Is Microsoft About to Make Waves via Cloud Computing?

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Microsoft announced Tuesday that Bill Gates had stepped down as chairman and now served as advisor to newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.  Mr. Nadella, a longtime Microsoft employee (22 years in fact), was most recently their executive vice president of cloud and enterprise businesses.  Accredited for the rising success of Microsoft’s cloud computing initiatives, there is speculation that under his leadership, Microsoft will become a leading player in the cloud industry, after years of missing that mark.  This coupled with Mr. Nadella’s engineering background might just give Microsoft that push it needs to return to the forefront of technological advance.

With its neighbor rival Amazon as a leading competitor when it comes to cloud services, Microsoft will need to focus its efforts in the right place in 2014 and beyond in order to achieve a goal of “reconceptualizing Microsoft as a devices and services company (Nadella).” This vision may just be Microsoft’s saving grace, stepping away from software, after failing to really claim any significant tablet market share with the Surface.

If Nadella is going to carry out this vision, here are some things he should focus on to ensure Microsoft is a big cloud computing player:

  1. The cloud has the potential to make hardware extinct, or at least close to it thanks to advanced software control schemes.
  2. Big Data still has more problems than benefits. A solution provider that eliminates these issues entirely, will change the course of technological history.
  3. Cloud vendors should be thinking about cloud integration. To reduce the risk of poor quality data the best solutions will provide cloud integration and lots of effective APIs.
  4. Managing access (identity) is the new security (Microsoft has already rolled out the solution Azure Active Directory to tackle this).

So what does Natella think?  At the Accel Partners Symposium last summer Natella talked about Microsoft’s cloud focus saying:

“So these four things; identity, management, virtualization and application platform I think is the co-investment you’ve got to make to help enterprises truly adopt the cloud while its complex but you have to tame the complexity.”

Since his appointment, Nadella has made it clear that under him Microsoft’s focus will be on a “mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Will Microsoft return to its former glory under new management?  That remains to be seen, but one thing that is apparent is that there is great opportunity here.  With cloud computing and big data at the forefront of the technological landscape, Nadella definitely has the room to make waves, and change the world.  On his profile page at he is quotes as having said; “Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”

Want to read more about Nadella or Microsoft’s plans for the cloud? Use the links below:

8 Things Worth Knowing About Microsoft’s New CEO, Satya Nadella
Microsoft, the Sleeping Giant of the Cloud
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