Let's cut to the chase. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s first press conference since he started 52 days ago was pretty underwhelming.
Yes, he finally announced the launch of Office for iPad, along with the new Enterprise Mobility Suite — surprising just about no one.
But all of those who expected something more from Nadella, like detailed insight about his plans for the company, left disappointed. Aside from discussing his Mobile First, Cloud First strategy and those plans to push all Microsoft customers into the cloud, he didn't say much.
But give him points for being poetic, in person and online. As he noted in a blog post, "As long as human curiosity and ambition drive us to create new things, capture moments and collaborate to get things done, we should expect the world of devices to follow suit."
The Cloud and Mobile are One
Nadella — and his company — view mobility as a key business area and the heart of Microsoft's Mobile First, Cloud First strategy. In fact, Nadella stressed, the cloud and the mobile are one: two uninteresting but co-dependent things that become very interesting together.
"I don’t think of the cloud and mobile as two things. They are two facets of one thing. The cloud was created to enable mobility. And mobile devices are really uninteresting without the cloud. That’s why I talk about them together. Mobile without cloud is limiting. The cloud without mobile is mostly latent potential. But the place where they meet is magic," he said.
The cloud is the vehicle that allows phones, tablets, computers and TVs to interact with each other and seamlessly move content and data. "The real goal for us is to set up to provide the apps and services that empower every user across all of these devices and experiences. That's perhaps the job number one that we do: To empower people to be productive," he said.
What About Office for iPad?
So back to Office for iPad. Word about the new product actually came from Julia White, the Microsoft Office general manager. Three feature-rich Microsoft products — Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all newly tooled for the iPad — will all be free to download form the iTunes App Store.
But don't get too excited. Microsoft isn't really giving this all away. The apps are free and will allow users to read, view and present documents. But you will need a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to edit or create documents.