Office for iPad makes sense for Nadella's Microsoft

Poetry, engineering and plenty of love for business and IT

Cloud on everything and beyond

This means letting developers build on Office 365, like being able to put electronic signatures into Office documents on your iPhone with your finger, because DocuSign has built on the new Office 365 APIs. It also means letting IT pros - who Nadella subtly complimented by noting the occupation is as stressful as any CEO's - manage the documents, the devices and the services, using Azure Active Directory, Intune and single sign-on for cloud applications.

These services can be used even if they're not from Microsoft, and rights management that controls the information inside documents (on Samsung Knox and on iPad as well as Mac and Windows) won't hinder them either. Microsoft still wants to be emulate how an IT team keeps control, but of many more things beyond Windows PCs.

Windows Azure
Using Windows Azure to make life easier

In other words, while Office for iPad is what we'll all be thinking about, Nadella has much bigger ambitions. He wants Microsoft to be where you go to get "a cloud for everyone on every device." He wants the experience to be "magical" (a word you were more likely to hear from Steve Jobs than Steve Ballmer, who would have talked about the numbers behind the magic).

The poem Satya Nadella chose to quote the first time he spoke publicly since he became Microsoft CEO was Little Gidding, by T.S. Eliot. "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time," he said, explaining that five weeks as CEO gives you a different perspective from 22 years building technology at Microsoft.

But if you read on, there's another line that also applies to what Microsoft - and Nadella - have to deliver: "A condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything)." Office for iPad looks great and makes sense as part of a Microsoft strategy that costs Windows its central role at the company - but Microsoft and Nadella now have to deliver the same for every other Microsoft product as well.