What a year it has been for Microsoft. After a full year under the reigns of CEO Satya Nadella, the company has begun its long journey back to the top. From generating interest in the once-flailing Windows Operating System with the announcement of Windows 10 to pushing the move to per-user pricing to the company’s decision to cooperate with competitors, Microsoft has gotten its groove back.
Of course, not all of this can be attributed to Nadella. Many of the great improvements were results of strategic moves made by Ballmer (Office for iPad, HoloLens, etc.) to allow Nadella, former head of the Dynamics division, to transition easily into his new role.
Let’s take a look at how Microsoft achieved its rise back to topicality in both the business and consumer sectors:
The Fueling of Consumer, Business, and Developer Interest in Windows 10
Windows 10 looks to refuel not only the business interest in a new Windows OS, but rebuild trust from the consumer sector as well. After the questionable release that was Windows 8 and 8.1, many felt jaded—especially those who moved from longstanding favorite OS, Windows XP.
However, from predictions that Windows 10 will be the solution businesses are looking for to the announcement of Windows 10 optimized for every device, developers and business entities will be able to see more use as part of the ‘One Microsoft’ ideal.
- For Consumers, the OS will return to the much loved display held by XP and 7, but will be optimized for tablets, smart devices, and even the Xbox.
- For Businesses, Windows 10 will offer productivity improvements, along with the multi-desktop mode to separate business and home use.
- For Developers (the most apprehensive to Windows based on complexities writing for multiple devices), they will be able to write apps for one version of Windows 10 and move them over to other versions with little extra work.
The focus on multi-device will hopefully bring more developers to both the Microsoft Store. To further this, the company has taken another strategic move to coax developers to Microsoft.
The “Holy Grail” of App Development
Developers who once would only choose to develop for iOS are now kicking the tires on app development for Microsoft. The ‘Holy Grail’ tools are simple, write the app once and it runs on everything: Windows 8 devices, Windows Phone 8, Xbox, iOS and Android.
Playing Well with Others
If Nadella is going to be known for one thing, it is going to be his commitment to repairing bridges burned I the Gates and Ballmer days.
Microsoft Office and Salesforce.com
Even with the great software that is Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Nadella buried the hatchet with longtime enemy Salesforce.com when the two companies devised a plan to integrate the products more easily, announcing that in 2015, there will be a two-pronged improvement:
- In the first half of 2015, Salesforce will integrate into Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business on Android and iOS. Also in the first two quarters of the new year, a Salesforce app for Outlook will ship.
- In the second half, a Salesforce1 app for Windows Phone will touch down along with a Salesforce app for Excel.
This is big news for two once bitter rivals. However, that’s not all.
Microsoft Downplays War with Apple and Android
Outlook for iOS, OneDrive for Android. With the recent purchase of Acompli, Microsoft took Outlook directly into the hands of iPhone users, creating an application that brought Microsoft to iOS to a great deal of fanfare. Now, with today’s purchase of Sunrise, Microsoft bought a calendar worth using on iOS and Android.
Bigger yet, Nadella stopped denying the existence of his competitors, using iPad and iPhone apps at a recent developer conference.
Better yet, Microsoft has moved back to its role as an innovator, rather than a follower.
Innovations Abound at Microsoft
A key portion of regaining users is the ability to innovate, and Microsoft has most certainly grown into this. Specifically, Microsoft announced a variety of innovations to better its current products:
- Delve which is sort of like Google Now/Siri/Cortana for Microsoft Office 365
- A new version of Power BI, which lets normal business people make sense of floods of data.
- A real-time translation tool for Skype users.
- Microsoft Sway, a cloud presentation tool that takes on Prezi and Microsoft’s own PowerPoint.
- The augmented reality device HoloLens, which will incorporate holographic images on top of your current surroundings. Microsoft says Windows Holographic will also provide a platform for people to build things like toys, gadgets, and even devices. You can create objects in a 3D space, which will behave just like 3D objects when you interact with them through Microsoft’s headgear.
We are excited to cover the return of Microsoft, and welcome your organization to join the revolution. Learn more about the improvements in some of our recent Microsoft articles:
- Microsoft Ignite 2015: Spark the Future
- Get Ready: Microsoft Convergence One Month Away
- Dynamics GP 2015 Overview
- Dynamics SL 2015 Overview
As a provider of Dynamics GP, SL, Office 365, and Exchange Server, we know how to help organizations make the most of their software choices. Contact us today to learn how we can help you better achieve business goals.