If you want to get a sense of how Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees the future of his company, there may be no better source than his remarks to the employees of LinkedIn this week.
Following the surprising announcement that Microsoft had agreed to pay $26 billion in cash for the professional social networking service, Nadella addressed LinkedIn’s employees at an all-hands meeting.
This week, LinkedIn filed a transcript of that meeting, which includes Nadella’s talk.
After praising LinkedIn and its employees, Nadella made a statement that’s surprising, considering his company was built on an operating system that had dominated the PC-age for decades.
Echoing remarks he had made previously, he said that when it comes to the latest release, the company is trying to think very differently about the role of Windows in a changing technology world.
“We are not building an operating system for just a single device, when I think about even Windows 10, the way we conceptualized it is, we are building an operating system for the user across all the devices,” Nadella said. “It is a service, that is how I think of it. Windows update is probably the biggest service we have because it touches 1.5 billion machines every day, and our goal is to really change what is the definition of an operating system, and operating systems for personal computing are always about inventing the next big change in input/output.”
Even more interesting, when talking about transitions to different eras of computing, he acknowledged Microsoft’s obvious failure to win in mobile, saying: “And it is no question that we really missed the mobile one, therefore we understand it, we have a particular position in mobile today which is more about enterprise and where we can have more security, more management, more productivity, we will focus on that, but we are on to the next big thing.”
So what is that next big thing?
“The idea that we can bring AR and VR into this one continuum of what we talk about as mixed reality is something we are very excited about,” he said. “Think about this, the field-of-view becoming an infinite display where what you see is not just the analog world, but it is a world into which you can superimpose digital artifacts. That is a completely new medium; that is what HoloLens is.”
So, in addition to Minecraft on HoloLens, time to get psyched about viewing your LinkedIn profile in an infinite AR screen.