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Microsoft chief sets sights on multi-platform future

8/04/2014 by


At the end of March, on day 52 of his tenure as Microsoft’s third CEO, Satya Nadella unveiled the start of a new era for the software giant.

“It has been an amazing five weeks for me. The most striking thing is you see things from a fresh perspective.” Quoting TS Elliot, he said: “You should never cease from exploration.”

This new perspective means that for the first time Microsoft’s strategy will no longer be Windows-centric.

In fact, Nadella (pictured) openly embraces the heterogeneity the company’s enterprise customers have dealt with since Microsoft became a driving force in business computing.

“The world in the next five to 10 years will not be defined by the form factors and devices we have come to love today, but by the variety of form factors,” he said.

“Everything we do in the world going forward is about ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence. IT is an amazing opportunity. We are absolutely committed for cross-platform, to excel everywhere our customers are. It is not a trade-off.”

From a device perspective Microsoft plans to make it possible to run its software across all the devices a user may own, he said: “The real goal is to provide the apps and services that empower users across all devices.”

From a software ecosystem perspective, Nadella wants to make Microsoft the best technology on which to build next-generation applications.


Microsoft has made Office for iPad available as a free download on the Apple App Store. The version offers Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewers. Full editing functionality is available through a standard subscription to Office 365, the cloud-based version of the Microsoft productivity suite.

Office product manager, Julia White, said: “Microsoft is absolutely committed to creating great mobile apps. Office for iPad has been built to be used with a full touch UI [user interface] and uses OneCloud storage enabling users to access content on all devices. Formatting remains consistent across devices. We keep the file fidelity so everything looks the same on any device.”

Another feature is the custom keyboard with symbols that Microsoft specifically developed for the iPad to support Excel users who need to input formulae and equations.

White said the new heterogeneous approach Microsoft now takes is also demonstrated by its support for Bing, Skype and OneNote on Android.

“Developers look for their canvas to innovate, and want to build on other people’s work, to span consumer and business scenarios and tackle hard problems [like supporting] multiple platforms and scale their business as they gain more customers,” he said.

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