Microsoft is more profitable than ever. The Verge is reporting that they’re now valued at $753 billion, beating Alphabet (Google’s parent company) by $14 billion. It’s impressive stuff, and as someone who had been following the nightmares that Steve Ballmer created for his company in his later years as CEO, I would have laughed if you told me that now-current CEO Satya Nadella could bring Microsoft back to a respected spot among consumers and tech authorities alike. While I saw the much-respected Windows XP and Windows 7, I also saw the debacles that were Windows Vista, Windows 8, the Windows Phone, and the original Surface and it’s RT revision (which is now a line of incredibly respected products, thanks to Nadella) with its awful, click-less keyboard. I won’t even elaborate on then-chief Xbox One director Adam Orth’s insulting attitude towards consumers of one of the biggest entertainment economies in the world, which speaks for itself (and Ballmer, even if Orth was fired not long after).
When Steve Ballmer finally left and Satya Nadella took the torch in 2014, I was hopeful that things could change for the better. As a consumer and lover of technology, I wanted to see Microsoft succeed in their new just as much as I wanted to see Apple succeed under Tim Cook’s guidance after Steve Jobs’ passing in 2011. To my slight surprise, they did: I saw the advent of a better Surface (which turned into an entire line of industry-shaking 2-in-1 computers); the joy that is Windows 10; the invention of the Microsoft Store to compete with Apple’s ideals; even the Xbox One team becoming less greedy and offering more value to consumers with less-and-less of the attitude that pushed me, personally, into Sony’s camp at the time current-generation consoles launched. Even the overall attitude of the company became more inclusive and accepting of people and their opinions.
So, to me, none of this is a surprise. It’s not a coincidence that under Nadella’s leadership that Microsoft is now valued more than Alphabet. It’s also not a coincidence that people—-tech lovers and regular consumers alike–love Microsoft again.
Thank the gods for Nadella.