With one year under his belt, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has made strides in changing the focus of the technology giant that some feared was turning into a dinosaur.
Nadella, who took over from Steve Ballmer in February 2014, has been moving to make Microsoft more relevant in the new tech world led by mobile-focused rivals such as Apple and Google.
Microsoft, which can no longer rest on its PC dominance with its Windows operating system, has taken a page from the playbook of the late Steve Jobs at Apple — providing software such as Office for free on rival devices like the iPad and Android-powered tablets. Nadella also managed to surprise and wow people with Microsoft’s HoloLens goggles, delivering holograms and hitting a sweet spot between Google Glass and virtual reality headgear.
“He hasn’t solved all problems, but he’s made moves in the right direction strategically,” said JP Gownder, analyst at Forrester Research. He said it was “a wise move” to bring popular Microsoft programmes like Word, Excel and PowerPoint to Android and Apple devices, because Windows has been slow to gain traction in the mobile universe.
Microsoft agreed in September to buy the Swedish group behind the hugely popular video game “Minecraft” for $2.5 billion. The deal for Mojang gives Microsoft one of the best-known video games — one which is played on game consoles as well as PCs and mobile devices. “Microsoft is a different company now. Microsoft is not making stupid mistakes,” said Trip Chowdhry, at Global Equities Research.