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Microsoft CEO sees 'magical things' and 'tough choices' ahead

Microsoft CEO sees 'magical things' and 'tough choices' ahead


'Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.'

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Microsoft is becoming a company of laser focus under Satya Nadella, and today the CEO emailed staff with a new mission statement and outlook for the 2016 fiscal year. Nadella's message, obtained by GeekWire, is optimistic but also straightforward and honest, and he acknowledges that Microsoft will face difficult decisions in the coming months. "Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," he wrote in the memo. "This mission is ambitious and at the core of what our customers deeply care about. We have unique capability in harmonizing the needs of both individuals and organizations. This is in our DNA."

Nadella has given Microsoft a clear, straightforward focus

Much of the letter echoes things Microsoft's CEO has already said publicly. Microsoft's focus is mobile. Its future is in the cloud. Nadella aims to put Microsoft's productivity services on as many devices as possible, and he wants to see the company lead all competitors in the advancement of cloud computing. "We will need to innovate in new areas, execute against our plans, make some tough choices in areas where things are not working, and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value."

Nadella doesn't spell out which of Microsoft's products or services may be impacted by those "tough" decisions, but the company's mobile phone unit, which for years has struggled against Android and iOS, certainly sticks out. "Windows Phone" and "Windows Mobile" never once appear in the 1,500-word note, though Nadella does highlight mobile as integral to Microsoft's goals.

But Nadella's latest peek into the future is far more positive than it is sobering. He seems genuinely thrilled with the coming launch of Windows 10. "We have approached Windows 10 with a growth mindset and obsession for our customers," he said. "We aspire to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows." Making diversity a bigger piece of Microsoft's corporate culture is another goal for fiscal 2016:

The world is diverse. We will better serve everyone on the planet by representing everyone on the planet. We will be open to learning our own biases and changing our behaviors so we can tap into the collective power of everyone at Microsoft. We don’t just value differences, we seek them out, we invite them in. And as a result, our ideas are better, our products are better, and our customers are better served.

The full letter is at GeekWire. Read it over and one thing is abundantly clear: Satya Nadella's Microsoft is only just beginning what he paints as a monumental shift that will result in "magical" collaboration. "We stand in awe of what humans dare to achieve, and we are motivated every day to empower others to achieve more through our technology and innovation."