Seven years of deep sleep would be enough and you would never recognize Microsoft from back then in today’s company. This is no coincidence, because in 2014 Satya Nadella took over the CEO position after 22 years in the company. He not only brought the entire group on a completely new course at an almost unbelievable speed. Above all, he pulled it off and has been reaping the benefits for years. All of this to the delight of the shareholders – Microsoft can celebrate soaring on the stock exchange, which observers would hardly have imagined given the paper bobbing around before the change in leadership.
Nobody can do that alone. When you ponder Nadella’s important sparring partners, it depends on who you ask. In business circles, people like Judson Althoff – Chief Commercial Officer, came to Microsoft from Oracle in 2013 – or Scott Guthrie – a Microsoft veteran with almost 25 years in the company, co-architect of ASP.NET and today responsible for the entire cloud and AI area.
The other perspective
On the other hand, if you ask technically interested people from the classic admin environment, the name Mark Russinovich will quickly come into play: As a co-founder of Winternals, he became well-known with important tools for in-depth technical analysis under Windows.
The popularity of the Sysinternals toolbox, which includes Process Monitor and Process Explorer, has remained unbroken to this day. In 2006 Microsoft bought the company and brought Russinovich in with them, at the time as a so-called Technical Fellow. In September 2014 he was made technical manager of Azure and he still holds this position today. Community voices consider Russinovich to be an essential operational and strategic cornerstone of the entire technical Azure architecture.
The merit of the enormous growth of Azure and numerous techniques and methods, all of which have 365 in their name, goes to thousands upon thousands of other people in the Microsoft environment. But it’s no secret that Nadella drives this big motor with seemingly unlimited energy without ceasing and that the people mentioned act with similar incentives, especially in the cloud environment.
Microsoft yes, cloud no?
But at the end of the day, is this rapid development and this huge economic success really good – for Microsoft and for its customers? Again, it depends on who you ask. The majority of Microsoft staff, analysts, stockbrokers, consultants and system houses will probably answer the question with yes.
At this point, however, the focus should be directed to the future perceived minority of the coming years: Administrative staff who are responsible for Microsoft environments that do not follow, want to follow or cannot follow the Azure and 365 strategy – but in the Want to stay in the Microsoft environment, for which there can be various reasons.
Microsoft began years ago to develop important functions only for the cloud business. This also applies to important security functions, for example in the Exchange area, where important defense functions – link rewriting and analysis in emails, sandboxing of attachments and modern authentication techniques – simply cannot be obtained from Microsoft without Azure or 365 products.
At the same time, projects with a 365 connection simply run faster than others. A good example of this is the current Outlook preview for the Mac in a new look (Microsoft calls it “new Outlook”), which after almost a year still cannot be connected directly to a local Exchange server. And we’re not talking about old versions here – even the latest, but local Exchange versions cannot be connected. Exchange Online, on the other hand, is supported from the start.
This raises questions, especially because this limitation already existed in the initial version, but it could be tricked by simply making another Outlook online account the primary account. Lo and behold, Outlook for Mac has also worked with the local Exchange Server in the “new Outlook guise”. Microsoft then blocked this option again. So now we have to keep waiting.