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September 23, 2017

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Nadella must renew faith in Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO--Satya Nadella has to renew the world's faith in Microsoft and then deliver on the promise if the aging technology giant is to flourish anew.

Good news for Microsoft was that analysts contacted by AFP were of a mind that the newly-minted chief executive has the skill and resources to pull it off.

"The first step of getting a company out of the doldrums is to make people believe," Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said while discussing the challenge ahead for Nadella, who was named Microsoft chief on Tuesday.

"He has got to repair Microsoft's image," the analyst continued. "People have to see the company as an up-and-comer and not as a legacy firm that is past its prime."

Microsoft built its empire on software such as Windows or Office licensed to computer makers or sold in packages for installation on machines in homes or workplaces.

The era of the personal computer is being sunk by broadside hits from smartphones and tablets and could be outright scuttled by "wearables" such as Google Internet-linked eyewear and the coming of a rumored Apple "iWatch."

Microsoft's forays into smartphones and tablets were more akin to stumbles, despite fielding compelling hardware powered by sophisticated software.

Microsoft overhauled its latest Windows operating software to make it friendly to touch-screen devices and lifestyles in which people switch from one Internet-linked device to another through the day.

Apple and Google-backed Android smartphones and tablets have established strong beachheads in the mobile market with the help of "ecosystems" that involve services along with troves of digital content including fun, hip, or helpful applications.

In a webcast, Nadella told partners that he intended to focus on innovating in areas where Microsoft has unique strengths that couldn't be replicated by rivals.

Business and Enterprise Focus?

The choice of Nadella appears to indicate that the Microsoft board sees its future in business and enterprise offerings, where the new chief has plenty of experience.

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