"We want to move from people needing Windows to choosing Windows, to loving Windows. That is our bold goal," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella three years ago. At the time, Microsoft was unveiling more details about Windows 10, and surprising people with technologies like the HoloLens headset. It was an exciting time of opportunity and optimism that had Microsoft betting on people loving Windows so much that Windows 10 would be running on 1 billion devices within three years. Neither wager worked out — which is fine, because Windows as we know it is no longer critical to Microsoft's future success.
Microsoft announced a new reorganization yesterday. It's the fourth major shuffle inside the company over the past five years, and the most significant of Nadella's tenure. Microsoft is splitting Windows across the company, into different parts. Terry Myerson, a 21-year Microsoft veteran, is leaving the company and his role as Windows chief. The core development of Windows is being moved to a cloud and AI team, and a new team will take over the "experiences" Windows 10 users see like apps, the Start menu, and new features. There's a lot of shuffling going on, but Nadella's 1,300 word memo leaves little doubt over the company's true future: cloud and AI.