- Urges more local apps that can help SMB and education sectors
- First SEA tour conspicuously avoids media and skips Malaysia entirely
MICROSOFT Corp chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella is on a mission: He wants local developers to create more apps on his company’s platform, especially solutions that tackle local issues.
“Everything that we do starts with a mission to empower every person and organisation on the planet to achieve more,” he said on his first tour of South-East Asia since taking the helm at the Redmond, Washington-based software giant.
“And when you think of empowerment, there is no better way than to start with empowering entrepreneurs and developers,” he told 1,500 developers at the Microsoft Developer Festival in Jakarta on May 26, which was also streamed live via Skype to 2,000 other developers.
Nadella also pointed out the fact that developers need to be able to communicate their ideas effectively, and set goals to help the country’s economy.
“Build, create, and innovate – think about what people can get from your apps, think about how it can empower society, small and medium businesses (SMBs), and help companies’ digital transformation,” he said.
This was Nadella’s first visit to South-East Asia since he took the CEO role in February 2014. Not long after his appointment, he was scheduled to have visited the region, but had to cancel the tour when his mother passed away.
In September 2014, he did have his first Asia Pacific tour, dropping by South Korea, China, India, and Japan.
This time, he visited Thailand before heading off to Indonesia, and will continue on to Singapore, and finally China and India.
Malaysia is conspicuously absent from his itinerary, as is the media: The CEO of Microsoft is avoiding any kind of direct engagement with the press in South-East Asia.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is celebrating its 20th year in Indonesia, and in line with that, Nadella emphasised his company’s commitment to “empower the country” with its latest software and products.
What he wants to see from Indonesia is the real-life impact of technology – how technology can change people’s lives, and transform how people do business, he said.
Mobile, cloud, and mixed reality
In his address to developers, Nadella also highlighted how the world has changed since the PC revolution in the early 1990s, to the mobile- and cloud-first era of today.
“We are not talking about mobility of the device, but mobility of the human experience across all of computing,” he said.
He urged developers to stay abreast of these trends, and also put in a few plugs for Microsoft’s platforms and technologies.
According to Nadella, Microsoft has focused on making it easy for developers to build local apps on top of its platform, with a single coding language.
“When developers are building apps today, it is in a very rich pattern. In order to facilitate that, we have the most flexible and open cloud infrastructure,” he said.
“We want to meet you with whatever tools and whatever frameworks you have,” he added.
One Microsoft product he was especially excited about was its HoloLens augmented reality goggles.
“I am really excited about augmented reality, and mixed reality. Imagine, in a country as big as Indonesia, you can bring the sense of presence here in the room, without actually being in this room,” said Nadella.
“Think about how this will change the way people travel and collaborate. Think about how education can finally reach more people, especially in remote areas – Indonesia will benefit from this technology,” he added.
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