2014: The Year of Evolution for Microsoft

Software giant Microsoft, long regarded as a monolith in a world of innovative software creations every day, is finally looking as though it might be embracing change and novelty. 2014 was a good year for Microsoft; this year Microsoft has decided to open up to the world. With such prominent events as announcing a new CEO, the open sourcing of .NET, presenting Office for iPad and cutting off 14% of its workforce, Microsoft definitely seems to be heading to a better, more exciting place.

New CEO for Microsoft: Satya Nadella

In April, when Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of the board at Microsoft, this major change was accompanied by other major news: former CEO Steve Ballmer was replaced by Satya Nadella, a 22-year veteran at the company. In the last few years, Nadella had been in charge of the Cloud and Enterprise Group, one of Microsoft most flourishing and innovative divisions, where he had confidently pushed ahead Windows Azure. While Nadella is described as rather similar to Gates in thought and action, he is also known as an enthusiast for changes and new directions.  All in all, Nadella seems like a good choice for a company wishing to reinvent itself.

And he has proven his promise quickly enough: in July, it was announced that Microsoft will be cutting off 18,000 – or 14% – of its employees by the end of the year. While this may have seemed like a bad sign at first, it quickly became apparent that this might be the best decision for the company in the long term. Most of the employees going away were Nokia employees – and the plan is that this cut will make it easier for Microsoft to enter into the smartphone field.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft SEO, with Bill Gates
Satya Nadella with Bill Gates

The Open Sourcing of .NET – a New Era?

Recently, it was announced that Microsoft is open sourcing .NET. Even more groundbreaking was the announcement that in the future, this free code will run on machines with MAC OS and Linux, not only on Windows operated machines. This is not simply a friendly move towards Microsoft’s historic rivals; it signifies Microsoft’s acknowledgement of the fact that a variety of operating systems are being used today, and that Windows is longer the prominent one. This way, therefore, Microsoft is actually paving its way to regaining prominence – and new fans.

In the same vein, earlier this year Microsoft finally put out an Office version for iPad. This was great news for Office users wanting to share data between the office and home, and it has also allowed them to choose their preferred hardware platform without having to give Office up. Instead of continuing to guard its software like a hawk, which had often frustrated its users, Microsoft is finally embracing the reality of the present decade: promoting products through the free choice of their users.