satya-nadella

Let’s be honest with one another: Windows 8 was a disaster for the average PC user. For those of us who cover Windows, Windows 8 was easy to adapt to and we often point out that once you get the hang of it, it’s not as bad as it seems. For the average PC user, though, they’ve lost hope in Microsoft under the helm of Steve Ballmer.

Now, with the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO of Microsoft, the average Windows user can breathe a bit easier, and we’ll explain why.

How Nadella Can Save Windows

Satya Nadella is the third CEO in Microsoft’s history, following Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. This is a company that doesn’t change its end game very often, but appointing an engineer – going back to Microsoft’s roots in Gates – is where this decision lies. When Ballmer succeeded Gates, it was thought that a more business-minded direction for Microsoft was its future.

Steve-Ballmer

And we all know how that turned out.

Recommended Reading: What Steve Ballmer’s Retirement Means for Microsoft

Now, we find ourselves with another engineer, a programmer, a man who’s hard-coded and worked to take something from nothing and create something that works. Someone that understands the backend of some of Microsoft’s biggest products and someone who sees how frustrating it can be for a user when that backend steers them down the wrong path.

One of his first acts as CEO of Microsoft was an impromptu webcast that interrupted meetings across the company. This occurred only hours after being named CEO and after it had hit the media. As he started, he told those watching that he didn’t want to get in the way of something more important, encouraging them to stand up and say they needed to get to work.

This is the difference between Nadella and Ballmer. The latter came off coarse, tense and unfriendly to both employees and consumers. Nadella wants to be both a hands-on CEO and a hands off one as well, and if anybody can find the balance, this town hall-style webcast showed he’s taking charge in a more laid back manner than Ballmer ever intended.

One of the reasons Google is considered one of the best places to work in the tech industry is because of the easy-going and laidback demeanor at the Googleplex. It’s been years since Redmond felt the same and Nadella wants to push the company into a more productive, efficient and customer-focused workplace, something that’s been missing since Gates was at the helm.

The Future of Windows 8 and the OS

With Nadella pushing Microsoft to be more customer-minded, this gives Windows and the future of the OS a much-needed boost. When a company moves to thinking more like the customer than just how they view things, the more they can evolve and develop a product for consumers and not developers.

This has been the core issue since Windows 8 was released. Windows 8 was a developer’s OS, not a consumer’s. Since its release, Microsoft has failed to listen to any consumer feedback, particularly surrounding the Start Menu. Will Nadella begin listening to consumer feedback?

I’d be surprised if he hasn’t been listening this whole time. The difference is now he’s in a position to change Windows 8 for the better.

The real question on the table is: What will the future of Windows 8 and the OS look like?

And as usual with Microsoft, only time will tell.

But we’re cautiously optimistic. The next 18 months will be interesting to watch as Nadella settles into his role as CEO and where Microsoft, and Windows, choose to direct its focus.

Conclusion

It’s no lie that I’ve been a fan of Microsoft since I first sat down in front of a PC. I’ve worked my way through ME, XP, 7 and now 8. I’ve adapted as Windows had adapted and evolved into an OS that no longer resembles what PC users have grown accustomed to.

I have hope that Nadella will turn Microsoft around, especially with Gates by his side. Windows is safer in his hands at the helm than it has been since the Gates era. I encourage you to look towards the future of Windows with a bit of optimism, the long road is behind us for a better operating system.