Satya Nadella says this book gave him the ‘intuition’ he needed to revamp Microsoft

Satya Nadella talks to troops

When Satya Nadella took the reins as CEO of Microsoft in early 2014, hemade no secret of the fact that he would shake up the company’s cultureto meet the challenges of the modern era.The key concept Nadella has pushed is the “growth mindset,” which emphasizes the notion of learning from others, and learning from your own mistakes, so you can move quickly and find the right path forward.

In a new interview with Bloomberg’s Dina Bass, Nadella shares that it was the 2007 book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” by Stanford professor of psychology Carol Dweck, that gave him the “intuition” that led to making the “growth mindset” the philosophical core of the change he’s trying to create at Microsoft.

Nadella tells Bloomberg:

“In there there’s this very simple concept that Carol Dweck talks about, which is if you take two people, one of them is a learn-it-all and the other one is a know-it-all, the learn-it-all will always trump the know-it-all in the long run, even if they start with less innate capability.”

The book itself goes deeper into that idea, presenting the idea that some people have a “fixed” mindset, in that they believe that their talent comes from within and thus don’t need to work hard – while others have that “growth” mindset, and believe that their ability can be improved through hard work.

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest,” writes Dweck in “Mindset.”

That’s a view that must resonate with Microsoft, which is trying to change how it thinks about productivity and the PC after missing the smartphone revolution almost entirely. Nadella has been reconsidering some of Microsoft’s assumptions, including how it thinks about rivals like the Linux operating system, as it tackles new challenges.

carol dweck

As Nadella tells Bloomberg: “I need to be able to walk out of here this evening and say, ‘Where was I too closed-minded, or where did I not show the right kind of attitude of growth in my own mind?’ If I can get it right, then we’re well on our way to having the culture we aspire to.”

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is also a fan of Dweck’s theories as presented in “Mindset,” hyping it in 2014 as a way for anyone to learn anything. Which is kind of funny, because he was known during his tenure as CEO for disagreeing with some ideas by saying “that’s the stupidest f—ing thing I’ve ever heard.”

Nadella’s recommendation has apparently pushed “Mindset” to bestseller status on Amazon, after nine years on the stands.

By: Matt Weinberger

Source: Businessinsider



Microsoft COO Turner Steps Down, Signals New Direction at Company


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last week announced that Kevin Turner is leaving the company after 11 years as chief operating officer (COO), effective July 31, 2016. He will be joining Citadel Securities, a market maker of US stocks and options, as Chief Executive Officer.

As Microsoft’s COO, Turner oversees the company’s worldwide sales, field marketing and services organization. He also manages support and partner channels, company stores and corporate support functions, including information technology, licensing and pricing and operations.

According to a report on Microsoft’s News Center, Turner, who began his career at Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) where he rose through the ranks to become the youngest corporate officer in the company’s history, has a strong track record of results, with responsibility for the organization of more than 51,000 Microsoft employees in  more than 190 nations joining Microsoft in 2005.

Under Turner’s leadership, Microsoft ended fiscal year 2015 with 8 percent growth and $93.6 billion in revenue, but his exit seems to signal the tech company is taking a new direction toward the future.

Microsoft, Charting New Path to Future

Microsoft’s employees learned of Turner’s departure through an email message from CEO Satya Nadella, in which he outlined his plans for reorganizing the company’s senior leadership team.

“For the past year, Kevin and I have spoken a great deal about the transformation we are enabling our customers to drive. We have come a great distance, and we need to continue to reach for the next level of customer centricity and obsession in everything we do — sales, marketing, services and product development,” Nadella told employees. “It’s very important to have ‘one feedback loop’ across all parts of the company with customer value and satisfaction at the center. This means we must operate, learn and continuously improve collectively. To this end, with Kevin’s departure, I have made the decision to more deeply integrate the current SMSG organization into the rest of Microsoft and form one unified senior leadership team.”

Nadella, who took over as Microsoft CEO in 20014, was seen as the man to help the giant tech company compete more effectively with rivals like Google, Apple and even Amazon, and also to deal with the emerging challenges of a rapidly changing technology market in which Microsoft is no longer the only big player. It now appears Nadella is consolidating his influence over Microsoft’s direction with the recent spate of executive appointments and reshuffles.

New Executive Appointments at Microsoft

Since Nadella took over as CEO, there has been a wave of executive reorganization at Microsoft. Nadella saw Turner’s job as integral to the company and touching so many areas that he said he wanted to spread out those responsibilities instead of concentrating all of that control in a single job function.

In the email to employees, he revealed that no less than five executives will be taking over Turner’s duties, including Judson Althoff, who will lead Worldwide Commercial Business, and Chris Capossela, who will lead Worldwide Marketing and Consumer Business.

Turner’s departure follows the exit of four other top executives at the company last June. They included former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was head of Microsoft’s device group at the time of his departure; Mark Penn, who was EVP and Strategy Officer; Eric Rudder, who was in charge of advanced technology and Kirill Tatarinov, who was head of business solutions.

There is always going to be turnover when a new leader comes onboard. This has certainly been the case with Nadella, who has overseen not only the exit of Turner but of other executive holdovers from the era of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. And Turner’s departure certainly seems to coincide with Nadella’s plans for a more decentralized and customer centric management team.

By: David William

Source: Smallbiztrends


Satya Nadella cannot imagine the world without this one Microsoft product

Satya Nadella MicrosoftAP , Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Over the last four-plus decades, Microsoft has made hundreds of products that touch people’s everyday life, from Windows to Office to the Xbox and beyond.But to CEO Satya Nadella, there’s one product that stands above the rest as the best consumer product that the company has ever made – and a symbol of what the company is all about.

“Think about a world without Excel. That’s just impossible for me,” Nadella said, speaking today at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Microsoft Excel, the ubiqituous spreadsheet tool first released in 1985 for the Apple Macintosh, took data and number analysis – usually only the domain of a skilled few – and made it accessible to everyone. In so doing, Nadella says, it boosted productivity and kickstarted a new way of thinking about business.

“People couldn’t make sense of numbers before, and now everybody can,” Nadella says.

In that way, it’s the perfect encapsulation of Microsoft’s mission, Nadella says, which is all about making things to help people be more productive. And while previous CEO Steve Ballmer was business-focused, Nadella is a programmer by training and experience, and he’s trying to get back to those roots of building useful tools.

microsoft excel

Nadella says that it’s been his self-given mandate to “understand, or rekindle, what it was that drove success, or drove our passion.”

After all, Nadella points out, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates did drop out of Harvard to ship the company’s first product: A BASIC interpreter that helped programmers be more productive.

“We are a tools company first,” Nadella says.



Microsoft Power BI Visualizes IoT Data From Azure Stream Analytics


A new integration allows customers to create real-time dashboards based on Internet of things data from their Azure Stream Analytics.

Microsoft’s business intelligence and analytics product, Power BI, is already helping enterprises keep an eye on key business metrics by transforming big data into charts, tables and other visualizations. Now, Azure Stream Analytics customers can use the cloud-based tool to convert Internet of things (IoT) data into insights that update in real time.Capable of handling millions of events per second, Azure Stream Analytics enables organizations to perform real-time analytics on data from IoT devices using an SQL-like language. Used in conjunction with Azure Event Hubs and IoT Hubs—two other cloud-based IoT communications and data collection services—Stream Analytics enables customers to aggregate and filter streaming data for further analysis.This week, Microsoft released a new output connector for Power BI, ushering in the creation of interactive, live dashboards that offer users an up-to-the-minute overview of their IoT device deployments.”This will dramatically reduce the latency and time to action on your most important business metrics,” said Ryan CrawCour, a program manager at Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, in an April 21 announcement. “We have been working with hundreds of customers in public preview to visualize data from sensors, business applications, social media, user logs, etc.”

The connector can help eliminate several steps involved in building an analytics solution, said CrawCour. In addition to ingesting, processing and storing data in a database, drawing insights from IoT sensors, devices and applications often requires developers to build custom software that is in constant communication with the database. Further, they are also often required to build the end-user dashboards.

Ultimately, the new integration can reduce complexity and add a new level of responsiveness to IoT-enabled business processes, added CrawCour. “Real-time dashboards provide a live view of the metrics that matter most to your business allowing for faster time to insight and action.”Meanwhile, Microsoft is offering customers a behind-the-scenes look at how IoT Hub handles a sudden influx of data.In blog post, Nicole Berdy, a Microsoft Azure IoT program manager, explained that IoT Hub runs on the same hardware that runs other customer IoT Hubs, thereby making it a shared resource. To keep the service from collapsing under denial of service-like spikes in usage and affecting other customers, Microsoft throttles device connections, device-to-cloud telemetry, requests and commands as they flow through the service.Also this week, Microsoft unveiled a public preview of new JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) functionality in Azure SQL, allowing the cloud database to easily ingest JSON data, exchange that data with other systems and services using JSON documents and create flexible data models. “Azure SQL Database works with JSON documents in standard well-known textual format. There is no need to convert your JSON documents to some custom binary serialization format or type, or to reload or transform your JSON data,” assured Jovan Popovic, a program manager in Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database team, in a separate blog post.

By Pedro Hernandez
Source: eweek

Microsoft (MSFT) Sues US Government Over Secret User Data Requests

Satya Nadella Microsoft


Microsoft Corp.  has sued the U.S. government for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails, the latest in a series of clashes over privacy between the technology industry and Washington.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Western District of Washington, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The government’s actions contravene the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the right for people and businesses to know if the government searches or seizes their property, the suit argues, and the First Amendment right to free speech.

Microsoft’s suit focuses on the storage of data on remote servers, rather than locally on people’s computers, which Microsoft says has provided a new opening for the government to access electronic data.

Using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the government is increasingly directing investigations at the parties that store data in the so-called cloud, Microsoft says. The 30-year-old law has long drawn scrutiny from technology companies and privacy advocates who say it was written before the rise of the commercial internet and is therefore outdated.

“People do not give up their rights when they move their private information from physical storage to the cloud,” Microsoft says in the lawsuit, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. It adds that the government “has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.”



Source: ibtimes

Microsoft, major banks strike blockchain deal

Microsoft logo

Jim Young | Reuters

Microsoft has struck a deal with a group of leading banks to help develop blockchain-like technology, the U.S. technology giant said on Monday.

Blockchain is the technology that underlies the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It works like a huge, decentralized ledger for bitcoin which records every transaction and stores this information on a global network so it cannot be tampered with. Banks feel blockchain technology can be utilized in areas from remittances to securities exchanges.

Banks around the world are looking into the technology which could disrupt the processes carried out by lenders.

Microsoft and the R3 Consortium, a group of the world’s biggest banksincluding JPMorgan and Citigroup that is dedicated to researching and delivering new financial technology, said they would work together to “accelerate the use of distributed ledger technologies, also known as blockchain”.

Under the terms of the “strategic partnership”, Microsoft Azure will be the cloud service provider for R3. Microsoft will provide cloud-based tools, services and infrastructure for R3 as well as dedicated technical architects, project managers, lab assistants and support services, the companies said.

“With intelligent, cloud-based technology, R3 and member banks will experiment and learn faster, accelerating distributed ledger technology deployment,” Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of global business development at Microsoft, said in a press release.

R3 and its members will have access to Microsoft’s blockchain partners which includes the likes of start-ups Ethereum and Ripple. .


By: Arjun Kharpal

Source: CNBC

It’s man with machines, not man vs machines: Satya Nadella at Build 2016

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off its annual Build developer conference in San Francisco with its first keynote spearheaded by CEO Satya Nadella.

The company showcased its move towards conversational intelligence with cloud services, tools and bots.

“Human language is the new UI layer, bots are like new applications, and digital assistants are meta apps. Intelligence is infused into all of your interactions,” said Nadella

Speaking to an audience of nearly 5000 developers, Nadella introduced improvements to Cortana and announced previews of new cloud services and tool kits to create intelligent bots.

“We want to build intelligence that augments human abilities and experiences. Ultimately it’s not going to be about man versus machine. It is going to be about man with machines,” added Nadella.

The major announcements were the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Cortona Intelligence suite, interactive bots, Microsoft Cognitive Services, improved pen support, Xbox One development kit and HoloLens integration.

The software giant also announced the HoloLens Development Edition for developers and enterprises while highlighting that developers can use the Universal Windows Platform to create new mixed reality with holograms.

“With Windows 10 now running on over 270 million active devices, we’re celebrating with our fans by delivering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We are dedicated to making Windows the most productive development environment for all developers, with all-new capabilities for the Universal Windows Platform and all-new tools for bringing apps to Windows 10 from any platform,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Windows and Devices Group.

Microsoft announced new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite- Microsoft Cognitive Services and Microsoft Bot Framework.

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligence APIs that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret commands using natural methods of communication.

On the other hand, the bot framework can be used by developers — programming in any language — to build intelligent bots that enable customers to chat using natural language on a wide variety of platforms including text/SMS, Office 365, Skype, Slack, the Web and more.

It also released the Skype Bot Platform. With this platform, developers can build bots that leverage Skype’s multiple forms of communication, including text, voice, video and 3D interactive characters.

By: Debashis Sarkar


Microsoft Aligns With NetEnrich on Azure Migrations

Microsoft, NetEnrich

Microsoft is working with NetEnrich to provide partners with a white-label service they can use to move application workloads into Azure.

As part of an effort to significantly expand the consumption of cloud services on the Microsoft Azure platform, Microsoft is enlisting the aid of NetEnrich to provide its partners with a white-label service they can invoke to move application workloads into Azure.

NetEnrich CEO Raju Chekuri said the goal behind the alliance is to give partners access to the expertise needed to move a workload to the cloud without requiring them to hire IT professionals with that expertise. Not only are those IT professionals in short supply, but the need to move a workload into the cloud is sporadic in nature, Chekuri noted. So it doesn’t make sense for every partner to develop that capability on their own.

However, once that migration is complete, that partner then benefits from the ability to resell subscription licenses to a variety of Azure applications and services, he said.

“This creates an opportunity to drive new streams of revenue,” said Chekuri. “Partners can opt to just sell the migration or go deep with Microsoft services.”

NetEnrich has already piloted this service with roughly 250 partners and has nearly 500 trained engineers certified on Microsoft technologies. The goal now is to enable the roughly half a million service providers around the world to more easily migrate workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud.

At this juncture, it’s inevitable that many workloads will be moving into the cloud. Prakash Parikh, chief operating officer of SNP Technologies, a solution provider that now focuses exclusively on cloud services, said that for partners that focus on small and midsize businesses (SMBs), the NetEnrich service makes economic sense. In contrast, Parikh noted that SNP Technologies has already built out its own migration expertise.

“I don’t think we would use more complicated applications in the midmarket,” said Parikh. “But for SMB customers that typically only have two servers this could make sense.”

Whatever the approach, Parikh says solution providers that do opt to focus on the cloud will ultimately be more profitable because the days of having to invest in trucks to deliver IT services to customers running servers on premise are increasingly coming to a close. The only issue now is how quickly that transition to the cloud will occur.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.


By: Michael Vizard

Source: Channelinsider


12 things Microsoft does better than Apple

The days of the Microsoft/Apple rivalry are long over.Microsoft makes some of the best apps you can get for an Apple iPhone,and Apple recently reciprocated that love by featuring Microsoft at one of its legendary on-stage events.

Still, as the second-most-valuable company in the world, Apple gets all the attention when it comes to its technology.

Just know that Microsoft is doing some really cool stuff that Apple hasn’t even begun to (publicly) discuss. In fact, Apple is taking its cues from Microsoft in some key areas.

Here are the 12 things that Microsoft does better than Apple.

By: Matt Weinberger
Source: businessinsider

Microsoft employees raise a record-breaking $125 million for nonprofits in 2015

2015 Microsoft Employee Giving Infographic

Microsoft’s Employee Giving Program raised a record-breaking $125 million for nonprofits and schools around the world in 2015, including the company match of employee contributions. Our employees increased their support through time, money and talent by $8 million, marking the greatest year-over-year increase in our program’s history.

These results show how, more than ever, Microsoft employees live our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We believe Microsoft Philanthropies rounds out our ability to reach our mission, as well as to reach everyone. In the case of our Employee Giving Program, that means supporting more than 18,000 nonprofits that do invaluable work every day to strengthen communities and better our world. What better time than today to say “thank you” to those nonprofits, and to the many people who work for them. In 2015, these people and organizations improved lives around the world by addressing a wide range of issues, providing shelter for those fleeing wildfires that ravaged portions of the United States, for example, and helping those seeking safety from war-torn regions around the world. They provided mentorships and skills training for at-risk youth, expanded the number of acres of protected forestland, ran nonpartisan civic engagement campaigns and much more.

Mary Snapp, Microsoft corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies.

Mary Snapp, Microsoft corporate vice president and head of Microsoft Philanthropies.

We celebrate the work of our nonprofit and education partners at the same time as we share our Employee Giving results, because they have inspired Microsoft employees to do more and give more. In fact, this year the participation rate for our Employee Giving Program hit an all-time high of 71 percent. Today we celebrate with our employees as well. We believe that they donate more time, talent and money because our program enables them to help address the causes they care about most. And their giving supported a very broad spectrum of local and global causes, among them humanitarian relief, health, human services and housing, education, arts and culture, agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Our employees’ volunteer work makes me especially proud. In addition to dedicating a portion of each paycheck to a favorite charity, many employees integrate volunteering into their daily lives.  Each volunteer works out what works best for them at various stages in their lives. Some volunteer a few hours a month, as they can, while others are able to dedicate near second shifts as nonprofit volunteers. In total, employees contributed more than 570,000 volunteer hours in 2015.

In addition, our employees’ impact in Washington State – home to Microsoft’s corporate headquarters and more than 42,000 employees – was especially strong this year. Microsoft employees contributed $62 million to more than 4,000 nonprofits that help weave the fabric of our local communities. I’d like to tell you about a few of our volunteers:

  • Vanessa Payne, a technical advisor for Bing, and Heidi Fader, a program manager for the Storefronts Web team, volunteered a total of 340 hours in 2015, raising money for the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s. Inspired by a friend’s heroic battle with cancer, Vanessa and Heidi, who are childhood friends, dedicated themselves to the cause in 2013 and have raised more than $104,000 for cancer research so far.
  • Nykeesha Davis, a Microsoft human resources associate, volunteered 112 hours in 2015. She led a team of employee volunteers at YWCA of King County, developing six new computer-literacy programs for those served by YWCA’s career development centers. Nykeesha also serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Seattle, which coordinates high school dropout prevention programs. She notes that “the fact that these organizations get money for the time I’m already giving allows me to have a much larger impact financially than I would be able to do otherwise.”
  • James Spotanski, a program manager for Excel, logged more than 300 volunteer hours across nine nonprofits in Washington State, including Habitat for Humanity,Northwest Harvest, Hopelink and the United Way of King County. James says Microsoft’s policy of paying nonprofits $25 for each hour an employee volunteers is a tremendous encouragement. “I love my job,” James says, “and I think it’s great that Microsoft emphasizes this kind of community involvement so much.”

Microsoft employees Heidi Fader and Vanessa Payne raise money for childhood cancer research. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

Microsoft employees Heidi Fader and Vanessa Payne raise money for childhood cancer research. (Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

As we celebrate the important work of nonprofit organizations and the generosity of our employees, we recognize the need to further empower the nonprofit community. To fulfill our company mission, we, ourselves, need to do more. That’s why we recently announced our expanded commitment to corporate philanthropy with a broader ambition and a new organization, Microsoft Philanthropies. As a first step in the work of Microsoft Philanthropies, we recently committed to donate $1 billion in Microsoft cloud services over the next three years to nonprofits and university researchers, to ensure these organizations have the technology to advance the public good.

As we look forward, our communities and world continue to face many challenges. I know our employees are thinking of how they can help empower nonprofits through their donations of money, time and talent in the year ahead. We’re already working on new ways to grow Microsoft’s culture of giving and investing in strategic partnerships to help deliver the benefits of technology to everyone. We look forward to sharing more about our plans in the months to come.