“Microsoft” is a well-known name in the world of computer software. It is a leading vendor of computing services, video games, and other online services. However, the journey was not easy. It overcomes various challenges throughout the journey with its founders and CEOs.
Bill Gates along with Paul Allen laid the foundation of Microsoft in the year 1975 intending to develop software for the first Microcomputers. Unfortunately, with the rise of other tech giants, Microsoft was not able to stand out. One of the CEOs played a significant role in re-stabilizing Microsoft to bring it to the spotlight. And that CEO is none other than “Satya Nadella.” In this article, you will get to know about the role of Satya Nadella in making Microsoft one of the most valuable corporations in the world. And that too within 7 years of leadership! So, here it goes.
Early Life & Carrier
Born in 1967 in Hyderabad, Nadella completed his education in the U.S. The first company he joined as “a member of the technology staff” was “Sun Microsystems.” Later, he joined the Microsoft team in 1992. Initially, he worked on Windows NT development that primarily targeted business users. With his efficient working strategy, Nadella was steadily climbing the heights of ranks in Microsoft management. He became Vice president of Microsoft bCentral, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions, Senior Vice President of R&D, and Executive Vice President in the year 1999, 2001, 2007, and 2013 respectively.
Microsoft Before Satya Nadella
Before 2014, Microsoft was slowly losing its charm. It relied only on its PC operating system for generating profits. Also, it missed several significant high-tech missions in the first decade of the 21st century. For instance- it lacked internet search, mobile phones, e-commerce, social media, and cloud functionality. Wait! The list doesn’t end here. Its acquisition of Nokia failed and the company was suffering from a severely dysfunctional and political culture. Also, the market capitalization was hardly $311 billion which was far behind the contemporary companies of that time. This was the year 2014 when Satya Narayana Nadella became the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Microsoft.
Microsoft After Satya Nadella
After becoming the CEO, the first and foremost thing he did was transform the corporate culture of Microsoft. This was possible with his exclusive leadership approach characterized by teamwork, clear vision, open and clear communication, courage, humility, and empathy that could generate energy and positivity among the teams and employees. With this approach, the valuation of Microsoft exceeded $1 trillion. Do you know it is the first company to hit this milestone? Wow! But how? Well, this achievement was possible because it made various key projects and acquisitions after the appointment of Satya as CEO.
Key Projects & Investments
Do you know any search engine other than Google? It is “Bing.” Microsoft has spent a considerable amount of time creating Bing since 2009. Irrespective of the high/low number of searches, it never discarded Bing. The reason? The generation of $7.5 billion in revenue through web search advertisements. But isn’t it like a penny if you compare it with the enormous revenue generated by Google (i.e. $120 billion) through the same? Fortunately, this penny-like revenue was enough to make more money than other professional networks like LinkedIn.
When Google and Amazon were exploiting a huge and new market for the cloud business, Nadella was focused on building Bing for cloud computing at a global scale. Recently, the company made a highlighted announcement of incorporating ChatGPT in its new version of it. But what is ChatGPT? It is a modern open AI chatbot. You will come to know about open AI in the following sections.
2: Azure Marketplace
AWS is the leader in this space and competing against that is one heck of a job. Nadella strengthened Asure. As a result, the azure cloud marketplace is one of the massive hit projects of Microsoft. Now, Azure is one of Microsoft’s fast-growing lines of business. It is an online store containing thousands of IT software applications and services that are built by numerous leading companies. Here you can find, try, buy, and use modern software services to manage the infrastructure of your cloud. It also includes free trials and a catalog. The Azure products were simple to use and they gained massive popularity.
3: Open AI
Satya Nadella aimed to step up the relationship with customers like Google. So, he made the biggest startup investment worth $10 billion to participate in the race for advanced artificial intelligence tools. Therefore, Microsoft invested in a non-profit project i.e. Open AI that was co-funded by Sam Altman (President of Y Combinator) and Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla). All three of them have dramatic ambitions related to open AI. Eventually, they believe that it will behave like humans and successfully train the machine learning models. One of the significant features of open AI is their chatbot i.e. ChatGPT. It can respond to conversations like humans. Also, it gathered more than one million users within one week. Microsoft is also planning to add DALL.E to its box of Azure Open AI cloud Clients.
Soon after becoming CEO, Satya Nadella aimed to open the hands of Microsoft to different fields. And the first target was “Minecraft,” an online game that was developed by “Mojang.” Mojang was a development studio based in Sweden. This successful acquisition in 2014 not only gave Microsoft a tremendous amount of revenue but also attracted the young demographic. Minecraft conferred an exclusive property to Microsoft i.e, to play smoothly on the desktop, iOS as well as android.
After observing its competitors, Microsoft also wanted its software to smoothly function everywhere other than windows. Nadella visioned that mobile devices will soon become an essential part of people’s lives. Therefore, mobile app developers will be the driving force for software innovation if they build apps that can smoothly function on any device. So, to accomplish that goal, Microsoft acquired Xamarin in February 2016.
You might have used LinkedIn several times. But do you know that it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016? The reason was simple. Irrespective of the large size of Microsoft, it didn’t have any social network. At that time, it has two options- either to build a new social networking platform or to acquire one that already has a significant number of social networks. Nadella chose the latter and Microsoft acquired Linkedin with $36.2 billion. Eventually, Microsoft upgraded the LinkedIn newsfeed that serves articles based on the projects you work on. Nadella’s objective was to connect professionalism to technology. The engagement of LinkedIn and Office 365 has created new opportunities for monetization through subscriptions and targeted advertising.
Microsoft acquired GitHub in 2018 with a stock of $7.5 billion. The objective was to focus on open-source development to increase the enterprise use of GitHub and to represent the developer tools of Microsoft to new audiences. Another essential reason for this purpose was the restoration of Microsoft’s image. Because previously, Microsoft was a bit unfriendly to the open-source community. Satya Nadella wanted his organization to be more friendly to developers and create diverse platforms for innovations.
For corporate customers, Satya Nadella turned Skype into a key part of its lucrative Office acquisitions. The acquisition of Skype in May 2011, aided Microsoft in smoothly connecting callers through the phone system and on-to-one video conferencing or chats. This was highly beneficial to Skype users as well. Because they were able to connect to other communities like Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, and Windows devices.
In March 2022, Microsoft made another biggest acquisition worth $19.7 billion of a voice technology company named Nuance Communications. According to Nadella, it will result in modern solutions with a combination of voice technology, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies for various industries like retail, healthcare, financial services, and healthcare.
Other than the significant operating system of PCs (Personal Computers), Microsoft gains most of its revenues from other markets like selling ads, gaming consoles, operating systems, and open artificial intelligence. All of this was possible with the effective leadership of Satya Nadella- one of the most prominent CEOs of Microsoft so far.