When Microsoft recently announced that the .NET Core runtime would be available as open source there was a clear reaction from the development community that this was a welcome change. This move helped remove any doubt that Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella is committed to reasserting Microsoft’s place in the developer’s toolbox. The list of GitHub projects is impressive and developers are responding.
While this change was indeed welcomed, it is only part of what appears to be a significant shift in the direction of the software giant. In less than a year we have seen Azure cloud services reemerge as a significant, Windows 8 has gone EOL, free Office products on competitive platforms, Bing search has been growing market share, and of course there is the Windows 10 announcement. All of these changes could be perceived as small on their own, but when viewed as a whole it reflects the larger shift occurring within the walls of Microsoft.
These course corrections and changes are the clear result of a new and different vision of Microsoft. Much of the credit for this vision goes to Mr. Nadella and his clearly stated plans to create a cultural shift at Microsoft which appear to be finally starting to take hold. The change in leadership seems to be having an effect on the ebb and flow of the people inside Microsoft. Getting “lean and mean” is starting to pay off with ideas and execution.