The following post is my opinion.
Quotes from industry pundits in media stories like those from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are supportive of the choice of Nadella as CEO. You can hear from the new CEO himself in this webcast to customers and partners that happened earlier today.
Another key part of today’s news is that Bill Gates steps up to a new role of Technology Advisor. Reaction to this news has been surprisingly mixed in my opinion. Some like The Verge are positive about the idea, but others like GigaOm and Techcrunch question whether it is a good thing, or if Bill Gates was pushed into the role. We now know that Satya requested Bill’s involvement in his letter to employees.
In my opinion, the fact that Bill Gates will play an active role in hardware and software product development moving forward is a strongly positive thing. If you spend a bit of time looking into what Bill Gates brings to the table, it’s pretty clear that he possesses a rare level of attention to detail. And by that, I mean a Steve Jobs level of attention to detail.
Has that translated to guaranteed success in the past? No. Microsoft missed on tablets early on and on the first wave of the smartphone. And it doesn’t ensure success moving forward, especially in a tech landscape that’s changed so much over the last few years. But if you have access to a rare level of talent who understands both hardware and software, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of it. That’s why I think Satya Nadella asked him to help.
Like I mentioned elsewhere, I am a Windows 8.1 fan. I wouldn’t have worked at Dell for 18 years if I wasn’t a PC through and through. But I’m also an Android fan and of Google’s approach to innovation. Today’s news is bigger than what you or I think about Microsoft and its products. This is about innovation. Microsoft’s success in the PC/ tablet/ smartphone space means more choice for us as users of technology. And that will most likely translate into innovation.