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Microsoft is taking steps to become nimbler: Satya Nadella

Nadella said new products with 'mobile first' and 'cloud first' as their mantra are in the pipeline, but declined to divulge specifics.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 10, 2014, 04.00 AM IST
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Nadella said new products with 'mobile first' and 'cloud first' as their mantra are in the pipeline, but declined to divulge specifics.
Nadella said new products with 'mobile first' and 'cloud first' as their mantra are in the pipeline, but declined to divulge specifics.
BANGALORE: India has schooled him in dealing with diversity, Satya Nadella, the new chief executive officer of Microsoft, said in an interview to ET. Hyderabad-born Nadella, 46, who was appointed to the top job just over a month ago, said in an email interview that he is "proud of his Indian heritage" and "incredibly thankful" for the good wishes he has received after his elevation as CEO.

"I could never put into words all of the ways that India has shaped me, but I believe it's helped me gain a recognition of the incredible diversity of people, cultures, and points of view that exist in the world, and a desire to understand where people are coming from, be they partners, customers or colleagues," Nadella wrote.

Only the third chief executive officer of Microsoft after co-founders Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Nadella is taking over during a challenging period for the Redmond, Washington-based company.

Traditionally strong in a desktop environment, Microsoft is scrambling to adapt to a mobile-centred world, where companies such as Google and Apple dominate.

The former head of the cloud and enterprise group, Nadella said new products with 'mobile first' and 'cloud first' as their mantra are in the pipeline, but declined to divulge specifics.

"I can't disclose too much before we are ready to bring them to market, but I can tell you that you will see Microsoft focusing even more intensely on products and services that fully embrace 'mobile first' and 'cloud first' value."

The acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business during Ballmer's watch is an important element of Microsoft's mobile strategy. But with Google deciding to jettison Motorola, questions have been raised about the soundness of Microsoft's decision to buy the Nokia business. Microsoft declined to answer queries relating to Nokia, including one about the income-tax troubles at the Chennai unit of the Finnish handset maker.

An alumnus of Hyderabad Public School, Manipal University and Chicago Booth School, Nadella said Microsoft is taking steps to become nimbler. "I tell people at Microsoft that we sometimes overestimate how much we need others to do, and underestimate the power each of us have to make things happen."

Out of its 1.3 lakh employees worldwide, Microsoft has 6,000 staff in India, where it established a base more than two decades ago. "India has always been a vital part of Microsoft's plans, and I think that only increases going forward," the 22-year Microsoft veteran said.

A cricket buff, Nadella said Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and Indian batsman Virat Kohli are the most impressive contemporary cricketers. But he is "nostalgic about Hyderabadi batsmen who could play those wristy on-drives from outside off!"

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