Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the Lenovo Tech World at China National Convention Center on May 28, 2015 in Beijing, China. Lenovo launched a series of new products during the one-day event.
ChinaFotoPress—ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
August 4, 2015 3:33 PM EDT

This is not your father’s Microsoft.

The tech titan has been radically changing its game plan, especially after CEO Satya Nadella took over early last year. Today, look no further than the company’s recently filed annual report to find evidence of the company’s ongoing strategic shifts.

One big difference between this year’s 10-k filing and last year’s is a new section right at the top titled “Our vision.” After a bit of throat clearing—such as the repetitive refrain “mobile-first, cloud-first”—Microsoft gets down to business, culling its strategy into three solitary pillars.

These pithy “ambitions that drive us” represent a summation of the company’s three main focus points:

  • Reinvent productivity and business processes.
  • Build the intelligent cloud platform.
  • Create more personal computing.

Each bullet translates to a piece of Microsoft’s business: Software (Office 365), cloud-computing (Azure), and personal computing (Windows 10, apps, games), respectively.

Interestingly, the Redmond, Wash.-based company appears to be deemphasizing Windows this time around. It’s as though the operating system’s purpose—beyond allowing Microsoft to more neatly stitch its cross-device electronic ecosystem together—is to be a vassal in service of Microsoft’s other businesses.

That’s a big change for one of the company’s historical moneymakers. But it does reflect the company’s latest financial trends: Sliding device sales and growing cloud revenue, that is.



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