A few tweets of mine today about Microsoft releasing Office for iPad seem to have people up-in-arms. So allow me to clarify.
First, I do think this is an important moment. Not for me, personally, because I still won’t use Office — haven’t in years — but for millions of other people who do and want to use it on their own terms, on their own devices. More importantly, this is important for Microsoft. It’s a grand gesture to suggest they’re finally taking their head out of the sand it has been in for the better part of a decade.
"But, but, but, Microsoft clearly didn’t make Office in 52 days!," they whine. No shit. I’m not saying that Satya Nadella has been the one man hand-coding Office for iPad with both hands tied behind his back for the past 52 days. I’m saying it takes balls for Microsoft to even release Office for iPad at all. Especially now.
Culturally, I think we have operated as if we had the formula figured out, and it was all about optimizing, in its various constituent parts, the formula. Now it is about discovering the new formula.
The honeymoon is on. Microsoft finally announced a new CEO yesterday: Satya Nadella. And the blogosphere seemingly could not be more pleased.
And I have to admit, reading all the coverage, Nadella sounds like the right choice. He knows Microsoft. He was leading the one division inside the company without question marks. He knows his tech. And everyone seems to like him.
But all of this overlooks the obvious question: if he seems like such a slam dunk, why wasn’t he?