Microsoft WPC 2014: Future under Nadella less about Windows, more about mobile and Cloud

The company is moving away from its past devotion to its OS

The languages translation feature Microsoft is developer for Skype.

The languages translation feature Microsoft is developer for Skype.

Microsoft's future will be less devoted to its Windows operating system as it continues to push into mobile and cloud services, CEO Satya Nadella said, using his keynote speech at the Worldwide Partner Conference to talk about where the company is headed.

"We are the company and the ecosystem that will build productivity experiences and platforms for the mobile-first, cloud first-world," he said Wednesday at the WPC in Washington, D.C. "We will reinvent productivity for the new generation. We will empower every individual and organization to achieve more. That is our singular mission."

Achieving that goal may not always rely on Windows, he said.

WPC is the conference where Microsoft rallies its thousands of business partners, who sell customized Microsoft-based systems to enterprises across many different industries. Microsoft, which relies on partners for significant enterprise sales, uses WPC to inform them of its plans, as well as to talk about the company's vision of where information technology is heading.

Nadella took over the CEO role from Steve Ballmer in February and has wasted no time readjusting the company's mission to meet new market pressures.

While Ballmer stressed the need to have Windows across different devices, Nadella maintained in his keynote speech that Microsoft now is chiefly focused on providing products and services from the cloud and for a wide range of devices.

"You have to think of this next generation of computing as mobile first, cloud first, and our goal, simply put, is to thrive in it as an ecosystem," Nadella said.

Microsoft is in a unique position because it can harmonize the needs of organizations, individuals and developers through its services and software, he said.

"We're going to get very focused on building out these digital work and life experiences," Nadella said. "It's not multiple strategies, it's one core that represents the best of what we have."

Microsoft will continue to refine its software and services, such as for email or collaboration, but look for ways they can be combined to offer more value and used across multiple devices, whatever their operating system, he said.

"We are going to have our experiences on all platforms. On every home screen out there, our aim is to have one or more Microsoft icons. Anyone can enter from any device into our ecosystem," Nadella said.

The same hardware and software is useful in personal life and business, he said, addressing the larger bring-your-own-device trend.

Microsoft appears to be pursuing a goal similar to that of Apple and IBM, which announced a partnership Tuesday through which iPhones and iPads will be equipped with enterprise software and cloud services developed by IBM. Microsoft will offer a "control plane," or a core set of enterprise services such as data security, identity management, and device management, that can be run on multiple devices, Nadella said.

Nadella also demonstrated a few Microsoft technologies now being developed, including a new service for Office 365 called Delve. It collects any information that a user may find valuable and summarizes that material on a Facebook-like dashboard. Using machine learning, it can scour the Web for news items as well as investigate local networks for internal information of interest to the user. It keeps track of what meetings a user has attended and the person's most frequent contacts, folding this information into the selection process it runs to find more data of potential interest.

Like Facebook, Delve will be able to work on mobile devices and desktop computers.

He also demonstrated a translation service for Skype combining voice recognition, language translation and speech synthesis. In a call between two people who speak different languages, Skype will be able to translate the language of one speaker to the language of another as they are talking.

This service will allow people "to speak in two different languages, without any friction," Nadella said. Nadella offered a live demonstration with two people talking in an on-stage video conference. One spoke in English and the other in German as Skype translated the conversation for both.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingmobileMicrosoftinternetoperating systemssoftwareapplicationsWindowsWPC

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?