While touring India at present, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had time to take some jabs at Apple, the world’s biggest and most successful publicly traded company.
“In a way, I don’t want to take away from whatever success Apple or Google are having. We are very different companies. We are not some middleman in the marketplace. We are a tool creator, we are not a luxury good manufacturer. That’s not who we are. We are about creating technologies so that others can build.”
He underlined the comment by telling reporters ”You need to get a real computer, my friend,” when he noticed them working on an iPad.
The Surface line does, of course, come pretty close to a luxury product, with some versions of the Surface Studio hitting $4500. Nadella, however, said they also made sure there were cheaper options available for cash-strapped consumers.
“Even with Surface, we created a premium product and premium brand and basically said ‘you know what, every OEM should create a lower-priced model’,” he says. “We want to democratize things. I want to us to be proud of what we can do.”
He did, however, acknowledge not everything they did was a success and said he was willing to make hard decisions in response to clear signals from the market.
“You take a look at what we did with Groove and Spotify. Look at the Harmon Kardon speaker. In some sense, it is a fantastic Cortana speaker but also for Spotify. The last time I checked there were a lot more Spotify people than Groove people. So let us bring the best of what Microsoft has to a Spotify user and create consumer fans. So that’s the approach we want to take.”
Nadella felt Microsoft did best when it played to its productivity strengths.
“Whenever we have done things that come naturally to us we’ve been successful,” he says. “Even if it’s a consumer product it is a tool. I fell in love with Microsoft technology because of what it created.”
Microsoft was however not all work and no play, and Nadella said he was also excited about what Microsoft is doing with Windows Mixed Reality and gaming.
“What we are doing in gaming, that’s a consumer for consumer franchise. We have doubled down on it in a big way, whether it is Xbox Live or Mixer, Game Pass, PC or console gaming,” he says.