Nadella looks to distance himself from Ballmer, does away with ‘Device and Services' model

Earlier today, Satya Nadella published his open letter to Microsoft and the world for fiscal year 2015. The letter, which you can read here, offers tremendous insight into the cultural shifts that will be occurring under his leadership.

The letter is a fantastic read if you are a fan of Microsoft and is filled with hints that what was done in the past is not necessarily what will be done in the future. More so, Nadella is looking to remove some of the things that Ballmer put in place during the last months of his reign.

For starters, Ballmer started to re-organize the company as he walked out the door with “Devices and Services” being the new theme for the company. Nadella is looking to undo that and is championing “productivity and platforms” and he takes it further than that, as he wants Microsoft to be the " productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world".

 "While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy."To avoid any ambiguity in his statement, Nadella politely says that "Devices and Services" is not his vision and is moving away from that of Ballmer. He wants to take the company back to its basics of software/productivity in a new mobile first, cloud first market. 

Besides the change of mantra for the company, which is a significant shift, Nadella will be looking to further reorganize the operations of the company. He said: "Over the course of July, the Senior Leadership Team and I will share more on the engineering and organization changes we believe are needed." 

Microsoft has a couple of conferences - some internal, some external - in July. The first will be held next week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. (and Neowin will be there too), and its MGX conference takes place the following week in Redmond. Look for Microsoft to get more specific at these events and talk further about the letter that was published today.

Prior to the release of this letter, it was rumored that Microsoft was preparing to reduce its headcount now that the Nokia mobile acquisition has been completed. There are hints of organizational change throughout the letter with talk of more streamlined operations and taking on more accountability. 

There is also a big effort from Nadella to push out new software and ideas even faster than under Ballmer. While Ballmer certainly gets credit for rapid release and moving up the launch cadence of Microsoft products, Nadella is looking to make that process even faster by reducing the friction points of the release cycle and holding more individuals accountable for the company's products.

It's quite clear that Nadella has no intention of living in the past and that the practices Microsoft had in place for the past decade or so will be changing dramatically in the very near future.

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