Microsoft's CEO at one year: Grading Satya Nadella

Nadella's first year at the Microsoft helm has brought both stunning successes and surprising lapses

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Nadella's overall grades

If you look at Microsoft as a company -- in other words, as a profit-making enterprise -- there's no doubt Nadella is doing well. The lack of a home run in consumer products, which are driving Apple's capitalization to nosebleed levels, has kept revenue and earnings in the substratospheric realm. Still, Nadella's kept the cash churning, the cash cows baying, and the investors grinning. As far as Wall Street is concerned, he's earned a B.

On the Windows/Office front, Nadella's definitely doing better now than he was six months ago. Unleashing Office on all platforms and slashing his Vorpal blade through the corpse of Windows 8 both certainly help. Still, the whole world's waiting to see what he can pull out of the Windows 10 hat. He's earned a B grade to date for WIndows and Office.

Although Nadella espouses mobile first, we're still waiting to see what he can do with Microsoft's own smartphones and tablets. Unless Nadella sells off Lumia -- which might not be a bad idea, if a suitable Windows-fanatical suitor can be found -- he's under a lot of pressure to put his hardware where his software is. For mobile, Nadella has earned only a C grade, and we all expect better.

In the enterprise, he's doing well, and in the cloud he's leading the way to better things. It remains to be seen, though, if Nadella can outfox AWS. I give him a B+ grade for enterprise.

The computing world's changed a lot in the past six months, and Microsoft's been adapting. But what it really needs to do is start calling more of the shots, not merely keep pace. That's Nadella's challenge now.

This story, "Microsoft's CEO at one year: Grading Satya Nadella" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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