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Microsoft Q3 Earnings, Starring Satya Nadella (And, Hopefully, His Hipster Hoodie)

It will be interesting to get some sense of Nadella's vision for the future of the tech behemoth.


It’s not going to be a blockbuster third quarter for Microsoft, in what is usually a seasonally weaker time, but the man who knows how to wear a hipster hoodie might liven up the proceedings.

That would be CEO Satya Nadella, who will be helming his first earnings call since he took over as top dog at the software giant earlier this year. That’s a welcome shift from his predecessor Steve Ballmer, who has left such important tasks to Microsoft’s various CFOs, most recently Amy Hood.

While it is doubtful he will put on the dog-and-pony-and-pretty-sparklers TV-news-style show that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been mounting quarterly, it will be good to hear what the soft-spoken Nadella will say and, perhaps more importantly, how he will say it.

Some keys areas of interest: The status of Microsoft’s mobile efforts, a wassup about Windows and how that cloud thing Nadella used to be in charge of is working out, given the intense competition from Amazon and Google (pretty well, as it turns out).

While the longtime Microsoft exec does not seem like a rabble-rouser, it was nice to see him finally announce Office for Windows on the Apple iPad and some other long-needed initiatives in the mobile area. With the Nokia deal closing this week, Wall Street will also want to know what Microsoft’s big plans are to get that going, too.

Since I cannot ask any questions on the call after the results are released, I’d like to know what companies Microsoft might acquire going forward — I have some ideas on that — and also how its search relationship with Yahoo is going with Mayer making all kinds of efforts to do her own search thing.

Mostly, it will be interesting to get some sense of Nadella’s vision for the future of the tech behemoth that still has to remake itself as the landscape shifts quickly. (By the way, Nadella will be giving his first public interview at the upcoming Code Conference in May.)

Analysts expect Microsoft to earn 63 cents per share on revenue of $20.4 billion in the quarter.

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