Microsoft's Nadella puts focus on mobile and cloud, but Nokia plans remain elusive

With Satya Nadella now officially Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) new CEO, the tech world is now looking intently at his plans for the company, especially for how it will tackle the mobile market. At the same time, Nadella and the wider Microsoft organization will need to figure out what roles internal candidates who were passed over for the CEO spot will play in the Nadella era.

Nadella, whose selection received widespread praise from other tech leaders, said that the company must work in a "mobile-first, cloud-first" world that will define Microsoft's future. "The question for us is, 'How do we thrive in that world? What innovation can we bring?'" he said, according to the Wall Street Journal, while speaking to customers and partners in a meeting at Microsoft's headquarters that was broadcast on the Web. Today, the mobile market is focused on phones but is transitioning to the an Internet of Things universe in which many more machines are connected. However, Nadella said software is still at the heart of everything.

Nadella, formerly the executive vice president of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise units, was asked at the meeting about the consumer and business sides of Microsoft. Aside from the Xbox gaming console, Microsoft's consumer business has been lagging, epitomized by the weak global market share of its Windows Phone platform and slow adoption of Windows 8 for PCs and tablets. According to Re/code, Nadella said that innovation can't be compartmentalized into consumer and business segments. "It starts with the user," he said. While enterprises have some special needs, he said, most devices are used at both work and home.

He was also asked why, if the world is all about software, Microsoft felt compelled to make its Surface tablets or spend $7.4 billion to buy Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) handset business. "Devices are where these experiences come together," he said.

So far Nadella has not spoken much about Microsoft's mobile strategy or how the company will integrate Nokia's business and its 32,000 employees. That makes sense since the deal is not yet finalized, but the pressure will be on to turn around Windows Phone's fortunes.

Meanwhile, industry watchers are wondering what will happen to Microsoft employees who were considered for the company's CEO spot but were ultimately passed over. Those candidates include Executive Vice President (and former Skype chief) Tony Bates, COO Kevin Turner and Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia who is set to rejoin the software maker.

Turner plans to stay at Microsoft, Bloomberg reported, and Bates and Elop likely will stay at Microsoft in an effort to burnish their credentials for future jobs. Elop has a financial incentive to stay, since he will make roughly $25 million if he stays at Microsoft for 18 months, as per Microsoft's acquisition agreement with Nokia. Turner and Bates also own a great deal of Microsoft stock.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this PC Magazine article
- see this Re/code article
- see this separate Re/code article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Wired article

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