Apparently, Microsoft is slated to release the identity of its new CEO soon. A lot is riding on this leadership transition. This is going to be a momentous occasion in Microsoft’s history as a company. Steve Ballmer, the current CEO who’s stepping down, is really an extension of Bill Gates. Bill Gates, of course, is the founder of Microsoft. Bill gates built the company from the time when personal computers were just exploding in industry and in homes. Bill Gates revolutionized how the Microsoft operating system is going to be positioned in consumers experience with the Internet. Bill Gates did a great job. Basically, he had the whole world run based on his technology model, which is the operating system has a life of its own that can dictate the additional software people can install. The Bill Gates model truly revolutionized technology as we know it. Why? It made the software a private game. If it wasn’t private in other words, if it was open source, then the technology landscape might look very different. A lot of Bill Gates and Microsoft critics would say that the world would look much more democratic and much better with many different software out there, and different software protocols and a lot more money to go around. Be that as it may, Bill Gates really set up a system where every time somebody turned on a device that runs Windows, they put money in Bill Gates pockets.Those days are quickly vanishing in the rear-view mirror of global technological evolution. When you look at companies like Google, Apple and others, the operating system is an after thought. The name of the game is not the operating system, not even the hardware. The name of the game is the Internet, the interaction, the experience. In fact, these are just the big guys thinking. There are even more radical ways of thinking being champion by smaller companies. This is the environment Steve Ballmer’s successor will be stepping in. Whoever that person will be, he will be basically looking at a dramatically different landscape. He will be looking at a world without Microsoft calling the shots. Maybe because this is precisely the future Microsoft’s board sees, maybe this is the reason why the name Satya Nadella keeps coming up. Satya Nadella is the head of cloud and enterprise computing group. Cloud and enterprise computing is a big chunk of Microsoft’s future. As we keep repeating in these pages from again and again, cloud computing is the future. Microsoft has a good running start in cloud computing. Moreover, it can leverage its strangle hold on corporate computing to bolster its position as the first choice of cloud computing options. Nadella is the man in charge of that part of Microsoft’s business, and he has done a good job. After all, Microsoft has made great in-roads in cloud computing. Still, it has to deal with the 800-pound-gorilla in the room which is Amazon web services.
Be that as it may, Satya Nadella is a name that keeps coming up whether it’s Bloomberg or some other publication as the man that will succeed Steve Balmer as the CEO Microsoft. If this is true, we know where Microsoft’s board of directors is coming from and based on Satya Nadella’s background and his expertise, it looks like he is a great choice.