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When it was announced Satya Nadella would take over when Steve Ballmer stepped down as CEO of Microsoft, those in the company’s corner and those who would like to see it burn down applauded. Almost six months later and those following Microsoft’s developments are still wondering: Is this a different company than when it was under Ballmer’s control?

Truth be told, it’s hard to tell. Sure, Microsoft is moving in the right direction, but at a slower pace than most thought. Let’s look at Nadella’s latest remarks and whether Microsoft is moving forward instead of just standing still.

Rallying the Troops at Microsoft

It’s clear by Nadella’s remarks to the press, along with his interactions with Microsoft employees, that he’s already more hands on than Ballmer ever pretended to be. Ballmer came off as a pompous, unattached guy sitting in the big seat who really didn’t know what consumers wanted or desired in Microsoft’s variety of products. Nadella is a man of the people – both consumer and employee – and he’s already boosted morale in ways Ballmer never could’ve come close to.

In Nadella’s latest talk to employees, he touched on a few key points that indicate Microsoft plans to boldly go forward whether consumers are ready for it or not.

The big difference between Nadella and Ballmer is the way they do business. Nadella is looking at the big picture, Ballmer always looked at the short-term goals and turning a profit. While making money is definitely a motivation for big companies, Microsoft included, technology changes every day and you either move forward with big ideas or get left behind.

It’s been awhile since Microsoft was at the forefront of innovation in a way the technological sector and its consumer-base jumped up and down in excitement. Nadella wants to change that.

Microsoft, with Nadella at the helm, is focusing on the consumer experience not the products and services that get them there. Confused? Most consumers are. In order to have an optimal experience throughout the Microsoft suite of products, you have to use the products and services at your fingertips. However, most consumers are only using a couple of products or services at any given time and not benefiting from the whole experience of using the Microsoft suite.

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Nadella wants to change that.

He also wants to change Windows. He wants Windows to be all-inclusive, meaning everything you use whether it’s Windows 8.1, Windows Phone or the Xbox One is tied together through Microsoft allowing you for a seamless online and offline experience. Windows 13 has been mentioned several times by Nadella, including in his most recent public appearances. If you’re keeping track we’re at Windows 8.1.

Nadella, as a developer himself, understands that the development process has to change along with what we see as the overall experience as consumers. This means that Microsoft’s legion of developers from the ground up have to change how they code and do business. They have to shift the focus to a finished product to an overall experience.

Conclusion

Anyone concerned with where Microsoft goes from here should be cautiously optimistic. While Nadella has only been Microsoft CEO for about six months, his attitude and demeanor are a stark contrast to how Ballmer led the company.

That alone is enough to prove Microsoft is pushing forward and looking to change the way we interact with the Web, with our computers and the Windows platform we’ve come to love or hate. Whatever the future is, it’s bright for Microsoft.