Satya Nadella at six months: Grading Microsoft's new CEO

The future emerging for Microsoft under Nadella is a mixed bag of hope and turmoil

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Overall grade

How you rate Satya Nadella overall depends very much on what you value. If you're looking at stock price and financials -- certainly a worthwhile barometer -- he's done exceptionally well in a short period of time, and he'll likely continue to do well. In that regard, he definitely gets an A.

If you're a Nokia employee, your perspective might be a bit different.

Looking at Nadella's performance from the point of view of a stuck-in-the-mud, old-fashioned Windows and Office guy, he's clearly not all that interested in my dying technology. I give him a C–, extending the benefit of the doubt largely because he is keeping Windows and Office alive, although he won't tell us much about what it's going to look like. Also, there may actually be progress with Surface ... some day.

Putting on my other hat, as an enthusiastic tablet toter, phone puncher, and media consumer, I still don't see any signs that Microsoft will come up with something that'll turn my head. I'm not a dual user, and I don't want to be a dual user, although I'll begrudgingly admit that Office for iPad is a treat. Let's call the consumer recap a C.

From the enterprise point of view, with cloud deployment inevitable and prices falling rapidly, I'm tempted to give Nadella a B+. He's certainly running hard to catch up with -- and in some cases beat -- Amazon.

One thing's for sure: Microsoft wouldn't have survived another six months of devices and services.

Satya Nadella's six-month review
LEADERSHIP    
Strategic vision

A

Nadella's "mobile-first, cloud-first" mantra is legit
Tactical vision

C

Nadella's "re-inventing productivity” is little more than a catchphrase
Communication

D

Warmed-over Ballmer-speak, with a liberal sprinkling of corporate BS
Executive team

A

All is well on the executive front
Human resources

F

The rank-and-file are taking it in the shorts, and not only in Finland
TECHNOLOGY/PRODUCT LINES    
Platform support

A

Platform agnosticism, the antithesis of "Windows first," is Microsoft’s best bet
Enterprise devices

C-

The Surface Pro 3 is hardly enough for a bona fide hardware division
Consumer devices

D

Xbox? Puh-lease
Cloud services

A+

Well planned and executed -- Nadella's been running a good cloud show for a long time
Consumer vision

D

The first time your Windows wristwatch blue screens, you'll know the true pain of "dual use"
Windows vision

F

Little insight or direction for Windows beyond marketing drivel
FINANCIALS    
Corporate value

A

20 percent stock increase in six months -- enough said
Corporate financials

A

Nadella's impact will show up in numbers next year, but his old job had big effect on record revenues
OVERALL    
Wall Street

A

Stock price and financials? Nadella's done exceptionally well in short order
Windows/Office

C–

He's clearly not all that interested in my dying technology
Mobile

C

Don't see any signs that Microsoft will come up with something that'll turn heads
Enterprise

B+

Nadella's running hard to catch up with -- and in some cases beat -- Amazon

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This story, "Satya Nadella at six months: Grading Microsoft's new CEO," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in Windows and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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