Microsoft’s Myerson Departure Signals Windows Demotion In Favor Of The Cloud

Microsoft is heading in a slightly different direction. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced to employees this past week that Terry Myerson, the Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, would be leaving the company. Myerson’s departure signifies Microsoft’s shift away from their Windows software to cloud platforms and artificial intelligence.

microsoft ceo satya nadella
Micorosft CEO Satya Nadella

Myerson’s departure had already been planned for "some time”. The Duke University alumni originally founded Intersé Corporation in 1992, a company focused on website development and data mining software. Intersé Corporation was acquired by Microsoft in 1997. Myerson worked in a variety of Microsoft’s departments and was promoted to executive vice president of Microsoft's operating systems engineering division. He continued to head the department when Microsoft merged their Devices Group into the Operating Systems Group in 2015. He stated in a LinkedIn blog post that "Microsoft has been my work, my team, and my purpose for 21 years. It is an emotional day."

Morgan Stanley, an investment bank and financial services company, predicts that Microsoft could reach $1 trillion USD in market value this year partly due to Microsoft’s focus on Azure. Microsoft's chief financial officer Amy Hood noted that this past January the Microsoft’s cloud revenue grew by 56% this past year, but their commercial products and cloud service sales decreased by 4%. These numbers are somewhat the result of the corporation's focus on cloud platforms and artificial intelligence over the last decade. 

Microsoft’s increased preference for cloud services and artificial intelligence is perhaps most evident in their upcoming spring update for Windows 10. Windows 10 has long incorporated AI through services like Windows Hello and Cortana, but the latest update takes this integration to the next level. Their new AI platform Windows ML is “tuned for efficiency across the diverse silicon" of the Windows platform. Developers will be able to incorporate pre-trained machine learning models within their own apps to Window-based devices.