On Thursday we examined one aspect of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s new company manifesto that we thought was pretty overt: Namely, that the Xbox is here to stay and it would be incredibly stupid for the company to give it up. ZDNet’s Ed Bott, a seasoned Microsoft observer who’s adept at interpreting Redmond Kremlinology, reads between the lines of Nadella’s letter to Microsoft employees and lists some of the “hidden messages” the new CEO was trying to send. The most striking one for us? That Ballmer’s plan to transform Microsoft into a “devices and services” company is essentially toast.
In particular, Bott zeroes in on Nadella’s statement that “while the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy.” Bott interprets this as “a very direct, almost blunt distancing from Steve Ballmer’s vision” and “an implicit criticism that echoes some outsiders’ complaints about Ballmer’s leadership (some of which were clearly shared by Microsoft’s board), specifically a lack of vision and long-term strategy.”
There can be little doubt that one of the reasons that Ballmer is no longer Microsoft’s CEO is because some of the board felt that, although he kept the company in very strong shape financially, he also missed badly on the mobile revolution spearheaded by Apple and Google. By signaling a break with Ballmer, Nadella is trying to show that he has much more of a strategy for Microsoft’s long-term well being.
This isn’t the only “hidden message” Bott found in Nadella’s email. Be sure to read his full analysis by clicking the source link below.