Nadella wins over Gartner crowd

Nadella wins over Gartner crowd

Microsoft CEO gets positive reaction from Symposium attendees

ORLANDO -- Striding onstage with an air of confidence and purpose, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella scored high marks on both the style and substance of his keynote appearance today at the Garner ITExpo at the Walt Disney World Dolphin.

Following in the footsteps of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former CEO Steve Ballmer, who delivered keynotes at the event pretty much every year, Nadella told attendees at the sold-out symposium that Microsoft's strategy going forward is ``mobile first, cloud first.''

+ MORE FROM GARTNER: Top 10 strategic predictions for businesses to watch for +

He handled pointed questions from Gartner analysts Drue Reeves and Merv Adrian with candor, admitting that Microsoft ``got it wrong'' in a few areas when it came to Windows 8. Asked what happened to Windows 9, he replied, ``It came and went.''

He said Windows 10 is ``the first step in a new generation of Windows,'' architected to run on all devices, including the Internet of Things.

"He seemed to have a clear strategy of what he wants to do,'' said Bill Oliver of Allegion.

``I was impressed,'' added Terry Hagio of Alliant Federal Credit Union in Chicago. ``He definitely knows where he wants to take the company.''

She predicted that Windows Phone, a distant third to Android and iOS in smartphone market share, is poised for explosive growth, if everything falls into place for Microsoft. Hagio says that once people start adopting touch-screen enabled Surface tablets in the enterprise, developers will rachet up the number of apps available on the Windows platform, and end users will choose the Windows platform for all their devices, including phones.

Jason Steiner of Accenture

Manoel Arturo Diaz of Santander Brazil said he was impressed with Nadella's perspective on mobile emphasizing the point that it's about the end user, not about the device. Diaz also said Microsoft has some work to do when it comes to the complexity of its licensing schemes. ``It's a big deal for us,'' he added.

``To me, it seems like he gets people,'' said Jason Steiner of Accenture. ``There's a people focus to whatever he's intending to do.''

Steiner said that Microsoft seems ``a little more back on track'' with Nadella at the helm. ``Everybody I talk to at Microsoft says it's a different place now.''

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