Among the bigger problems Microsoft has had over the years is being very insular and proprietary. Their idea of “getting” the Internet was creating a web browser and buying Skype. But their core apps, mostly Office, has remained closed tight except for integrations with other Microsoft software and hardware. I absolutely love what Satya Nadella is doing at Microsoft. As I have said, he is going to single handedly save the company because he understands it’s a new world and the old Microsoft way of doing business won’t work anymore. Nadella has opened the company up in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
Their latest move is the Office Graph API, a programming interface that allows programmers to integrate Internet technology and services into Office like never before. Microsoft has already shown integrations with Uber and SAP. Microsoft is getting smart by finally embracing the new world of the Internet and cloud services.
In the long run, it does more harm than good trying to lock customers into your platform. Flexibility is what people are looking for now as new devices and services are coming to the market faster than ever before. We are in the middle of a massive transition from tradition desktop computing to mobile computing and from traditional desktop software to cloud-based services. Microsoft’s entire fortune has been made from the traditional hardware and software side of things. Microsoft almost completely missed the initial Internet shift and they didn’t really completely get it. But if they miss this transition, they will be doomed for sure. They are lucky Satya Nadella is at the helm.