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article imageSatya Nadella: 'Give us time' to get Windows 10 moving

By James Walker     Dec 5, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella faced criticism over his app strategy from his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, during a shareholder meeting earlier this week. Looking back at the exchange, it's evident Nadella has a plan for Windows 10 — one that requires time.
As Nadella explained how Universal Apps let developers write code once and have it run seamlessly across phones, tablets and desktops, Ballmer interrupted with a simple "That won't work." He added Windows 10 "should run Android apps" if Microsoft is to close the app gap between the operating system and established app-centric rivals Android and iOS.
Ballmer highlighted the absence of official apps from key brands such as Starbucks in the Windows 10 Store, noting there are currently few true Universal Apps in the store. Currently, the Windows app gap looks the same as it was before Windows 10's launch, with few developers yet to release new products.
Nadella refused to yield to Ballmer's remarks. During the shareholder meeting, he said "give us time," effectively asking for investors and consumers to be patient while developers get writing code for the platform.
In a transcript of the CEO's exchange with the concerned shareholder that sparked Ballmer's comments, Nadella says "We've had different efforts in the past but we now have one store and one app platform. Give us time to keep focused on it."
Nadella's message is clear. Microsoft is aware it's facing an uphill struggle to get Windows 10 in motion, but it is also aware of what needs to be done to get the wheels moving. The platform is a heavy engine though, and currently it's still being started up. With a little time, Nadella seems certain he can pull Windows 10 into a platform ready to rival the likes of Apple and Google.
Nadella sees the huge overall number of Windows 10 users across all the devices that run it as the key factor that will bring developers in. He told shareholders: "We are seeing, for example, for the first time on the core of Windows desktop, with 100-plus million users, active engagement, the fact that they can find these Windows applications in the store, some of the developers like Netflix are seeing more engagement for the Netflix app vs. the web. So that's an early indication of data that I think will entice more of these developers to build more of these applications."
Some major companies have pledged support for the OS. Facebook in particular has promised to go "all in" on Windows 10 and launch a version of both the Facebook and Instagram apps built specifically for the platform. There is currently no first-party Facebook app in the store though. The "official" offering supports most of the social networking site's features but is actually developed and published by Microsoft with endorsement from Facebook.
Despite this, Microsoft now appears to consider itself in control of the Windows app gap. Nadella withstood Ballmer's attack to explain how he is "very focused" on the "challenge" of attracting major developers to Windows, adding he wants to "organically build momentum" over the next few months as the number of Windows 10 users increases and existing Windows Phone devices are upgraded to the new platform. As with every major overhaul, it all takes time though, something Nadella was especially keen to stress.
More about Satya Nadella, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, Windows, windows 10
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