New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he plans to be a fixture on company earnings calls going forward. Today was his first chance to to do so, engaging with investors during the call to discuss the company's fiscal third quarter results.
Here's what you need to know:
- Nadella isn't undertaking a companywide strategic review as he settles into his new job because he thinks that's ongoing work. "One thing I strongly believe in is planning on a continuous basis," he said. "It's not episodic, if you will. The only way to succeed is having the notion that you're planning all the time and making changes based on changed circumstances. That's the way to run a company like ours in a marketplace as dynamic as ours."
- Nadella said it's "gold rush time" in the cloud and SaaS markets. There are just a couple of companies positioned to capitalize on the dual opportunity of SaaS and infrastructure services and Microsoft is one of them, he said.
- The decision to start offering Windows for free to OEMs making devices that are 9 inches or smaller was part of a larger decision at Microsoft to be able to price Windows by category. "When it comes to new opportunities from wearables and IoT, we want to be able to participate in all of this with our Windows offerings and tools and we want to be able to price by category. That's what we did," he said. When the company looked at what it needed to do to drive the tablet and phone markets, it realized it needed to change the price of Windows to succeed, he said. "In the world of ubiquitous computing, we want Windows to be ubiquitous but that doesn’t mean one price or one business model. It's actually a market expansion opportunity and that's how we'll execute on it," he said.
- Microsoft sees gains in Office 365 as more than just that. "To me this is the core engine that's driving a lot of our cloud adoption," Nadella said. As important as the Office for iPad announcement was the announcement Microsoft made around its Enterprise Mobility Suite, he said. These services, which include device and identity management, get "bootstrapped" every time an Office 365 user signs up, at least in the enterprise world. That means that Office 365 is driving infrastructure and Azure growth for Microsoft. "That cycle is what's exciting for me," he said.
- Nadella credits sustained server revenue growth, better than its peers, to a single fundamental change: Microsoft uses its server technology to run Azure. That has driven improvements in its server technologies and made them more competitive, he said.
Nadella also said that Microsoft would have "courage in the face of reality," which sounded even more literate once New York Times reporter Nick Wingfield pointed out that he was actually quoting Nietzsche.