back to article Satya Nadella, Year One: Has Microsoft's new CEO cut the mustard?

One year ago, on February 4, 2013, Microsoft's board of directors appointed Satya Nadella the third chief executive in the company's history. So what do we have to show for it, so far? Nadella's predecessor, Steve Ballmer, wasted no time in taking his hands off the wheel in Redmond, even going as far as to resign his seat on …

  1. dogged

    One quibble

    On "Open Source .NET" you wrote -

    > Chalk this one up to long-term strategizing from Microsoft's developer tools team.

    which was a part of the Server and Tools division which in Ballmer's day was headed by, er, Satya Nadella....

    Whether it was his idea we can't know and I find unlikely - the more likely suspect on this one is Scott Guthrie. But it would have been Nadella's call, just as it was Nadella's call on becoming CEO to, er, immediately promote Scott Guthrie.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Dumb article

    What's the point of reviewing the bloke's first year, then complain that he hasn't been around long enough to influence anything that happened in the year?

    1. John Sanders

      Re: Dumb article

      PR, like most MS articles/moves lately.

      The difference between Ballmer and Nadella is quite clear to me:

      This is Nadella:

      And this is Ballmer:

      The differences are remarkable, how much they do not look alike, one wears glasses and has some kind of "gay modern smile" while the other is white, bald and looks like "Fred Flintstone"

      Yes, MS is going to change so much in the next few years...

      1. dogged

        Re: Dumb article

        > PR, like most MS articles/moves lately.

        Like the way all of Gavin Clarke's articles are PR by Google?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dumb article

          Why is it when there's a discussion about Microsoft, some fandroid has to bring Google up?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb article

      complain that he hasn't been around long enough to influence anything that happened in the year

      The thing is, he has been there long enough to make a difference, he's been in the thick of it for the past 2 decades, so he must have generated some ideas and plans by now.

    3. JamesTQuirk

      Re: Dumb article

      Yeah, silly article, we will find out if he can, "cut the mustard", later when he has to get/take a job a MacDonalds, or maybe it will be MacDoogles by then ....

    4. goldcd

      Re: Dumb article

      I read it as you did - but didn't think it was pointless.

      After only a year, there's not going to be much that's 'his' - but seems to have taken the initiatives that were floating around when he arrived and supported the good ones, and killed the less good ones (I have never seen anybody bemoaning the death of RT).

      Feels like MS is thinking about making a come-back, after decades of frankly 'being boring' - I really don't mind what their long term plan for Mojang is, but it's not boring. The Surface 3 might be losing money - but first thing in a long time I picked up and thought "this is really quite clever, and I see where we're going".

      Feel a bit more like google now, with interesting stuff popping up - which may or may not work out, but at least gives the impression that under the hood something is stirring and stretching.

      Compare to Apple, their traditional enemy, who was always seen as the 'hip' and 'dynamic' one - new screen size, adding NFC finally and a smart watch that may eventually appear after everybody elses (including MS)

  3. Stuart 22

    Team Time

    Rarely is the top man a lone actor. Most, from football managers to CEOs bring with them a few key staffers they can trust to penetrate down to the bits they will not have time to do. Some would say the mark of a great CEO is not what he/she does but who he/she picks to do it. And to build a team that can outlast the CEO.

    Even iconoclast Steve Jobs did a good job there.

    So there was a nice opportunity to tell us what Satya has done to set MS up for the next decade even though the fruits of his decisions may be years away. MS is a supertanker. Turning it is a delicate operation without wrecking the banker (Office) that will finance the change.

    Who is with him on the bridge examining at the charts rather than just spinning the wheel for effect?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team Time

      "Even iconoclast Steve Jobs did a good job there."

      No he didn't. He kept the team together. As soon as Cook took over the team disintegrated, didn't it?

  4. Candy

    Hololens: Longer than a year to develop.

    Microsoft have said publicly this device is the result of a development strand that has been in progress for around five years. It grew as an offshoot of the original Kinect pitch which kicked off as a project around seven years ago.

  5. ColonelClaw

    " 5 Feb 2015 at 11:26, Neil McAllister

    One year ago, on February 4, 2013"

    Er, did 2014 not actually take place?

    1. Russell Hancock

      One can only hope.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let the horse have its head

    "So you'd think Nadella would have full reign to make as many changes as he wanted."

    Pun? - or over-reliance on a spell-checker?

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Let the horse have its head

      'full rein' (nicely caught, BTW) is still not right. It is 'free rein' or 'tight rein' or 'loose rein' or other ways of allowing or disallowing comtrol to the horse. But because we are no longer a horsey culture, 'rein' is being slowly but inexorably forgotten. We Punctilious Pedants mourn...

    2. TheRealRoland

      Re: Let the horse have its head

      But... but... Full Reign as in 'total control over the Kingdom' ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let the horse have its head

        "Full Reign as in 'total control over the Kingdom' ?"

        Hence the question as to whether it was an intentional El Reg pun.

  7. Craig Cruden

    History rewrite....

    I have seen a slew of stories about Satya's first year as helm at Microsoft, giving kudo's to Steve Balmer and saying Satya had nothing to do with that. It just feels to me that there is a coordinated (possibly funded) campaign to rewrite the history of Steve Balmer's Microsoft. Steve managed to run Microsoft up on a reef, hull the boat, force good sailers into the boat while keeping the ones that navigated them onto that reef.... over how many years??? and the first year that things seem to have turned after more than a decade of malaise is all his doing and not Satya's? It just does not feel right.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Releasing new versions of old products. Releasing more rather pointless hardware. Actioning Ballmer's decisions. Buying companies.

    Lots of innovation there then. Sounds just like Apple under Tim Cook.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally speaking,

    i think he should have stuck to presenting the Gadget Show on channel 5.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Fucking stupid ads

    I was enjoying the article, until I got to page 2 where some of the text is covered by an ad for some piece of fuckwittery called Intel cloud finder.

    Was the ad moveable or closeable? Of course not. Even worse, it had a little 'x' control - the universal symbol for close - that didn't close the ad, but allowed me to give feedback, including (oh the irony), 'ad covers the text'. Bloody hell. Why not both irritate me and patronise me all at the same time. Who creates this shit?

    Well I will never ever buy, rent, lease or evaluate anything to do with finding bloody clouds. I bloody hate adverts. Every last one is parasitic shit.

    Seriously El Reg, apply for a lottery grant, put up a paywall, get some hedge fund gimp boy to invest in you, but ditch the bloody ads. Please.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucking stupid ads

      You need to stop using IE, pal.

      It's ok, we wont tell.

      1. Angol

        Re: Fucking stupid ads

        I've had just the same thing in Firefox so it's not an IE problem. Please though, Reg, get it fixed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fucking stupid ads

        iPad - no ad blocker.

  11. Anonymous Bullard

    So what has he done??

    Yes, I've read the article - but what has he done? All I can see listed is either the inevitable, things that Ballmer's set up, and low hanging fruit.

    And more importantly, what is their plan for the next 5-10 years? All I can see is false starts, false promises, and acceptance of defeat where they where once strong.

  12. Gray
    Thumb Up


    Windows 10 Office for my wristwatch. Oh, the joy ...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >> Year One: Has Microsoft's new CEO cut the mustard?

    Not as much as he cut the cheese.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      He's more of a chocolate spread guy

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know if you meant it literally but

    while I walked past him in the hallway at work he farted and it burned my eyes so baaaaaaaad!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You forgot my #1

    His fantastic, paternalistic comments on how women shouldn't ask for pay rises are my highlight of his year.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Jobs

    By now Jobs would have made an insightful speech about what direction the company needs to go in and why and how, and would have also probably introduced some great new products to boot.

    The only thing I can remember about Satya is something about how women shouldn't ask for raises.

    Probably you could just take anybody off the street and he'd be just as effective and memorable as a CEO.

  17. A N Other

    Nadella still won't reply to the open letter calling for the VB6 programming language to be updated or open sourced. Obviously he is too busy renaming Windows 9 to Windows 10.

    1. dogged

      PR probably nixed the "learn to write actual code, you sad shits" response.

      VB6? "Programming language"? Barely. You could do some useful things in spite of it but not because of it.

      If VB6 is the height of your ability, you should quit right now and go paint lines on the road.

  18. cloudberry

    Microsoft did not "acquire Nokia"

    The article says: "While the bulk of those jobs were reportedly positions made redundant when Microsoft acquired Nokia..."

    Microsoft did not "acquire Nokia". It bought the mobile phone division of Nokia from the company, which still exists, and remains a major telecommunications infrastructure equipment manufacturer.

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