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Top 10 tips for Satya Nadella as Microsoft CEO

Things we think Ballmer's successor should note
Wed Feb 05 2014, 15:22

SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft named Satya Nadella as its next CEO on Tuesday, taking over from Steve Ballmer immediately.

Nadella, who previously worked as Microsoft EVP of cloud and enterprise, seems pretty happy about his new role, but it's fair to say that the 46-year-old has a tough job ahead of him, with the company facing many challenges.

The INQUIRER has compiled a list of 10 tips - in no particular order - that we think Nadella should take note of as Microsoft's new CEO to ensure that the firm continues to be successful.

Redesign Windows 8
Microsoft is currently in the midst of a Windows 8 backlash. Both consumers and businesses alike have shunned Microsoft's latest operating system version, mainly due to its introduction of the unfamiliar Metro interface, which fails to fulfill its goal of making the operating system more intuitive, and if anything it's overly simplistic design makes it more confusing than ever.

The operating system's incoherence is at least partly to blame for the steep decline in PC sales worldwide. To address this, Nadella needs to rethink Windows 8 and bring back the simplicities that older Windows users know and love while bringing its look into the 21st century.

Reinstate XP support
The Windows XP support battle continues to drag on and Nadella would be wise to revisit this situation with an open mind now that he’s taken the reins as CEO.

Microsoft Windows XP boxes on the assembly line in 2001

As the April deadline approaches for Microsoft to end Windows XP support, many users and companies are still refusing to migrate to a newer version of Windows and have been making thinly veiled threats to the firm that when they are forced to move, it will be to a different OS completely. This has led Microsoft to continually moving the goalposts as to when it will definitely cut off all support for the older OS. It recently announced that it will provide anti-malware signatures for Windows XP until July 2015 after all.

The situation facing Nadella is that around a third of Windows machines are still running Windows XP, and he needs to find a way to get those users to spend money with Microsoft again, rather than continuing to use an old version that brings in no licensing revenue for Redmond, or switching over to Apple, Linux or Google alternatives.

The potential security risks don't seem to be enough to force users to upgrade, despite Microsoft's warnings that Windows XP is six times less secure than Windows 8. So Nadella needs to come up with a more convincing reason for Windows XP users to upgrade that will offer clear benefits for them rather than Microsoft, or reconsider the support cut-off plans and start offering some support packages for Windows XP die-hards that will at least allow Microsoft to earn some cash from them.

Keep Nokia brand
It's still unclear whether Microsoft plans to ditch the Nokia brand following its acquisition of the Finnish phone maker, but Steve Ballmer admitted last October that the firm might consider replacing the iconic branding in favour of its own.

We're hoping Nadella ignores Ballmer's remarks, and sees that the Nokia brand, which has managed to claim around 90 percent of Windows Phone sales so far and has a reputation for creating some of the most popular phones over the years, is much stronger than the Microsoft brand, which has so far struggled to shift Microsoft branded mobile phones and Surface tablets.

Sure, Nokia might be struggling to compete against Apple and Samsung for smartphone sales, but we think a Microsoft branded phone would have a much harder time winning over consumers.


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