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A Piece of a Bigger Cake

It is a proven marketing method that product and company often share the same name. Thus it is easier for customers to keep the brand in mind. To drive a Mercedes is your first idea – then you decide which model you are going to buy. Microsoft never tried to let the company´s name and its main product sound the same. In fact, the name of its flagship-product – Windows – is even more popular than the company´s name itself (with 570 million google-hits vs. 310 million for Microsoft). In the beginning Microsoft was widely dubbed the „Gates-Company“ – and „Windows-Company“ since the late eighties, which the company never could wipe off. Today, nobody would think of the „Nadella-Company“ instead, or even „Azure-Company“, though these two labels would fit much better today than the old ones.
But it was the CEO Satya Nadella, who prescribed such a perfect company metamorphosis during the few years of his reign, that virtually only the company´s logo reminds us of those good old Windows days. The company turned agile and speedy and operates at the highest level of technology. Microsoft is a market leader in virtually every segment of information technology. The shares rise to the peaks we were used to when Microsoft was a virtual monopoly in the PC market. The company is surely based on the fundamentals of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, but the architecture of the house shows the signature of the third CEO in the company´s history.
Meanwhile Microsoft is focusing its forces – and those of 64.000 partners with their cloud-solutions based on Azure – on future´s key infrastructure: intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. With this strategy, which CEO Satya Nadella announced last summer, all the cloud-based activities for Azure, Office, Dynamics and – even more important – AI solutions are combined. The most recent reorgs at Microsoft show that the company is preparing for this multi-trillion market.
Doing so Satya Nadella follows another marketing principle: mind your piece of cake as well as you care for cake´s size itself. Microsoft indeed snatches a huge part of the cloud-business as well as the gaming-market, business solutions and industrial internet, productivity tools and social media. These are the markets with the highest growth rates. And estimates for AI-business are going through the roof. Gartner analysts guess, that AI investments will mount to 1.2 trillion dollars this year. And even measured by territories Microsoft grows within the markets and by the markets. Cloud based business not only gives an impact on those continents that were left behind so far, but stimulates new sources of revenue in the saturated markets of the western world, where Microsoft can provide a wide range of products. Germany for instance is one of the fastest growing cloud-markets. And the public debate about digitalization and automation „made in Germany“ is fueling investments here.
May be that my currently favorite blog is having its share in this development. “Oliver´s travels through the intelligent cloud“ (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/oliversreisen) helps customers and partners alike to understand the ins and outs of Microsoft´s cloud strategy an the path to AI. Every week Oliver Gürtler writes about digtalization, the market and Microsoft´s share. Oliver is responsible for Azure sales in Germany as well as server and development tools such as SQL Server, Windows Server and Visual Studio. With his blog he turns this task into reader´s sympathy and acceptance. Speaking for myself: I feel Blog „inspired“ and „refreshed“. And I am looking forward to next „Inspire“ developer´s conference at the Las Vegas venue in July. Let´s see, how big the cake will be by then.

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