have hired from outside, and brought someone in that's not completely soaked in Microsoft culture. To really shake things up, basically. The truth is, hiring someone from outside Microsoft wouldn't have necessarily shaken things up in the right ways. And promoting someone who's been with the company for so long doesn't immediately equate a bad situation.
We can just look at Nadella's memo to Microsoft, which makes so many good points in such a brief way, that I can't help but get excited for what's next.
I've already told you that I think 2014 is going to be a big year for Microsoft and Windows Phone, with the Nokia acquisition under way and with Windows Phone 8.1 right around the corner. And while a memo isn't anything we should really get to hung up on, simply because it's so early in the transition, I can't help but take note of a couple of things.
First, a realization that the industry has a bigger focus on innovation, rather than tradition. From Nadella:
"Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation."
I can't even tell you how bold of a statement this is, and why it's one of the best signs that some great things are going to come from Nadella's future leadership. But, it's not just that. Nadella also plans to focus on releasing these innovative products more quickly. Bringing these new things, these new ideas, to the consumer faster than we've seen Microsoft do so in the past.
We might not see any of this happen this year, but if this is something that Nadella can make happen, I believe one of the biggest complaints against Microsoft will be alleviated. There's no secret that Microsoft takes its time, but in doing so leaves the possibility of being left behind for quite a bit of time against its competitors -- especially in the mobile space. Both Apple and Google repeatedly release software updates for their devices far faster than Microsoft.
The slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality has been a Microsoft stalwart for a very, very long time. I'm not sure that it can be broken, completely, overnight. It will all depend on the impact Nadella can make on the company as a whole. Ultimately, we're just going to have to be a little more patient and see what the results are.
What do you make of the naming of Microsoft's new CEO? Do you think it's going to have any impact on the company moving forward, whether it be good or bad? Or will Microsoft continue to keep its current pace? Let me know what you think.