Microsoft: Nadella has turned the tables

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella has a lot to celebrate in his second year as CEO.

As Yahoo’s CEO Marisa Mayer is desperately trying to revive Yahoo, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is busy with Microsoft’s comeback. Today marks his second year as CEO and it’s a different picture from Nadella’s first year as CEO when things still looked promising but slightly shaky. Microsoft’s stock and revenue from PC manufacturers was down and he fumbled over some comments about women trusting “karma” for pay rises.

But Nadella bet on its cloud computing business and it’s paying off big time. In its earnings report, its Intelligent Cloud division has grown 5% to $6.3 billion in revenue and Azure revenue has grown 140%. Many are comparing this to its competitor Amazon which reported $2.4 billion in sales for its Amazon Web Services (AWS) division. This might appear on first glance to show that Azure is way ahead but the “Intelligent Cloud” label makes it hard to distinguish how much revenue Azure is generating by itself. Still, it is clear that the growth is promising with plenty more to come.

There’s more to boast. In its blog post, Microsoft says Windows 10 has received an “incredible response” with it now being active on “over 200 million devices”. It has outpaced Windows 7 by nearly 140% and Windows 8 by nearly 400%. Of course, the broader picture remains the same: PC sales are still declining but thanks to Nadella’s impressive cloud strategy, it looks like it doesn’t really matter as Microsoft is no longer dependent on Windows.

Let’s not forget the dire state Microsoft was in when Nadella took the reins. The critics deemed the once mighty software giant as becoming “irrelevant” for its many failings: ill-advised business decisions, falling behind in the smartphone market, and basically missing the boat on every notable development in technology. But Nadella’s vision is working and what a turnaround it’s been for Microsoft.


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