Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, the company is undergoing a number of changes. While some changes like the decision to lay off 18,000 employees may look like a bit extreme, there are some which would surely be welcomed by users and developers.
In the quarterly earnings call yesterday, Nadella confirmed that the company would no longer work in different teams for the development of each version of Microsoft Windows OS. Instead, these teams will work together to develop a single version of Windows which will be built upon the current three versions of Windows OS, Windows Phone and Xbox OS. So, Microsoft will essentially have a one team working under a single architecture.
“This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes,” Nadella said at the Conference Call. “We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes.”
This strategy is quite different than what we have seen from big companies like Apple. The Cupertino giant has always kept its mobile OS, i.e. iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod different from its OS for PC products i.e. Mac OS for Mac Mini, Macbooks and iMacs. Even Microsoft under the leadership of former CEO Steve Ballmer had different teams developing each version of Windows.
But there are lots of advantages of bringing together all the three different versions. Developers especially benefit from the fact that they can develop an app to run on three different OSes. Users naturally benefit from more apps and improvement in the quality of apps available on the store given that developers are now focused on the quality and not on making it available on different platforms.
However, remember that Microsoft will still be selling different editions of Windows. So, you will find Windows Pro Edition, Enterprise Edition and even a cheap version with Bing for low cost devices. But the unification of the OS will make thousands of apps available on all the three platforms and versions.
During the same investor’s quarterly conference call, Nadella reported that the company’s profits had taken a hit due to the profit drain by Nokia. The Finnish giant, whom Microsoft bought for almost $7 billion took nearly $700 million from the operating profit of the company this quarter.
But Microsoft’s other businesses are doing well. Windows, Office and other product sales rose by 10.5% this quarter with the total revenue up by 18%.
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