Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where attendees could see some of what’s coming, Nadella referenced the tech giant’s new enterprise-focused HoloLens 2, explaining how the user experience of mixed reality speaks to where all UI is going.
“It’s instinctual,” he stated. “That is, you have speech, you have gaze, you have gestures, you have touch, but you use the things that are most natural for a given multi-modality.”
This future is driven in part by technical developments and by user expectations of what’s possible. And as a company, Microsoft has had to reinvent itself in order to keep up the shifts taking place.
That has meant, for example, a move away from devices and licences to the cloud and digital distribution. (For more, read WARC’s report: ‘Tech intensity’: inside Microsoft’s own transformation.)
Nadella’s idea of empowering every person and every organisation to achieve more is reflected in several acquisitions he has made, including LinkedIn, the professionally focused social network, and GitHub, the repository hosting service that accelerates an ongoing shift to the cloud and away from proprietary software out to open source.
“To some degree, the core of any transformation is: are you in real touch with the unmet, unarticulated needs of your customers?” he told his Barcelona audience. “And are you doing things that are more in tune with that versus any dogma you may have had on your approach?”
But ditching the dogma has been hard for the company that revolutionised computing with its ubiquitous software.
It has had to make a deliberate effort, said Nadella, to think about “what are the new trends, what are the new needs, and are we changing our culture, our capability, and our conceptual understanding of what we stand for, to be in tune with it and not be stuck?”
Sourced from WARC