After two years as CEO, Satya Nadella has pulled off something special

It is an overstatement to say Microsoft is a phoenix rising from the ashes, but there has certainly been something special and new going on in Redmond after some tougher days. The company once dominated the technology business thanks to the Wintel alliance between Microsoft and Intel, and Microsoft led the PC revolution spurred by Bill Gates’ mission to have a PC in every home and on every desk.

But something happened along the way. It’s not fair to say the company stopped innovating. Windows 8’s touch-centric design could be seen as ahead of its time, if anything, and the Surface line proved a surprising success, eventually–once the line got past its a rocky start and a $900 million write-down of unsold inventory. But the argument can be made that the company had stopped making products that people loved to use.

Thanks to the rise of CEO Satya Nadella, the past two years have been a different and unexpected story for Microsoft. He was named CEO by the Board of Directors on February 4, 2014 and came to the position as Microsoft had just begun to recognize the need for change under the banner of a new campaign known as “One Microsoft.” Previously, Microsoft was seen as a confederation of sorts of divided product groups that were in competition with each other. As this toxic culture consumed their creative efforts, Redmond watched as Google disrupted Office in the cloud with Google Apps and Apple set the new standard for mobile devices. Something had to change.

Very early in his tenure, Satya Nadella began speaking of new areas of growth by making Microsoft a “mobile first, cloud first company. At that time two years ago, there was not much clarity on what a mobile-first, cloud-first” company would look like. But if anyone could do it, it was the former Executive Vice President of Cloud and Enterprise Satya Nadella. He had been credited for helping bring Microsoft’s database, Windows Server, and developer tools to Azure. And now, two years later, we have a fuller picture of what Nadella has been working towards all along.

It starts with culture. In his email to the troops last year, Satya said:

“Perhaps the most important driver of success is culture. Over the past year, we’ve challenged ourselves to think about our core mission, our soul — what would be lost if we disappeared… we also asked ourselves, what culture do we want to foster that will enable us to achieve these goals?”

In the same email, he laid out a new mission for the company: “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” And he announced a reorganization of its business groups around a different strategy. Products and platforms would not be individually housed in their own groups, but rather aligned in broader groups that focus on specific purposes like “reinvent productivity and business processes, build the intelligent cloud platform, and create more personal computing.” These initiatives gave a vision for his employees to embrace, and it connected their day-to-day responsibilities to a higher and more fulfilling purpose of enabling people to simply “do more.”

CEO Nadella during the Windows 10 event
He also recognized that the technology industry “does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.” This imperative has played out time and again over the past two years as Microsoft continues to do the unexpected relative to the company’s traditions under previous CEOs Steve Ballmer, and even Bill Gates.Microsoft now embraces open source technologies in cloud computing like Node.js and containers. It has even made a number of its own projects open source, such as .Net framework and Microsoft Edge’s ChakraCore JavaScript engine. This allows Microsoft to meet customers where they are at to help solve their problems with innovative solutions. Now, there are no off-limit boundaries of how Microsoft can build those solutions, unlike the days when Steve Ballmer considered open source technologies to be a “cancer.”

Nadella also restructured Microsoft Research, and spun off Microsoft Next to bring more innovations directly to products in a quicker manner, rather than have R&D be separate for the company’s core business activities in a more academic tradition.

Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has been busy burying many hatchets from previous conflicting relationships. Once-foes are now friends, with partnerships between Microsoft and Salesforce, Box, and Dropbox. The tone of Microsoft’s relationship with Google has even changed as long standing patent cases have been settled. And of course Microsoft is entering into a new phase in its relationship with Apple.

The Office team was represented on stage at the launch of the iPad Pro to show off how great the device can be with Microsoft apps. The company even released this noble ad over the recent holiday season of Microsoft employees caroling “let peace begin with me” in front of Apple’s iconic glass cube store in Manhattan.

And while Microsoft’s new culture has been taking place, it has been delivering surprising new technologies that excite the imaginations of the public. A little over a year ago, consumers got their first look at the future of Windows 10 and how the operating system could power an augmented reality based computing experience with HoloLens.

Later last year, Microsoft had one of the best “one more thing” moments when Panos Panay revealed the Surface Book. The technology company has also been delivering great app experiences to iOS and Android users with staples like Office and Outlook, but also new projects from the Microsoft Garage like Send, NewsPro, Arrow and many more. And Office 365 has been a bright spot for the company as they surpassed the “disrupter” Google Apps for Work in market share.

Frankly, the list of impressive feats goes on and on. Everything from Microsoft’s growing cloud computing business, to a revived Xbox experience that puts gamers first, to Microsoft Research making its deep learning toolkit CNTK open sourced. Not to mention totally new services like GigJam and Power BI changing the way companies collaborate.

But there have been some not so great moments. There was Nadella’s comments regarding women’s pay at the Grace Hopper event. Although, to his credit, Nadella offered a swift apology that has been followed up continually with more of a focus on diversity and programs that empower women.

There also remain big unanswered questions about the future of Microsoft. Will Windows 10 be fully embraced by users and hit its goal of one billion active devices? The verdict won’t be out for some time, but one thing is clear: the universal strategy of Windows 10 becomes a lot less universal if there is no robust mobile presence for it. Windows phone market share is less than a rounding error, and the quarter that saw the launch of the newest Windows 10 Mobile Lumias was one of the worst holiday seasons for Microsoft’s phone sales.

For now though, Nadella should be proud of what he has achieved. Aircraft carrier-sized companies like Microsoft don’t turn on a dime, and Microsoft has pulled off something special so far. The transition hasn’t been easy with massive layoffs, reorganizations, and the dissolving of the former Nokia, which Microsoft had to write-off to the tune of $7.6 billion.

But the company has the culture and the vision it needs to grow again, and to wow the public with unexpected great products and services. Nadella has been handsomely rewarded by the Board for his efforts, which echoes their vote of confidence in his leadership. And the market has responded with Microsoft’s stock soaring as multiple revenue streams continue to grow. I’m excited to see what is next. With Microsoft’s new culture and businesses in place, I think Satya Nadella’s vision for Microsoft is just getting started.

 

Source: winbeta

How Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella did what Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates couldn’t

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks to the troops
On Thursday, February 4th, Satya Nadella will celebrate his second anniversary as the CEO of Microsoft.It’s been an eventful couple of years.

Microsoft has grown its crucial cloud business, released Windows 10 to a much better reception than its loathed predecessor, launched a bunch of great apps for iPhone and Android, and generally made people like it a lot more.

But the real victory of Satya Nadella – the truly monumental shift – has been within the company. Under Nadella, Microsoft is pointed in one direction for first time in modern memory.

“There is something only a CEO uniquely can do, which is set that tone, which can then capture the soul of the collective. And it’s culture,” Nadella said in an interview late last year.

One Microsoft

The Microsoft of old was a cutthroat kind of place.

Under Steve Ballmer, Microsoft had become a place where product groups warred with each other for attention and influence, even as products likeWindows 8 saw the company’s star wane rapidly.

Extremely promising and future-looking products were killed just because they didn’t help the Windows business, seen as the center of the company, while rising competitors like Apple and Google were either mocked or ignored until it was too late.

The end result was a lot of warring, independent product groups, all doing their own things. A great example is the Microsoft Xbox video game console, which started off as a project to improve Windows and get a PC in the living room, but which turned into an autonomous part of the company that Wall Street couldn’t make heads or tails of.

That trickled over into the company’s popular perception, as Microsoft customers and developers came to think of it as a company focused on strongarm sales tactics, not innovation.

“When I came over here, it was just a disaster,” Microsoft Technical Fellow John Shewchuk, head of the company’s developer experience team since 2013, told Business Insider.

Steve Ballmer recognized the problem. In July 2013, he announced a company-wide reorganization called “One Microsoft,” in an attempt to rally the company and get them focused on turning the company around. But it was too little, too late, and Ballmer, under pressure from the board, announced his resignation less than three months later.

Taking off the blinders

This is where the real genius of Satya Nadella comes in – and you can see it reflected in conversations with the company’s highest echelons.

Microsoft’s mandate, under Nadella, is to help people “achieve more,” if you buy the corporate-speak. In plainer terms, Nadella likes to make sure that Microsoft is focusing on making things that people actually enjoy using, no matter what kind of device they’re using it on.

“Revenue is a lagging indicator, usage is a leading indicator,” Nadella likes to say, according to Microsoft CVP Brad Anderson.

And the company’s executives and developers all love it. Without having to worry about worshipping at the altar of Windows, it can do all kinds of stuff it could never even consider before.

Satya Nadella Linux

Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

“A muscle we’re developing at Microsoft is determining the soul or essence of these products, and developing accordingly,” Microsoft Corporate VP of Outlook Javier Soltero, who came to Microsoft in the acquisition of startup Acompli, told us.

A great example: The Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform now supports Linux, the free operating system that developers love, but Ballmer once referred to as “a cancer” and “communism.”

“Part of the new Microsoft is being given the permission to meet customers where they’re at,” Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich told us in 2015. “We’re no longer bound by an arbitrary rule.”

It’s touched Microsoft Office, too. Under Nadella, Office has expanded from a set of document-editing tools into a whole range of products and services that people actually enjoy using, from Microsoft Outlook on the iPhone to the funky futuristic GigJam work-sharing app.

“You buy Microsoft for your business, you want to feel good about the products we’ve been building,” Microsoft Office head Julie Larson-Greentold us in 2015.

Windows to the future

Looking forward, Windows 10 is going to accelerate all of this in a big way.

A big piece of Microsoft’s strategy hinges on the so-called Windows Universal App platform, where a developer can write an app once, sell it in the Windows Store, and have it work on any Windows 10 device – from PCs to tablets and back.

But it also gives Microsoft, internally, one platform on which to work, and makes sure that everybody in the company is rowing the same direction.

Case in point: In November 2015, the Xbox One video game console got an update that installed a version of Windows 10 at the core. Right now, Windows 10 is kind of just sitting there. In the not-so-distant future, though, it’s going to get a version of the Windows Store app market focused on gaming.

Minecraft HoloLens

Microsoft

Microsoft demos “Minecraft” on a HoloLens headset.

“Everything will be unified at some point,” Xbox Group Product Manager Peter Orullian told us. “This is a really big, important part of that.”

Similarly, the Microsoft HoloLens holographic goggles will run a version of Windows 10, too. And Microsoft has made a super-lightweight version of Windows 10 available to gadget-makers and connected appliance manufacturers.

So while Microsoft isn’t going to stop building iPhone and Android apps any time soon, it means that Microsoft’s internal product teams aren’t going to compete with each other – because there’s no competition. Windows is Windows, no matter what device it’s running on.

Still, there are challenges ahead for the company, as the PC marketshrinks almost faster than Microsoft can sell lucrative Windows licenses. And the Office 365 cloud suite is growing fast enough that it’s cannibalizing sales of the boxed Microsoft Office – meaning that Microsoft has plenty of theoretical revenue that it hasn’t hit yet.

But to Nadella’s mind, he shared last year, there’s only one real challenge:”Getting an entire organization to fall in love with these leading indicators of success,” Nadella said in an interview.

Source: Businessinsider

Microsoft’s $25.7 Billion In Quarterly Revenue & $0.78 EPS Beat, Shares Up

Surface, Office, Bing and Cloud Services were up; phone revs fell 49 percent.

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Microsoft this afternoon announced non-GAAP holiday quarterly revenue of $25.7 billion, net income of $6.3 billion and $0.78 EPS. These numbers beat both top and bottom line consensus analyst estimates. The company’s stock is up in after-hours trading.

Bing search revenue grew 21 percent (but was down sequentially), boosted by Windows 10 adoption according to the company. Windows OS revenue was down 5 percent but not as much as the PC industry as a whole. Mobile phone revenues were down 49 percent.

Sales of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book generated revenue growth of 29 percent year over year. Cloud services (Azure) grew 140 percent. Office 365 saw 70 percent revenue growth and now has 20 million consumer subscribers.

MSFT Q2 revenues

Here are some of the segment highlights verbatim:

  • Search advertising revenue ex-TAC grew 21 percent in constant currency with continued benefit from Windows 10 usage
  • Windows OEM revenue declined 5 percent in constant currency, outperforming the PC market, driven by higher consumer premium and mid-range device mix
  • Surface revenue increased 29 percent in constant currency driven by the launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book
  • Phone revenue declined 49 percent in constant currency reflecting our strategy change announced in July 2015
  • Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 20.6 million
  • Azure revenue grew 140 percent in constant currency with revenue from Azure premium services growing nearly 3x year-over-year
  • Xbox Live monthly active users grew 30 percent year-over-year to a record 48 million

Microsoft Q2 earnings Bing segment

As with Apple and other US companies operating internationally, “currency headwinds” took a toll on Microsoft’s earnings. Performance was better in constant currency vs actual currency, whose volatility vs. the US Dollar is the result of global economic instability.

Selected notes from the earnings call:

CEO Satya Nadella:

  • Microsoft’s commercial cloud run rate surpassed $9 billion. Nadella says that the cloud segment is massive, larger than any market Microsoft has encountered. Microsoft is one of the two leaders in the space.
  • Windows 10 is outpacing adoption of any of the company’s previous operating systems. There are now 200 million devices running Windows 10
  • Consumer response to Office 2016 and 365 has been very enthusiastic. Nadella says Office downloads have been very successful on iOS and Android devices.
  • Machine learning and AI will be at the core of business systems going forward. He discusses Cortana analytics adoption
  • 30 percent of search revenue came from Windows 10, partly because of user engagement with Cortana
  • Surface sales $1.3 billion (Surface Pro and Surface Book)

CFO Amy Hood:

  • Microsoft saw higher search volumes and higher revenue per search. She says that Bing will continue to grow share and revenues
  • Devices revenues decreased 26 percent, mostly because of phone revenue declines of 49
  • Outlook: Phones will continue to decline, but Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 are expected to grow

Analyst questions:

There were numerous questions about the macro-economic environment and what was Microsoft seeing “out there.”

More questions focused on the growth of Microsoft’s cloud-services business and the opportunity going forward.

CFO Amy Hood also discussed the strength of the Microsoft advertising business (search + display) and the Surface device business. She says that the company will be taking Surface devices into the enterprise.

Question re opening up Office to third party platforms and has that provided lift. Nadella didn’t respond directly but said that overall “we want to make sure that the Office subscription is accessible across all devices.” This is consistent with Microsoft’s cloud strategy — consumers or business users can access Office on any device.

By: Greg Sterling

Source: Marketingland

Microsoft Is Making Its Own SIM Cards For Windows Devices

microsoft-sim-card

Short Bytes: Microsoft is working to make its own SIM cards that will help Windows 10 users avoid the messy contract schemes of cellular carriers. This SIM card will work with a new “Cellular Data” app that’ll let you buy mobile data using your Microsoft account.

 Anew app from Microsoft has been spotted on Windows Store that allows the Windows 10 users to access the internet data without a contract. The new “Cellular Data” app gives a user the choice to buy a data plan using the Microsoft account and access the internet easily.

This app suggests that Redmond is developing its own SIM cards that will be compatible with Windows devices. While the company hasn’t revealed the exact markets where it would sell the SIM cards, Windows Store information about Cellular Data app mentions that the service will be available in domestic markets with international roaming in the pipeline.

The company explains on Windows Store: “Now you can buy and use mobile data at your own convenience. Purchase a plan via Windows Store anywhere network coverage is available”.

microsoft sim card

The company adds that Cellular Data app works solely with some particular Windows 10 devices and needs a Microsoft SIM card.

Features of Microsoft SIM card and Cellular Data app:

  • Get online anywhere regardless of Wi-Fi availability.
  • Purchase cellular data when and where you need it – no fixed contracts.
  • Experience a more secure network using cellular connectivity.
  • Get in control of cost and data usage by checking your balance in real-time.

While it would be unfair to compare the service directly to Google’s Project Fi, Microsoft is taking some inspiration from search engine giant and learning some new tricks to make things easier for its users. It’s possible that Microsoft is busy planning to enter into partnerships with mobile carriers to create its own mobile network.

Microsoft could also adopt a strategy similar to Apple’s own SIM cards for providing cheaper internet services.

About the launch date, partner carriers and pricing details, we’ll have to wait and see.

Source: fossbytes

By:

 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlights how Microsft could play in connecting rural India

After Facebook, it’s Microsoft’s turn to pitch for Digital India. During his visit to Hyderabad on Monday, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella highlighted the role the White Spaces project by Microsoft could play in connecting rural India.

“One of the things I feel that is most important is connectivity. So, there needs to be a market-based solution and also a local entrepreneur that goes out and creates that last-mile connectivity that offers affordable solutions,” said Nadella during his address at T-Hub, the Telangana state government-backed technology incubator.

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Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka and Keerti Melkote, founder of Aruba Networks, which was acquired by HP earlier this year, were also present at T-Hub.

“We are collaborating to work on the White Spaces technology that Microsoft has been pioneering. We want to bridge the last-mile connectivity problem, but Satya Nadella wants local entrepreneurs to come forward and  partner with Microsoft for this technology,” said KT Rama Rao, minister for information technology and Panchayati Raj for Telangana.

The pilot for White Spaces project, which utilises the unused spectrum from television to carry low cost internet connectivity, has been active in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.

Discussions are on between the AP State government and the Central government to scale it up as part of the Rs 333-crore AP Fibre Grid project for rural broadband  connectivity.

During the course of a breakfast meeting with the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu, the state government requested the Microsoft CEO to help set up a Centre of Excellence in Vishakhapatnam.

For utilisation of ICT in citizen services and drive digital inclusion, the AP government signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft India to harness Microsoft Cloud technology. According to the MoU, Microsoft India will apply Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualization to predict and address specific problems in the fields of education, agriculture and eCitizen services.

By : ET Bureau

 

Satya Nadella made every Microsoft employee take a class on ‘unconscious bias’

2015-12-02
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
At today’s annual Microsoft shareholder meeting, CEO Satya Nadella identified diversity as a major focus and said it will contribute to the company’s bottom line.In the last year, all Microsoft employees took a mandatory class in how to overcome “unconscious bias” and listen to their colleagues so they can “bring their best ideas to the table.”

Unconscious bias is the idea that people are more likely to make snap judgments based on appearances. While this can be helpful in some cases- that subway seat is empty for a reason (look closer, it’s got liquid on it) – it can lead to bias against people from different backgrounds and genders, in hiring and in day-to-day work. Google instituted a similar class for employees last year.

Nadella acknowledged that Microsoft has fallen short of the diversity goals he committed to at last year’s meeting, with the company recently disclosing that the number of women and minorities at the company actually dropped off thanks to its recent rash of layoffs, especially in the Nokia phone unit.

But Nadella reaffirmed that this is a continued area of focus for Microsoft.

“Even with these steps forward, we’re still not where we want to be,” Nadella says.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson took the stage, as he did during Microsoft’s meeting last year, during a question and answer session, to address Microsoft and ask it to commit to setting hard and fast diversity goals, including making more startup capital available to minority groups. Jackson said that he met with Nadella privately earlier this week.

Nadella responded by reiterating some of Microsoft’s progress in that area, including the “YouthSpark” program that gives startup cash to young technical entrepreneurs and its success in improving representation in the ranks of leadership.

“When we sort of say everything at Microsoft starts with our mission, and we want to talk about empowering the world and empowering every person on the planet, it has to start with diversity and inclusion right here at Microsoft, and us, representing the world internally,” Nadella says.

By: Matt Weinberger

Source: businessinsider

Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella to Visit Hyderabad in December 2015

Microsoft Corporation CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to visit his hometown Hyderabad early in the next month, i.e., in December. An official of the Telangana State Government had confirmed the visit of Satya Nadella to Hyderabad city in the month of December. However, the official has not yet spoken a word on the date and other details of his visit. All the other details are not yet revealed by the official.

Nadella to visit Hyderabad in December

Satya Nadella is expected to meet Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao alongside his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad. Besides the encounter, the CEO will be visiting the Microsoft India Development Centre in Hyderabad. This is the second visit of Nadella to Hyderabad after heading over as the Chief Executive of the global tech giant last year.

Microsoft Plans to Set up Data Center in Hyderabad

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella will be visiting Hyderabad in the month of December to meet both the State Chief Ministers, K.Chadrashekar Rao and N.Chandrababu Naidu. Earlier, during his first visit in the month of September, Nadella had Telangana chief minister and spoke to Naidu over the phone. Now, the CEO wishes to meet both of them at one place and seems to hold discussions with the state government on the topic of setting up a data center in the city.

Already, there are data centers which were launched in Pune, Mumbai, and Chennai. Although the metropolitan city, Hyderabad was deemed to be the first city to have a data center, however, it did not materialize. Telangana Information Technology Minister K. Tarakarama Rao had also called on Nadella during his visit to the US in May this year. This visit likely shows that the Microsoft company is planning to expand its operations in Hyderabad while AP CM, Chandrababu Naidu is also seeking to woo it to have its presence in Andhra Pradesh.

However, all the technical aspects of setting up a data center will be revealed only after the meeting between the company’s CEO, officials, and the state government. During Satya Nadella’s speech to the Company’s employees on expanding the Hyderabad center in September, he hints that the company is planning to set up a data center for cloud computing.

Microsoft has its India development center in Hyderabad which was set up in 1998. The development center in Hyderabad is the largest Research & Development center of Microsoft outside its Redmond (US) facility.

Source: techgig

Bill Gates Says These 5 Traits Guarantee Success When the world’s richest man offers career advice, it’s smart to listen.

If you’re looking for a role model of lifelong success, you can’t do much better than Bill Gates. Microsoft, the company he founded, created a whole industry. At a net worth of nearly $80 billion, he’s the richest man in the world. His philanthropic activities reach far and wide and have actually made the world a better place. Oh, and he also achieved his dream, which was a personal computer on every desk.

What led to Gates’s success? He certainly was in the right place at the right time with the right concept for a product. But over the years, he himself has pointed to some of the attitudes he believes lead to continued success. They’re a good guide for anyone, in any field. The personal finance site GOBankingRates has compiled some of them within a piece about how Gates thinks you should spend your money.

Here are some of the most relevant attitudes he looks for–and which anyone can develop:

1. Knowing how to say no.

This is advice Gates got from Warren Buffett, and it’s extremely useful for everyone, whether you’re rich and successful or not. There will always be an unending supply of opportunities, things to do, causes you care about, and on and on. In this busy world, knowing when and how to say no to projects, social invitations, and other requests for your time may be the most important skill you need. It will allow you to figure out what’s truly important, and then focus your attention there.

2. Welcoming criticism.

“Embrace bad news to learn where you need the most improvement,” Gates advises in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought. While it’s never pleasant to hear someone tell you how you’ve screwed up, without that kind of feedback, your learning process and growth will be much slower. I find listening to criticism nearly always gives me perspective that I didn’t have, and that I need.

Of course, some criticism is not useful–so you have to use your judgment to tell the difference. With that in mind, next time someone wants to chew you out, don’t walk the other way. Stop, listen, thank them–and learn.

3. Optimism.

It can be hard to be optimistic in a world where so many things seem to be going wrong. But without optimism, no one would ever start a company, invest in a new idea, or try out a new product or market.

Gates appreciates the value of optimism, and since his work addresses some of the most disheartening problems on our planet, such as sex trafficking, hunger, and extreme poverty, he needs a lot of it. “Optimism is often dismissed as false hope,” he said in a Stanford commencement speech in 2013. “But there is also false hopelessness.”

By: MINDA ZETLIN, Co-author, ‘The Geek Gap’

Our recruiters share their best tips on how to land – and ace – an interview at Microsoft:

Recruiters share their best tips for getting an interview and nailing it

The job description immediately catches your eye. It’s a good match for your skills and an even better match for your ambitions — the kind of opportunity that gets you excited about the possibilities of a career at Microsoft.

But let’s face it: Landing the job you want is rarely an easy or relaxing process. Everything from spiffing up your résumé to wowing your interviewers can be challenging and completely nerve-racking.

That’s why we’ve asked several Microsoft recruiters how you can boost your chances of getting the job.

“Were you a chess master or a championship-winning tennis player?”

“Were you a chess master or a championship-winning tennis player?”

“I look for people who like to work hard, have fun and do it with a positive attitude. I think those are important attributes to success,” says Kameron Swinton, a Microsoft talent sourcer. “I’m also looking for people who have been high achievers, and that’s not limited to their profession.

“Were you a chess master or a championship-winning tennis player?” he asks. “Tell me about it. Not only does it make for a great story but it speaks to your dedication, hard work and perseverance.”

"A sense of partnership and willingness to play nicely with others is golden."

“A sense of partnership and willingness to play nicely with others is golden.”

Recruiter Amy Ala keeps an eye out for certain traits beyond the technical skills of the job, such as the abilities to adapt and collaborate. “A sense of partnership and willingness to play nicely with others is golden,” she says.

But for starters, you need to get a foot in the door. A generic résumé isn’t likely going to do it, no matter how polished it looks. So make sure it lines up with the job description, because “any communication to the recruiter or hiring managers should be very clear in how you’re a fit for the role,” Ala says.

And you’ve heard it before, because it’s true: Networking is key. Reach out to family, friends, colleagues and anyone else you know to find people who work in the Microsoft group or team you’re interested in. Use LinkedIn or Twitter. Express your interest and learn what you can.

Such efforts can “give you a better understanding of the organization, and that person may even be able to get your résumé into the direct hands of the hiring manager or recruiter,” advises recruiter Colleen Corbin.

“Demonstrate a passion for Microsoft and our technologies.”

“Demonstrate a passion for Microsoft and our technologies.”

Whether it’s through your résumé, networking or any other initial contacts, “demonstrate a passion for Microsoft and our technologies,” as well as for your own work, Swinton says. What are your “passion projects?” If you’ve developed any Windows or Windows phone apps, for example, make sure that’s known.

Hopefully you’ll soon hear what you’ve been waiting for: You’ve got an interview. It’s thrilling or it’s stressful. Probably both.

So our recruiters have offered their 10 best tips for showing what you’ve got:

1. The most obvious advice is not always heeded: Be prepared. Do your homework on Microsoft products, the technologies and the team, Swinton says. If there are technical skills you’ll need, know them. Ala, who often recruits software engineers, emphasizes that “fundamental coding skills are one of the most challenging aspects of the interview.”

2. Research your way to confidence. Use LinkedIn and other online resources to learn what you can about the interviewers and their backgrounds. Also make sure you know and can articulate how your skills apply to the job requirements and the needs of the team.

3. Speaking of skills, trust in yours. They’ve already gotten you this far. As Swinton says, “We’re bringing you here for a reason.”

4. Be yourself. Really. “We want to hire the real you, so make sure you shine through,” Corbin says. “It’s OK to be nervous and have the jitters, but allow yourself to enjoy the experience, which will be the best way for us to get to know you.”

5. Along those same lines: Be honest. “Knowledge can be learned, but trust must be earned,” Swinton says. “Don’t be afraid to tell us when you don’t know something.”

6. Ask questions. What questions, you ask? Ala suggests some general possibilities: What makes the hiring team stay at Microsoft? What do they love about their jobs? What excites them about their work? And if you’re coming from out of town, she says, ask some questions of your recruiter. Their insights can not only help you get to your interview on time but also assess local housing, schools, entertainment and other factors if relocation is a possibility.

7. Don’t overthink it, Swinton says. Relax if you can.

8. Work with your recruiter; it benefits both of you. Ala advises: “Let us know about any other conversations you’re having, whether with other Microsoft teams or outside companies, so we can keep things moving and meet any deadlines for setting up interviews or extending offers.”

9. Always follow up with a “thank you” email to your interviewers. Heard this one before? You’d be surprised how few candidates do it, Corbin says, but “it leaves a great impression.”

10. And if it doesn’t work out? Remember, “no” doesn’t mean “never.” “Oftentimes candidates may not be the exact fit for a certain role, but Microsoft is a huge company. Another team might be a better match,” Ala says. “Talk with your recruiter about other options, or at the very least let us know it’s OK to share your résumé internally with colleagues.” The right role could be right around the corner.

Written by : Tracy Ith

http://blogs.microsoft.com/jobs/how-to-land-a-job-at-microsoft/?WT.tsrc=Twitter

Microsoft HoloLens, Volvo to Pioneer Augmented Car Showroom Experience

Microsoft HoloLens on Thursday announced a partnership with Volvo Cars to develop a new holographic technology that could change the way consumers experience auto showrooms.
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The tech would let potential buyers stay put in the physical world while experiencing an automobile in an entirely new way, suggested Scott Erickson, senior director of Microsoft HoloLens. Through augmented reality — utilizing Microsoft’s HoloLens goggles — consumers could view safety feature demonstrations, see car customization options, and even take part in virtual test drives without leaving the showroom.
 
Volvo is the first automaker to express interest in Microsoft’s HoloLens technology as a way to provide such details to consumers.
 
“We are currently exploring the potential of HoloLens to change the way consumers may discover, experience and even buy cars in the future,” said Sascha Heiniger, spokesperson for Volvo Car Group.
 
“We are very eager to now bring this experience to customers and get their feedback,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Extending the Showroom Experience
 
The use of HoloLens technology won’t substitute for visiting a showroom.
 
“This is technology that is meant to enhance the act of looking at a car, and HoloLens would just be an extension of the showroom experience,” said Jeremy Carlson, senior analyst for autonomous driving at IHS Automotive.
 
“It is there to describe systems that consumers don’t regularly see,” he told TechNewsWorld.
 
One such example would be the active safety systems. It’s not practical to demonstrate them during a test drive, because it would be difficult to do so without putting the driver and passengers at some risk, noted Carlson.
 
High-End High Tech
 
There may be a special place for augmented reality in upper-end auto sales.
 
“The advent of digital into the car retailing process started a few years back, and it’s a place where BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz have already captured customers’ attention by having lifestyle showrooms in cities — for example the Audi City in London,” said Praveen Chandrasekar, automotive and transportation research manager at Frost & Sullivan.
 
“The concept, in essence, is like a Tesla mall showroom where the idea is to indulge the customer in a digital format to check car features, and not push them in the traditional brick dealer retail format on purely selling the vehicle,” he told TechNewsWorld.
 
Digital showrooms have utilized the concept of augmented or virtual reality to allow customers to configure vehicles in many different ways, and to explore their features and their look and feel, Chandrasekar added.
 
“In some cases, OEMs like Cadillac and Audi have also introduced AR apps that allow customers to point their phone app to the vehicle and check out the features, but this is a limited experience,” he noted.
 
What You Can’t See
 
Holographic images could provide details that otherwise couldn’t be seen — from drive traffic to engine components. The tech likely would be aimed at early technology adopters and consumers who do more than walk around a car and kick the tires.
 
“This technology could describe how the systems work, but also show off the new technology of the car to the buyer,” said IHS’ Carlson.
 
Volvo’s partnership with Microsoft also could enhance its image in the luxury market.
 
“The overarching concept here is to immerse the digital age customer in a digital experience without pushing them to actually buy a vehicle,” said Frost’s Chandrasekar.
 
Further, dealers could use the technology to educate their staffs, and to alert car owners to potential problems.
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“OEMs could craft a virtual reality environment to show some features of the car, and this allows the dealer to focus on the sales process,” noted Carlson. “On the other end of the spectrum, this technology could allow the dealers to explain repair issues that can’t be easily seen. Some people will like that extra bit of knowledge of what part needs to be fixed and why.”
 
The Virtual Showroom
 
Microsoft’s HoloLens technology could be a good way to draw technophiles into Volvo showrooms. It also might be instrumental in the development of a virtual reality showroom experience.
 
“Doing showroom visualizations will have some utility, but the product enables people at home who would otherwise explore options online to sit in the car, drive the car, and perhaps explore inner workings of engine systems,” said Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com.
 
However, neither scenario is likely to be a game changer for the automotive market or the holographic technology market, he told TechNewsWorld.
 
“The use will be limited to those that a) have a Hololens, and b) want to buy a car,” he pointed out.
 
“The former numbers will be modest, and the latter numbers will shrink over time as car ownership becomes a thing of the past,” Hiemstra added.
 
“If the idea is to enable people, while in the showroom, to also put on a HoloLens and try some visual things, then for a few months or a year or two that may have some novelty appeal vs. a dealership who does not have the tech,” he acknowledged, “but the novelty will fade. Color me a bit of skeptic on the VR hype.”
By Peter Suciu Nov 20, 2015 12:43 PM PT
Source- technewsworld