10 Satya Nadella Quotes That Tell Us What He’ll Do As Microsoft’s CEO

Satya Nadella quotes

Now that Satya Nadella has become Microsoft’s new CEO that everyone wants to know, what will he do? Though considered a falling star, Microsoft remains formidable, and Nadella’s actions could turn the company into a comeback kid. Here are ten quotes that hint at the path Nadella will take as Redmond’s head cheese.

“Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.”

Of all of Nadella’s quotes, this short sentence, which can be found early in his first letter to the company as Microsoft’s CEO, is the best. In just a handful of words, he acknowledges that Microsoft is perceived as a stodgy, slow, and uncooperative organization that has damaged its fortunes, and hints that he’ll strive to fix it.

“Be passionate and bold. Always keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don’t learn.”

Sure, this may sound like fluff, but remember, we’re talking about a Microsoft CEO. This statement, which Nadella gave to The Deccan Chronicle in a July 2013 interview, is hardly the kind of thing you’d expect from Steve Ballmer or even Bill Gates in the mid-90s. Nadella seems to be willing to consider what partners, customers and critics have to say, and that could go a long towards repairing Microsoft’s lousy relationship with them.

“Our job is to ensure Microsoft will thrive in a mobile and cloud-first world.”

This statement, from Nadella’s letter to the company, is interesting not only because of what it includes but also what it excludes. Windows and Office weren’t mentioned in his letter, while cloud services received plenty of attention. While Nadella will no doubt support the company’s money-makers, he obviously feels that the future is in the cloud.

“In the post-Snowden world, you need to enable others to build their own cloud and have mobility of applications. That’s both because of the physicality of computing–where the speed of light still matters–and because of geopolitics.”

This quote from an interview with Forbes says a lot about Nadella’s attitude. Microsoft has seen no shortage of criticism over the information Snowden released, so a defensive response or a smoke-screen of platitudes could have been expected.

Instead, he tackles the problem, and explains what it means for the company. He recognizes that not everyone is comfortable handing data over to a third party and promises to build products for those who’d rather not. This bodes well for Microsoft’s stance on privacy, and indicates that the company will be more sensitive to customer needs during his tenure.

“Over the next 10 years, we’ll reach a point where nearly everything has become digitized.”

The LeWeb conference held in Paris late last year put Nadella in front of Om Malik, founder of GigaOm, who asked where Nadella thought technology is headed. His response, seen above in bold, is perhaps to be expected, but it goes well beyond the mundane.

Nadella explained, for example, that even farmers are using connected devices to monitor production on a large scale in real-time. This is the future he hopes Microsoft can thrive in, and it indicates that the term “enterprise market” means more to him than the IT department at your local bank or call center. If his vision is successful, Microsoft could become much like IBM or Cisco, a silent giant making big bucks with products most people don’t even know about.

“Devices are where experiences come together. On Surface Pro, a lot of the experience is on the device, but all of the applications that run on the device have back ends in the cloud.”

Even when talking about devices, a business Microsoft has tried to make an important pillar of its business, Nadella references the cloud.

And that may be for the best. Apple has advanced its position as a premium product maker by offering a variety of cloud-powered services, like password management, device backup and iTunes. Nadella’s obsession may be exactly what’s needed to help the company catch up in this crucial area.

“I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.”

Satya Nadella has mentioned his love for cricket on several occasions. While this may seem like a minor insight into his private life, his talk of leadership vibes with his reputation inside the company. He believes in collaboration, but he doesn’t believe a team effort requires layers upon layers of management. Nadella, who’s inheriting a company from Steve Ballmer in need of reorganization, is likely to execute it without hesitation.

“You’re trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it’s that compression. The best code is poetry.”

Politico’s look at Satya Nadella found that, in addition to his love of cricket, he also has a passion for poetry. While hardly a must-have qualification for CEO, it shows that he’s avoided the narrow-minded focus on technology that plagues some engineers in the tech industry, and ultimately alienates them from the people using the products they develop.

This quote shows that Nadella understands there is more to the world than features, spec sheets and code, which means that he should be a good judge when it comes to deciding when products should be released.

“We will continue to make strides in providing innovation in the realm of connected systems that bridge the unstructured world of human processes with the structured world of business applications.”

If you’d like a more direct indication that Satya Nadella understands the importance of the human element when developing a new product, this quote should provide the evidence you need. What’s more, it’s not even recent, but from a 2006 article about an upcoming Microsoft Office feature. This shows that Nadella’s humanist bent isn’t a recent invention designed to massage the press.

“I”m also grounded in our challenges, in fact, that’s the adventure […] which creates the competitive zeal in me to do great work.”

There’s no doubt that Nadella comes off as a softer, more open individual than either Ballmer or Gates, and that might lead some to fear that he lacks the courage needed to move a company like Microsoft forward. As this quote shows, it’d be a mistake to think that the new CEO has no competitive spirit. He does; but unlike Ballmer, who was driven by sales, Nadella is driven by innovation and conquering technological challenges.

And that may be just what Microsoft needs.

Gaming

Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From DirectX Box to 720, it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.
Mobile

The Avalon V is Alcatel’s first Verizon-exclusive smartphone

Alcatel is has announced a new phone, the Avalon V -- but this budget device isn't what makes the announcement special. It's Alcatel's first phone on the Verizon network, and it's available now.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu in May 2019, and what’s leaving soon

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for May 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus packs Star Wars, MCU, and The Simpsons too -- all for $7 per month

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Product Review

You won't buy Microsoft's Surface Hub 2S, but it could still change your life

The Microsoft Surface Hub 2S wants to change the way you collaborate at work. That’s a lofty goal most devices fail to achieve, but the unique Hub 2S could be an exception. And trust us – you’re going to want it.
Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Computing

Meet the mastermind behind Microsoft's massive new Surface Hub

Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gives us an exclusive peek at the 85-inch Surface Hub 2, and explains how innovation and collaboration will transform your workplace.
Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.
Gaming

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.
Deals

Amazon strikes $100 off the price of Microsoft Surface Go tablets

If you've been eyeing Microsoft's Surface Go for its compact size and portability, now may be a great time to buy the tablet. Amazon has a $100 discount on the Surface Go, bringing the price of this slate down to just under $400.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.