I was at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond a week before the Build developer conference, and I wanted to know what was going on with Windows after a reorg split the team into different divisions. Was Microsoft really preparing itself for a world without Windows? Nadella was ready to tell me that Windows isn’t going away – of course Windows isn’t going away – but he also wanted to explain his latest buzzwordy vision for the future of the Microsoft: AI, Intelligent Cloud, and Intelligent Edge.
Windows might still be here, but after talking to Nadella, I did get the sense that Windows is no longer as central to the company’s future plans as it once was. Instead of trying to make everything run on Windows (as his predecessor Steve Ballmer was trying to do), Nadella wants to ensure that everything can work with Windows.
The decline of Windows is definitely overblown in the media, but Microsoft did miss the next big thing by a thousand miles, and mindshare-wise, this has had enormous consequences. It hasn’t hurt Microsoft much financially though, and you can be sure Windows isn’t going anywhere any time soon.