After spending months interviewing potential candidates, Microsoft has finally named veteran insider Satya Nadella as the next CEO. Satya Nadella will be replacing the outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last August. Satya Nadella becomes only the 3rd CEO in Microsoft’s 39 year old history. The list of executives Microsoft had their eyes on, included some of the well known names in the industry like, Nokia’s Stephen Elop, former head of Skype Tony Bates and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. There were also rumors that Microsoft was in talks with Google’s Sundar Pichai; but eventually they settled for an experienced insider from the company.
Who is Satya Nadella?
Satyanarayana Nadella (now known as Satya Nadella) was born in 1967, in the Guntur District of Hyderabad in India. His father, an IAS officer, was a special secretary to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, sometime ago. Satya Nadella completed his early education at the Hyderabad Public School. According to Satya himself, during his childhood he had a passion for playing cricket. Well, we are not surprised at all. He even played for the school team. “I think playing cricket taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career” says Satya.
Satya Nadella completed his Electronics and Communications Engineering degree in 1988, with a first class, from the Manipal Institute of Technology. (Note: Some sources claim that he graduated from Mangalore University). MIT director Vinod V Thomas, who taught Satya 25 years ago, spoke to Times of India and he says, “I recall him as a sober and cool-headed student, not much into extra- or co-curricular activities.” Satya, then moved to the United States, where he completed his MS in Computer Science, and MBA.
He worked briefly with Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft in 1992 at the age of 24. He is now 46 year old and has spent 22 years at Microsoft. Why did he choose Microsoft? “I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft – to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic – and yet it’s true. We have done it, we’re doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.” says Satya Nadella. He also says that “Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”
Satya Nadella (Pic Courtesy: Microsoft)
When asked to define himself, Satya Nadella says “Like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experience. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”
He was a Senior Vice President at Microsoft and back in 2011 he got promoted as the Head of Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, that focused on cloud computing and enterprise business. Satya Nadella who played a big role in improving Bing Search, has played a key role in bringing some of Microsoft’s most popular technologies, like database, Windows server and developer tools, to the cloud service, called Azure. He also helped Microsoft bring a cloud version of Microsoft Office to the cloud, Office 365, which is a fast growing product.
In the first interview (embedded below) he gave after taking up the CEO role, he says he is both “honored and humbled” to succeed Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as the third CEO of Microsoft.
“I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today. It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve (Ballmer) and Bill (Gates) have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world.”- Satya says in his first email to the employees of Microsoft, after taking up the new role.
Speaking about the current challenges of Microsoft, Satya notes- “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation,” He also says that “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must move faster, focus and continue to transform. I see a big part of my job as accelerating our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”
“While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more,” he notes. “This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places – as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.
“I’m a learner,” Nadella says. “I think the thing that I realized is, what excites me is that I’m learning something. I can learn something about some area. I can learn something from people. I can learn something from doing things differently. And I admire that in other people, too. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things… you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”
Satya Nadella believes that Microsoft has a great workforce. “One of the things that perhaps excites me the most is when I come across something at work, whether it’s somebody who’s really done a great feature in software, come up with a fantastic idea in pricing or done a great customer program, or just an approach to their job that is innovative or brought teams together – and I just, wow, I marvel every day at how people can excel – and that’s what really gets me going.” he says.
According to Microsoft, their new CEO finds relaxation by reading poetry, in all forms and by poets who are both Indian and American. “It’s like code,” Satya says. “You’re trying to take something that can be described in many, many sentences and pages of prose, but you can convert it into a couple lines of poetry and you still get the essence, so it’s that compression.” Indeed, he says, the best code is poetry.
He also enjoys watching Test cricket, “which is the longest form of any sport in the world,” with games that can go for days and days. “I love it,” he says. (Another reason to like him!) “There’s so many subplots in it, it’s like reading a Russian novel.”
From Left: John Thompson (New Chairman), Satya Nadella (New CEO), Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. (Pic courtesy: Microsoft)
In his email to Microsoft employees, Satya Nadella quotes Oscar Wilde – “we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.”
“This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to “do more.” We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.” says he.
He also says that, “every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.
I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.”
“Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation” says Satya Nadella on a finishing note.”
Meanwhile, Bill Gates, founder and former CEO will be stepping down from his role as a Chairman and he will be returning to a larger role as a technology advisor at Microsoft. John Thompson (former Symantec CEO and lead independent director of the board at Microsoft, who was also part of the team that selected Satya as CEO) will be taking over as chairman. In his welcome message to Satya Nadella, Bill Gates says “During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella”
“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth. There’s a challenge in mobile computing. There’s an opportunity in the cloud.” Bill continues.
Declining PC sales have caused trouble to Microsoft. Windows Phone has been a moderate success. On the other hand Microsoft’s enterprise solutions and cloud based tools have started to bring in more revenue. And Satya Nadella was the one who was heading these areas. And Microsoft has huge hope in him that he will lead Microsoft back to it’s glory by adapting the global trends.
The Annual General Meeting of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) was held last week at theKingsbury Hotel and the new executive council for the year 2014 was elected. Ajith Salgado was elected as the President unanimously.
The CSSL was established in 1976 in Sri Lanka by a group of dedicated professionals for the purpose of promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and professionalism among those engaged in this field, and to maintain the highest professional standards among the ICTprofessionals. CSSL has played this role for over 35 years now and is considered the apex body for ICT professionals in Sri Lanka. It is a not-for-profit body.
The new President Ajith Salgado has over 15 years of experience in the ICT industry. Mr. Salgado is the Head of IT of Sampath Bank and a member of board of governors of Arthur C Clark Centre for Modern Technologies. His academic credentials include BSc Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from the University of Moratuwa and Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from the University of Colombo.
The other members of the executive council members are Dr. Dayan Rajapakse – Vice President, Yasas V. Abeywickrama – Secretary, Luxman Perera – Treasurer, Dr. Malitha Wijesundara – Asst. Secretary, Prabath S Wickremaratne – Asst. Treasurer, Dr. Ajantha Athukorale – Student Counsellor, Udana Wickremasinghe – Publication Secretary, Mahesh Perera – Council Member, Chrisantha Silva – Council Member, Damith Hettihewa – Council Member and Sapumal Jayatissa – Council Member.
Making a speech at the AGM addressing ICT professionals, Mr Salgado said “The CSSL strategy for 2014 has six focus areas. They are Develop CSSL Brand, Strengthen CSSL Membership, CSSL Media Presence, CSSL Certifications and Accreditations, International Collaboration and Developing the Next Generation”.
He elaborated the strategies and their importance. “Developing brand is about further enforcing CSSL as the leading and relevant professional body for all in ICT industry. Increasing the membership will strengthen the society and the members it serves. Involvement in Certification and Accreditations demonstrates the capability of the organization.ICT is a global industry, therefore the CSSL will play a pivotal role on connecting Sri Lankan ICT industry to the world.
He also explained that the future of any industry is highly dependent upon the quality of the future generations that would join it. “This is true for ICT industry as well. The CSSL will play a national role in enriching school children by increasing their awareness on ICT”, he further added.
He further added that “the CSSL strategy for 2014 well aligns with the national ICT objectives set out by His Excellency the President in MahindaChinthana, namely creating a knowledge hub, 75% IT literacy and US 1 billion ICT related export by 2015. We are committed to developing the professionals in this field to achieve those objectives”.
WSO2 had an Open House Party on 22nd of November 2013, showcasing their new own Workplace building in Palm Grove. Tasha Hettiarachchi, their Senior Marketing Officer gave me a tour of the building and she didn’t fail to amaze me. She said they are trying to bring in the transparent culture from top to bottom, hence they haven’t divided departments and workers. Furthermore they even can work from home if they don’t feel like coming to the office for the day or so.
Each floor has its own theme and two Board Rooms as well. 1st floor consists of a Snooze Room with a Snooker Table, X-Box and Foosball Table, so that the workers could blow some steam off.
And the best part? The Basketball Court on the Rooftop. Also there is a gym and a Crèche as well.
Tasha also said that they moved-in last August and always wanted to have a work environment like this, and are getting to their goal, step by step.
Sanjiva Weerawarana, Founder of WSO2 conveyed his sincere thanks to all the well-wishers and to the crowd present there at the moment. The night was young and everyone was enjoying the hospitality of WSO2. Drinks were served so was Dinner. A gift hamper was given away to all the participants.
You know you have thought about it, every time that we drop our phones on the ground we wish we had a better case. With every scratch and every ding, we wish there was a way to prevent it all from ever happening. There are literally hundreds of thousands of smartphone cases out there and most boast about being the most secure. But when it comes to smartphone security Honda has probably taken the one most epic step with their airbag smartphone case.
Yup, you read it right! Honda recently presented their airbag smartphone case, and it is something out of a science fiction movie, or perhaps I should say that it looks like something that NASA might have put together. Remember the Mars rover landing where they had a bunch of airbags attached to the vessel which came down to the surface and allowed it to bounce securely? That is exactly what this airbag contraption looks like and does.
Of course, it’s all a ploy, and it is a relief to know as psfk puts it, “that even Fortune 500 companies can have a sense of humor”. We are all looking for the perfect and most secure smartphone case, and we always get disappointed it seems as there simply is no case that completely keeps our smartphones safe. Well, without the phone being completely enclosed in the case itself that is.
Honda even went as far as creating an emotional video about how impossible it is to find a suiting and secure smartphone case. Their prototype named Case N is based on Honda’s airbag technology. Honda is after all one of the leading companies when it comes to airbag technology, and this smartphone case is a funny way to inject that into people’s minds. However, I can’t stop thinking that there must be a way to miniaturize the size of their smartphone case and make it into a real one. It would certainly be quite useful to have a case that deploys its airbags when detecting a fall. It would definitely save a lot of people a lot of money.
Savvy and Stunning: New Dell Latitude Ultrabooks and Laptops Offer World’s Best Security and Manageability Combined with Seductive Design
Dell unveils Latitude 7000 Series, a sleek line of business-class Ultrabooks for elite mobility
New Latitude 5000 Series laptops offer organizations of all sizes best-in-class security and manageability
New Latitude 3000 Series offers reliable, affordable essential business computing
Durable, portfolio-wide touch display options at every price opens Windows 8 for business
Dell recently unveiled the newest additions to its secure, manageable and reliable line of commercial PCs: the Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks, Latitude 5000 Series and Latitude 3000 Series laptops. With this new suite, Dell balances sophisticated design, quality construction and uncompromised durability to offer businesses of all sizes a wide variety of solutions. The Latitude 7000, 5000, and 3000 Series are available with touch display options, leading the way for business touch devices that enable better interaction with customers, enhanced student engagement, improved patient care, and collaboration amongst knowledge workers.
“These exciting new additions to the Latitude line provide our commercial customers what they’ve been asking for by bringing touch capability to the workspace at desirable price points,” said Lackshmindra Fernando, country manager, Dell Sri Lanka. “The new Latitude 7000 Series builds on the success of the award-winning XPS and Latitude 6430u to redefine the corporate laptop, complete with security, manageability, reliability and beautiful design. And with the Latitude 5000 and 3000 Series, we’ve addressed the needs of today’s dynamic workforce by enabling easy entry into business-class computing.”
Most Secure and Most Manageable with Outstanding Reliability
Dell offers the world’s most secure commercial laptops and the Latitude 12 and 14 7000 Series are the world’s most secure Ultrabooks, with best-in-class Dell Data Protection solutions, comprehensive encryption with Dell Data Protection| Encryption and advanced authentication and leading-edge malware prevention with Dell Data Protection| Protected Workspace. Engineered to help save IT time and money, Dell offers the industry’s most manageable commercial PCs with exclusive Intel vPro extensions for remote BIOS management and hard drive wipe, even when systems are powered off, paired with Dell automated tools and utilities for easily deploying, monitoring and updating systems.
Dell’s passion for reliability is epitomized by the Latitude commercial PC family. Each Latitude Ultrabook and laptop is crafted using the best materials: brushed aluminum, reinforced magnesium alloy, strong steel hinges, woven carbon fiber, durable powder-coated underside, spill-resistant keyboards and LCD seals. Additionally, all Dell touch-enabled displays offer optimal viewing experiences, touch sensitivity, brightness and durability. The Latitude 7000, 5000 and 3000 Series touch displays offer Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™ for up to 10 times higher scratch resistance1 compared to soda lime glass which is the predominant material used in laptop screens throughout the industry. Latitude laptops also come armed with StrikeZone™ shock absorbers, Fast Response Free-Fall sensors and rubber hard drive isolation. For the previous three product generations, the Latitude family has outperformed its competition in third-party durability testing, known as MIL-STD 810G.
New Latitude 7000, 5000, and 3000 Series: Secure, Manageable, Reliable…and Beautiful
The sleek and powerful Latitude 7000 Series are the most secure and manageable Ultrabooks, with outstanding reliability, and epitomize mobility at its finest with business-class style. Touted as the Ultrabook to be loved by IT professionals and end-users alike, and powered by Intel ultra-low voltage processors, these thin, light and beautiful Ultrabooks completely redefine the corporate laptop.
The Dell Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks are:
– Made to move, with the 12-inch model starting at just 20 millimeters thin and 1.3 kilograms (2.99 pounds)2
– Easy for IT to manage with exceptional integrated management capabilities including Dell-unique Intel vPro extensions and automated tools that plug into Microsoft System Center and Dell KACE
– The world’s most secure Ultrabooks with best-in-class endpoint security solutions that include comprehensive encryption, advanced authentication and leading-edge malware protection from a single source, and featuring the highest level of FIPS 140-2 (level 3) certification for system disk encryption
– Designed for reliability, passing rigorous third-party durability testing and crafted with premium materials such as aluminum, a Tri-metal chassis and Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for scratch and damage resistance and optimal brightness
– The only corporate Ultrabook designed to be backwards compatible with existing (E-) Latitude docks
Complementing the Dell Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks are the new Latitude 5000 and 3000 Series laptops, designed to help businesses of all sizes adopt secure, manageable and reliable notebooks. The Latitude 14 and Latitude 15 5000 Series are designed to meet most workforce needs with 14.1-inch or 15.6-inch display options and other key features, such as:
– Reliable mobile productivity with up to Intel Core i7 ultra low voltage processors for extended battery life, a discrete graphics option for more processing power and a higher quality visual experience, and SSD or Performance Solid State Hybrid Drive options
– Corning Gorilla Glass NBT on the touch displays for scratch and damage resistance and optimal brightness
– Mobile broadband, Bluetooth and Wireless LAN options for mobility and connectivity virtually anywhere, and an HD webcam and microphone array for efficient, anywhere collaboration
– Compatible with Latitude E-family docking designed to connect seamlessly with award-winning Dell monitors, wireless keyboard and andard,ss keyboard, mouse an d award-winning monitorstionality and includ mouse
The Latitude 3000 Series is Dell’s newest line of entry-level commercial laptops for education and small business customers. The Latitude 14 and 15 3000 Series laptops offer:
– Durable and reliable chassis that have undergone Highly Accelerated Life Testing, including hinge testing, keyboards and shocks
– 4th Generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Mode for fast data processing
– Business class discrete graphics with up to 2GB3 video memory for more processing power and a higher quality visual experience
– Thin (21 to 25mm) and light (starting at 4.3lbs / 2.0kg)2 design for great mobility
– Choice of 14-inch and 15.6-inchAnti-Glare LCD for comfortable visualization and optional touch displays
– Integrated microphone and HD Webcam for remote collaboration and interaction
Microsoft sent out invitations to a “Surface 2.0″ event in New York City on September 23, at which it’s expected to unveil next-generation versions of its Surface Pro and its flatlining Surface RT tablets. The products appear likely to be renamed the Surface 2 Pro and the Surface 2, respectively.
Microsoft will also reportedly unveil new Surface accessories, including a docking station and a “power keyboard” featuring its own batteries that can prolong battery life of the Surface itself.
SLASSCOM, the IT and Knowledge industry body which plays a catalyst role with aggressive plans to capitalize the opportunities for Sri Lanka in 2013/2014, has elected its fifth Board and General Council consisting of key industry leaders and decision makers to drive this year’s vision.
New additions to the Board includes an eclectic mix of youth and experience with the industry veteran and CEO of 99x Technologies Mano Sekaram coming in as Director and Vice Chairman while up and coming industry figures such as Indaka Raigama- CEO of Navantis ,Sri Lanka and Virendra Perera -COO of Brandix Mercury Asia (Pvt) Ltd coming in as New Directors.
Laying out his vision for the coming year and recapping the achievements of the past few years newly elected Chairman of SLASSCOM and Senior Vice President and General Manager Virtusa Madu Ratnayake stated that “As an industry, we made significant progress over the last five years. Our export revenue grew from $213m in 2007 to an estimated $600m in 2013 (182%). Total employment grew from 33,000 in 2007 to an estimated 67,000 employees in 2013 (100%), and the number of companies in the industry grew from 170 in 2007 to over 220 in 2013. This is a tremendous growth from any stretch of imagination and is a result of a concerted effort from industry, academia, government and many other stakeholders.
During the last five years, our global brand position improved significantly. AT Kearney ranked Sri Lanka among the top 25 in their global ranking in the last three consecutive rankings. Gartner ranked Sri Lanka among its top 30 global locations. IBM, Tholons and several others ranked Sri Lanka at the top of their respective leader boards.
The government, recognizing the potential of IT/BPO as a thrust industry, supported and enabled this growth in many ways. Competitive tax incentives, the President’s backing with a number of national initiatives including Year of English & IT in 2009, Knowledge Hub Initiative, Setting up of a Ministry of IT are some of the clear indications of the President’ support. ICTA with its ICBP program made a significant impact in multiple areas to bootstrap the growth during the last five years, EDB with its focus on taking Sri Lanka to the global market supported many market development activities, and BOI with encouraging inward investments. In both government and private education, IT/BPO was made a priority to achieve the staggering 100% growth in employment numbers during this time.
We also witnessed the emergence of a vibrant startup eco system with several angel funding initiatives and major mentor network led by SLASSCOM member companies. We witnessed a marked increase in new tech ventures starting up compared to the beginning of 2007.
As we look back, it’s clear that our billion dollar shared aspiration helped to catalyze all the stakeholders to achieve this tremendous growth. It helped to create a network of collaborators and build an energetic team at SLASSCOM.
As we look forward, for the next 10 years, we see tremendous opportunity to build from where we are today. We feel very optimistic about our ability to embark on the next big wave of growth.
Seated (from left): Jayantha de Silva – Director and Vice Chairman (Vice President South Asia and Managing Director Sri Lanka, IFS), Madu Ratnayake –Chairman (General Manager/Senior Vice President, Virtusa),Mano Sekaram- Director and Vice Chairman(CEO,99x Technologies), Sujiva Dewaraja – Chairman Emeritus (Eexecutive Vice President/Head of IT Sector, John Keells Holdings).
Standing (from left): Sandra De Zoysa –Director (Group Chief Customer Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC),Ruwindhu Peiris- Director and General Secretary (Director, Stax Inc), Virendra Perera –Chief Operating Officer ,Brandix Mercury Asia (Pvt) Ltd, Dr Arul Sivagananathan – Director and Treasurer (Managing Director, Hayleys Business Solutions International),Indaka Raigama – Director(Chief Executive Officer -Navantis Inc-Sri Lanka), Anuradha Tennakoon- Director (Director, Motorola Solutions Lanka Pvt Ltd), Decca F C Fan – Director (Managing Director, HSBC Electronic Data Processing).
Absent: Jeevan Gnanam-Director(Chief Executive Officer/Director, Orion Development (Pvt) Ltd)
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