The Schwartz Report

Blog archive

Nadella: 'It's Time for Us To Build the Next Big Thing'

While Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is willing to make acquisitions, he emphasized he's more focused on organic growth than making a big deal.

Taking questions at the Code Conference Tuesday, organized by the operators of the new Re/code site, Nadella was among several CEOs on the roster including Google's Sergey Brin, Intel's Brian Krzanich,'s Marc Benioff and Reed Hastings from Netflix. When asked what companies Nadella would like Microsoft to buy, he didn't tip his hand.

"I think we have to build something big," Nadella said. "If along the way we have to buy things, that's fine. But we have to build something big. We've built three big things, three and half if [we] add Xbox into it. It's time for us to build the next big thing." The focus is on building new platforms and software for productivity, he said.

In a preview of one major effort along those lines, Nadella, joined on stage by Corporate VP Gurdeep Pall, demonstrated the new Skype Translator, which aims to provide real-time language translation. Pall, who leads the Lync and Skype organization, showed how the Skype Translator can enable him to have a conversation with a colleague who only speaks German.

"It's brain-like in the sense of its capabilities," Nadella said. "It's going to make sure you can communicate to anybody without language barriers." In a blog post Tuesday, Pall said Skype Translator is the result of decades of work and joint development by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demonstration showed near-real-time voice translation from English to German and vice versa. Pall said it combines Skype and instant messaging technology with Microsoft Translator and neural network-based speech recognition.

"We've invested in speech recognition, automatic translation and machine learning technologies for more than a decade, and now they're emerging as important components in this more personal computing era," Pall noted, adding Microsoft will make Skype Translator available as a Windows 8 beta app by year's end. Microsoft also released this post on the research initiative.

Of course while the Skype Translator may represent years of development, Microsoft did acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. Presumably that's what Nadella meant when he said the company may have to buy things along the way. Fortunately, the company has plenty of cash if it needs to fill in where needed.


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/28/2014 at 2:10 PM


  • Basic Authentication Extended to 2H 2021 for Exchange Online Users

    Microsoft is now planning to disable Basic Authentication use with its Exchange Online service sometime in the "second half of 2021," according to a Friday announcement.

  • Microsoft Offers Endpoint Configuration Manager Advice for Keeping Remote Clients Patched

    Microsoft this week offered advice for organizations using Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager with remote Windows systems that need to get patched, and it also announced Update 2002.

  • Azure Edge Zones Hit Preview

    Azure Edge Zones, a new edge computing technology from Microsoft designed to enable new scenarios for developers and partners, emerged as a preview release this week.

  • Microsoft Shifts 2020 Events To Be Online Only

    Microsoft is shifting its big events this year to be online only, including Ignite 2020.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.