back to article Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Satya Nadella, the man who succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's CEO and only the third chief exec in the company's history, believes the software giant is poised to achieve "magical things" in the coming years. So began an internal, company-wide memo Nadella sent on Thursday morning, in which he rallies the staff in Redmond …

  1. Charles Manning


    They need a friggin miracle.

  2. JP19

    Reading that...

    a) I want to barf.

    b) he doesn't seem to have a clue what Microsoft should be doing beyond trying to get everyone to run Windows 10.

  3. Mikel

    This is a good mission for them

    No sarcasm intended - I like it. This guy is starting to impress me, and I am not swift to praise anything Microsoft does.

    Of course if Sauron directed the Nazgul: "Go out and upgrade the world", the results are still predictably not rainbow butterfly unicorn kittens.

    1. Notas Badoff

      rainbow butterfly unicorn kitten

      Dang, I thought that could be my new password ala stapled batteries. Then I looked, and its been a 'thing' for awhile. Then I looked closer, and the wings are upside-down. It could be a Microsoft product after all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a good mission for them

      This is a good mission for them

      No sarcasm intended - I like it.

      You are surely joking; "Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more". So anything that helps anyone, anywhere do anything better to any degree, would fit into Microsoft's mission. It's almost meaningless, it's entirely unhelpful in informing their strategy, it's just standard CEO garbage.

  4. dan1980

    "It's important to note that our worldview for mobile-first is not just about the mobility of devices; it's centered on the mobility of experiences that, in turn, are orchestrated by the cloud."

    Should have stopped there - that's a good statement. What follows . . .

  5. veti Silver badge

    Microsoft goes magical

    ... at the same time iPhones start blue-screening...

    Have Apple and Microsoft switched places?

  6. kryptylomese

    Coming from a company that delivers a minority operating system that is diminishing, why should I care?

    1. dogged

      > Coming from a company that delivers a minority operating system that is diminishing, why should I care enough to take the time to criticize on every single article related to Windows or Microsoft although interestingly not on any articles unrelated to Windows or Microsoft but about technologies which I profess to care about?

      A somewhat better question.

      1. kryptylomese

        OK someone doesn't understand questions...

        The implication is that Microsoft is becoming far less relevant

        1. dogged

          > OK someone doesn't understand questions...

          Okay, somebody doesn't understand his own words....

          The question was "Why should I care?" The better question can be shortened to "why do I care so much at the exclusion of everything else, even things I claim to care about?"

          And the answer is that you're a troll.

          Go away.

          1. kryptylomese

            I really am not trolling. I can see the writing on the walls.

            Perhaps you should give up telling people to go away and actually respond to what is being said.

            What makes you think that Microsoft really have a future - It is a valid question!

            1. dogged


              Alright, I'll bite.

              Backward compatibility, is the answer. Hundreds of millions of pieces of hardware that work with Windows but don't work with linux or OSX or *BSD. Billions of pieces of software that work on Windows but don't work on linux or OSX or *BSD.

              Literally trillions of man-years of effort to make all that hardware and software compatible.

              I don't think you realize what a staggering achievement backward compatibility in Windows actually is. Nobody else does it. The linux kernel introduces breaking changes with every major release. Apple are quite happy to fully reboot their whole OS.

              Backward compatibility is what every industry that actually makes real things needs. Billions of production lines, control instruments, diagnostic instruments, even basic warehouse handhelds rely on it absolutely.

              That is your answer.

              I fed the troll. I apologize, everyone else.

              1. kryptylomese

                I think you may be the troll:-

                Windows apps run very well on Linux with wine and in most instances, there is a Linux version. Companies love the reliability of Linux and your erroneous comment about the kernel breaking things with every release is pure fantasy.

                Oh yes, and software for one Linux will run on another easily so it is backwards and forwards compatible and can with a little modification which is possible due to the open source nature of the software, be made to run on Solaris, Unix and even Windows.

                So why not just run an old version of Windows in " Billions of production lines, control instruments, diagnostic instruments, even basic warehouse handhelds rely on it absolutely"? Oh yes because old Windows is insecure! But if those companies are to survive, they do have a choice to use Linux instead!

                So your argument really boils down to what Microsoft did in the past - nothing about the future so you have once again failed to answer the question!

                1. dogged

                  > Windows apps run very well on Linux with wine

                  Ok, absolute troll confirmed. Go ahead, suggest I run a robotic quality control line consisting of twelve different spectrometers from WINE. Go on. I'll wait right here.

                  You're either a troll or the biggest moron I've ever encountered (and I include Eadon).

                  1. kryptylomese

                    OK I will give you one more attempt - I will ask you a simple question:-

                    What happens to your control lines if a version of Windows was released that is not compatible with your line of robotic control equipment?

                    The latest version of Windows server drops 16bit support and it is only a matter of time before 32bit support will be dropped. In the meantime Linux is invading all of the space that Windows used to fill and it completely fills Super computer space as well as the majority of phones (Android) and most network devices as well as running most of the worlds web servers.

                    Can you reply without being petulant?

                    1. dogged

                      > What happens to your control lines if a version of Windows was released that is not compatible with your line of robotic control equipment?

                      Then there'll probably be a rewrite of the drivers. After the version in use passes out of extended support so you're looking at ten years for that and a far simpler rewrite since there is no paradigm shift from NT kernel to POSIX-ish kernel involved.

                      Either way it'd be a cost but redevelopment from Windows -> Windows is far cheaper than redevelopment from Windows -> !Windows, as even the most simpleminded of trolls should know.

    2. Naselus

      "Coming from a company that delivers a minority operating system that is diminishing, why should I care?"

      Wait, Apple delivered a statement too?

  7. LDS Silver badge

    Clouds are like Vista and 8....

    ... something companies want to sell you, but you don't want.

    The real problem of many MS executives, especially a couple of latest CEOs, is their narrow mind - they can see things just from one single narrow perspective, and try to fit everything into it.

    Just, often the world is a little broader than they think.

    1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: Clouds are like Vista and 8....

      I've been saying it for a while: "cloud first, mobile first" really means "customer last".

      I absolutely hate the direction Windows is going. The most requested feature in Win10 was Aero. Did Microsoft listen? I realize some people hate Aero. That is fine. In Win7, you had that choice. Microsoft is taking away our choices. They are telling us what to like instead of giving us what we like. You can bet your last dollar that if people did not raise such a vocal stink about the mouse-unfriendly start screen that it would still be here. Look at how many people hate the ribbon menus. What did Microsoft do? Put it in even more places. Microsoft is not listening. At this point, the only thing keeping me with Windows are my games.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Clouds are like Vista and 8....

        "the mouse-unfriendly start screen" is another example of narrow thinking. It works very well in tablet mode, but not at all in desktop mode. A clever OS would offer one or the other depending on device and user settings. But MS first decided to force it upon everybody, then went back, and Windows 10 may then force a desktop UI on tablet users, that didn't work for tablet PCs... is so difficult to look from different perspective from Redmond? They are not a small company without resources to deliver an OS that could adapt to user needs and preferences.

        Flat monochromatic UI are another example of blindly following a fashion without listening to users - some of them spending a lot of time in front of a PC performing complex tasks, and needing all those visual clues making their work a little easier.

        I'm not agains ribbons, but they would have worked better as augmented toolbars, not full menu replacements.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It would take a bit of magic to turn the current Windows 10 from the sow's ear that it is, into the silk purse that this plan needs it to be.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exec speak bullshit

    Try plain English and saying what you mean you clown.

    Most of this reads like it was made by an automated guff generator - one their new products - 'Corporate Bollocks Maker powered by Clouds'

  10. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Thumb Down

    Foie gras

    There's a difference in seeing something a company offers and deciding to take it up, and having it rammed down your throat. Yes, I'm thinking about the cloud.

  11. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Then again...

    Reframing as a religion didn't do Apple any harm..

  12. PNGuinn

    What a load of 'Nads!

    See title.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "magical things"

    like stop people vomiting when when they read about "magical things".

  14. BobChip

    Who turned up the volume...

    Who turned up the volume ... in the Microsoft echo chamber?

    Back in the days when I worked for a very large company, we would have sent for the men with a white van and straightjackets if our CEO had come out with stuff like this. It has no concrete content at all, and it smacks more of desperation than motivation. Can this really reflect the mindset of the inward looking prisoners inside the big echo box?

    That's scary.

  15. keithpeter Silver badge


    The expansion is over, saturation is here. Lenovo's head of design came up with this one...

    Microsoft have some room to expand into mobile devices as end points to their back end systems. And they may have machine learning products to sell.

    What else is there? What is the next Big Thing? Anyone any ideas? What itches remain to be scratched in the corporate workaday world?

  16. harmjschoonhoven

    On verbiage

    Satya's mail contains 9 times the word more. Never was this comparative used in a comparation. This is IMHO one of the hallmarks of fascistoid verbiage.

    BTW Jehovah's Witnesses have to talk on average 5000 hours to win one soul. A.N. Walker converted me to the UNIX environment in a fraction of that time. And Microsoft ™? ... Still trying.

  17. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    I actually felt my eyes starting to twitch reading this...

    It's like watching a car crash in agonisingly slow motion.

    Facepalm because I can't find anything more appropriate to express my horrors...

  18. bitbank

    We really have a plan...really

    After 5 years of losing marketshare and floundering around with products nobody loves, this new mission statement will somehow fix everything. As a software developer, it's really hard to care about their Windows everywhere mission right now. If it succeeds, it probably won't matter for another 18-24 months because the uptake will be slow (especially mobile). During that time, their competitors will leapfrog ahead again.

    Let's see if Nadella can really break away from the personality-driven organization of the last few years and actually create a customer-driven company that creates products people care about.

    1. Siv

      Re: We really have a plan...really

      I think Nadella has shown some good ideas:

      1. Focus the teams on working together and avoiding the stupidity of the Sinofsky era where you had the Windows team writing crap apps for Windows 8 when they had talent and apps already in say the Office Team they could have used but wouldn't as they were under a different MS VP.

      2. Focus in on what MS is; a software company and lose the mantra of it can only be on Windows and expand to other platforms. It's a business and if other platforms are beating yours accommodate them to sell more product. The only thing I would differ on currently is make sure it's done FIRST and BEST on Windows.

      I wish they would stop focusing on mobile and cloud and understand that there are millions of small businesses around the world where cloud is not possibe, a) for simple technical reasons like really poor internet access speeds like we have in great swathes of the UK. Most of my clients are struggling along on 8mbps, you cannot run an entire company in the cloud through one 8mbps connection. I looked into a 1gbps connection in the centre of Gloucester via BT and it was going to cost £30,000 per year! WTF! Cloud my arse!

      Review how you deal with Business - You cannot do any serious work on phones and tablets unless you turn them into a laptop like the Surface Pro with a keyboard and then you must be saying to yourself, "why am I spending so much cash on a device that is a poor representation of a laptop".

      Business needs desktops and laptops. Except for a few very narrow areas like warehouses where you need a device to tick boxes on a form or TV presenters who need a device they can read from (rather than write on) and it's easy to carry around. Every other use case is Home User and should be kept spearate from what you offer to businesses. I think as usual too many people at Microsoft look admiringly at Apple (who are full square a home user organisation) and they are too simplistically applying what Apple are doing to their business, which in the main is a Business Focussed business. Sure create tablets and mobiles and stay in the Home User Arena for that. DO NOT shove a tablet interface on Windows Server? WTF were they thinking.

      If I was Nadella I would focus on defining the two areas separately. Home gets tablets and XBox and Windows Store. Business gets good old fashioned desktop oriented Server and Client Operating Systems and they recognise that not all businesses want cloud and go back to creating really good systems like Small Business Server that are designed to give a great experience to small businesses who don't want cloud either from a cost, limited broadband connectivity perspective or just a strong desire to keep their business away from prying eyes.

      Also I would take a long hard look at the damage that has been done to developer relationships pursuing these pointless Cloud first mobile strategies which are not what everyone wants and foster a stable long term future clearly stating what technologies will be used for the next 20 years. So that developers like me know where we are going instead of flitting between C++, C#, HTML 5, Javascript, Silverlight etc etc. Because too may times after you have gone to great expense in time learning a new language or platform and cost buying training materials in what you believe to be MS's strategy going forward, only to find that they have decided to throw that out and head off in a completely different direction and all you have done is a conplete waste of time.

      If they wonder why developers migrated to Android and IOS this was a big part of it. That's why now they are struggling with mobile as it's just too unstable a future and people decided to stick with platforms like Java on Android and Objective C and now Swift on IOS that are likely to stay stable for a long time and you won't be wasting your time focusing on a language or platform that some bright spark at MS decides is not "cool" any more and chucks it out!

      At least under Gates leadership he was focussed on looking after developers and for years you could get good at a language and know it would be supported and used for years to come and you felt confident investing in that platform to develop for. Now everyone in the Windows development community is scared of what's coming next!

    2. Asok Asus

      Re: We really have a plan...really

      "and actually create a customer-driven company that creates products people care about.

      It's already quite clear that Microsoft has not changed a single whit towards being a "customer-driven" company since Nadella took over. Just look at the fact that Windows 10 is nothing more than Windows 8 with a coat of paint slapped on, namely Windows 10 is really just Windows 8.10. Of all the many "wonderful" things added to W8.10, from Cortana to the Edge Browser (which is nothing more than a dumbed-down browser than run runs in an "app" window", there's essentially nothing of any interest to any business of any size who's running Windows 7 as a mission critical PC operating system. EVERYTHING in Windows 8.10 is simply stuff Microsoft THINKS is critical for Microsoft's strategies, and is pretty much unrelated to the needs of PC users.

  19. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    If the idiots....

    ...started to use copy-pastable pure text in their "web management interfaces" instead of homegrown bullshit HTML with underlaid images and font-enhanced bling probably meant to appeal to the pointy haired cretins holding the purse strings, it would be a beginning.

  20. SVV

    We came in peace for all mankind.....

    "We stand in awe of what humans dare to achieve"

    The gulf between this statement and the reality of Windows 8 is simply mindboggling.

    The rest of it is just basically "our business plan is to milk customers from now on through subscription models for everything".. Whether this is going to succeed or not is the really interesting question. I for one will never buy into this as a consumer, and I doubt that many organisations will be too happy about it either. I cannot see how users are going to accept being milked forever for cash when the CEO has more or less stated that this is what he plans to do. Instead I see customers coming to see "cloud" as synonymous with "pay regularly, forever". Surely the market will then produce a decent enough non subscription alternative.

    1. hplasm

      Re: We came in peace for all mankind.....

      "We stand in awe of what humans dare to achieve"

      We have the gall to charge you for this pile of glittercaque, and we dare you to buy it!

  21. TaabuTheCat

    Nadella's words

    I believe congratulations are in order amanfrommars1, for landing a new job. Well played.

  22. Schlimnitz

    Markov chain

  23. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

    Any sufficiently advanced* technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Arthur C. Clarke

    * For MS values of Advanced

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Any sufficiently promised technology is indistinguishable from bullshit.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "we'll spare you the verbiage and give you the highlights"

    Thanks... I've never been a fan of Vogon poetry.

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