At the time Tim Sneath left an illustrious, 17 year career at Microsoft for Google, he was the Principal Program Manager responsible for setup and acquisition for the company’s flagship developer tools, Visual Studio.
Sneath, who now leads product management for Flutter, a new framework for mobile apps, and Dart, a modern language designed for client, web and mobile productivity, says he was appalled at Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella’s email to employees over the recent reshuffle.
According to him, the fact that the most senior person with Windows isn’t part of the Senior Leadership team, goes to show that Windows is now a mere product, while the name Microsoft has lost its relevance to the company’s mission.
As someone who worked at Microsoft for seventeen years, it is incredible to see Windows demoted to a product without a seat at the highest table. […]
Microsoft has become “Cloudserv” – a company that focuses on back-end cloud services and for whom Windows is astonishingly a non-core business
Nadella announced the new changes at a time when Windows chief, Terry Myerson, who has been with the firm for 21 years as corporate VP for the Windows and devices group, is leaving.
The reshuffle saw Rajesh Jha move from current corporate VP of the product group, to head experiences and devices team, Scott Guthrie now heading cloud and enterprise, while Jason Zander and Harry Shum will oversee Microsoft Azure and AI and research respectively.
In an earlier post on Medium, Sneath narrated how Windows was the anchor and main revenue contributor, whose dominance was evidenced by Microsoft’s disinterest in including server products on other platforms, among other factors.
‘Throughout the majority of my time at Microsoft, Windows was the company’s centerpiece, not just in terms of being the largest revenue contributor, but even more so, the gravitational force that influenced every strategic decision.’
Sneath believes that Nadella’s email understates the lengths to which Windows is being ‘scattered to the four winds’, and that the shift to cloud is huge, not just for the company, but its culture as well.
The same goes for Microsoft ecosystem partners, who may no longer be strategic partners unless they’re focused on cloud.
If you’re an ecosystem partner of Microsoft, the lesson is clear – in the same way as Windows is no longer a core business, unless you’re focused on the cloud, you’re not a strategic partner.
While the shift in the technology space changes rapidly, it will definitely be interesting to see how all this unfolds as Microsoft plays in a different arena.
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