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CEO Satya Nadella Looks for a Future That Fits Microsoft's Strengths

Microsoft's new CEO sits down for his first in-depth interview as the Code Conference kicks off.

Asa Mathat

Liveblog highlights:

  • Microsoft’s future is about building platforms and software for productivity.
  • Nadella says we’re entering a “post-post-PC era.”
  • Microsoft has no plans to sell its search business to Yahoo.
  • “I have no intent to do anything different on Xbox than we’re doing today.”
  • Microsoft’s software and services need to be available on “all devices,” Nadella says.
  • Nadella and corporate VP Gurdeep Singh Pall unveiled a version of Skype that translates live between languages.

In the three short months since Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO, he has presided over a few developments that would have seemed almost inconceivable in another era.

He introduced the Office for iPad subscription service, a move long in the making but locked up for years in tense negotiations with Apple. It was a big decision for the software giant, which considered waiting until a touch-first version of Office was ready for Windows 8 before launching the iPad app. (It is still not available for Windows 8.)

Meanwhile, Nadella has also pushed Microsoft hard in several areas in which the company has long been toiling. He has presided over a big-data event as well as last week’s launch of the new Surface Pro, which executives positioned not just as a high-end tablet for business use, but as a device to help you get rid of your laptop altogether. So far, Surface has been an expensive gambit for Microsoft, resulting in steep losses and further alienation of PC makers dismayed by a slowing computer market.

That’s why tops on Nadella’s to-do list will be fixing the Windows business and getting Microsoft’s phone business to be more than an also-ran in what has been a two-horse race between Apple and Google/Samsung.

This is all part of his task to ensure the company lives up to its billing as a cloud and mobile-first company — to revitalize its image as a technology leader and to shake off the perception that it is your father’s tech company.

In his first few months, Nadella has gone to great lengths to show he is a new type of leader in Redmond — from speaking frankly about the competition and challenges to sporting hoodies rather than the Oxford shirts and sweaters of his predecessors.

We are looking forward to learning more about Nadella’s plans to take Microsoft in a new direction in his first in-depth interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to kick off the inaugural Code Conference.

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