Brian S Hall of Techpinions dissected the Satya Nadella internal memo.
Nadella’s willingness to act fast, to re-make Microsoft, hack away at the extraneous and transform the company into “the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world” appears to be exactly what the company needs.
But when you gut a $7.2 billion acquisition, which the company only closed on this past April, and fire 18,000 people, then you haven’t leapt from a burning platform, you’ve set the platform ablaze. There is no going back, no do-overs for Mr. Nadella. He is about to set the company on a ten year course, possibly longer, and though Microsoft possesses a rather stunning array of assets, what’s most stunning is the company still has virtually zero response to the iPhone, the iPad and Android. In 2014.
So much for mobile-first and cloud first.
In his “bold ambition” email to employees, only days before this, Nadella stated “first party hardware” would form part of the core Microsoft vision. He said this four times!
- Our cloud OS infrastructure, device OS and first-party hardware will all build around this core focus and enable broad ecosystems.
- Our Windows device OS and first-party hardware will set the bar for productivity experiences.
- Our first-party devices will light up digital work and life.
- We will build first-party hardware to stimulate more demand for the entire Windows ecosystem.
Now, days later, he guts Nokia, kills off the very popular Asha hybrid phone line and halts development of the AOSP-led Nokia X.
I suspect Mr. Nadella believes the smartphone wars are lost, despite whatever else the company may tell us. They are no longer worth fighting for.
Nadella went on to emphasise transparency:
My promise to you is that we will go through this process in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.
Hall: “Your own email appears poorly thought out and lacking transparency!”
Second, we are working to integrate the Nokia Devices and Services teams into Microsoft. We will realize the synergies to which we committed when we announced the acquisition last September. The first-party phone portfolio will align to Microsoft’s strategic direction. To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft’s digital work and digital life experiences. In addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.
Hall: “We can’t possibly divine what these words mean because Nadella does not know the way forward in mobile. That’s a problem.”
It is one thing to draw up a revolutionary vision for the company, but actions speak louder than words. And Nadella’s action is in contradiction of the grand scheme he talked up.