SAN FRANCISCO, April 15 Microsoft Corp
needs a "data culture" to thrive in the new computing
environment, according to Chief Executive Satya Nadella, in his
third public appearance in three weeks putting his imprint on
the software company.
Nadella, who took the helm in February, is seeking to push
Microsoft further toward mobile and 'cloud,' or
Internet-connected, computing. That marks a shift from his
predecessor, Steve Ballmer, whose world view was more tied to
personal computers and the Windows operating system.
"Every aspect of Microsoft's business is being fundamentally
transformed because of data," said Nadella at a presentation in
San Francisco on Tuesday. "You have to build deeply into the
fabric of the company a culture that thrives on data."
From managing its own heating costs to analyzing customers'
website usage, Nadella set out Microsoft's plan to play a
central role in gathering, storing, processing and presenting
data, taking advantage of its database products, data centers
and its Office suite of applications, including the ubiquitous
Excel spreadsheet program.
"Think of Office as the canvas, or the surface area, or the
scaffolding from which you can access the data," said Nadella.
His comments about a data-driven computing environment were
not ground-breaking, but they form a part of a striking new
approach at Microsoft, which Nadella calls "mobile first, cloud
Broadly, that means focusing on making Microsoft's
internet-friendly software widely available as services rather
than traditional products, and playing a role in all realms of
computing rather than just attempting to dominate markets with
Windows and Office.
Nadella made his latest appearance to boost Tuesday's launch
of SQL Server 2014, the latest version of Microsoft's
market-leading database software, worth more than $5 billion in
sales per year.
He also announced an early public test version of a
cloud-based system for managing data automatically generated
from machines, and the release of Microsoft's Analytics Platform
System, which lets customers analyze large chunks of
information, attacking the exploding market for what has become
known as 'big data.'
Organizations could save $1.6 trillion over the next four
years by unifying their data collection and analyzing it better,
according to a report by tech research firm IDC, commissioned by
"To be able to truly benefit from this platform you need to
have a data culture inside of your organization. For me, this
perhaps is the most paramount thing inside of Microsoft," said
"It's not going to happen without having that data culture
where every engineer, every day, is looking at the usage data,
learning from that usage data, questioning what new things to
test out with our products and being on that improvement cycle
which is the lifeblood of Microsoft."
Separately, Microsoft told Wall Street analysts on Tuesday
that Nadella would appear on quarterly earnings conference
calls, starting next week. That marks another change from
Ballmer, who very rarely appeared on finance calls.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby and Edwin Chan. Editing by Andre