So the Cloud and Enterprise guy is going to run Microsoft

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Ballmer has left the building and Microsoft has tapped Satya Nadella as its third-ever CEO. Nadella is a 20-year Microsoft veteran, with much of his time spent working on enterprise products. Most recently he ran the company's Cloud and Enterprise division.

The practical impact of Nadella's selection for enterprise IT buyers won't be known for some time. So much the better for poorly supported speculation!

CIO.com describes Nadella as having "successfully steered the shift of the company's back-end server software and tools to the cloud," which could be debated based on how quickly the company arrived there and the market share it's won or lost in the process.

The article also notes a widespread criticism of the selection: "What Nadella is not is an outsider, making his choice less compelling to those who believe that Microsoft needed someone with no prior history and attachments at the company who could shake things up."

VentureBeat offers some details of other achievements, such as the reported transformation of the Microsoft business solutions team from a logy $1.5B unit to a healthy $5B over the course of five years, and a specific reworking of sales compensation plans to give cloud services a big push. 

Significantly, VentureBeat says "his success came from knocking down barriers between departments." That challenges the notion that Nadella will operate in traditional Microsoft ways.

Computerworld relays criticism of Nadella's selection from an ex-Microsoft executive named Joachim Kempin, who says "looks like they found their sheep, a follower." Kempin left the company in 2002 and has a recent history of ax-grinding. Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla tries to parse out the kernels of truth in Kempin's argument, while observing that "Microsoft is a sharp-elbowed culture, and you don't rise that high by being a sheep."

The Fierce Take: Not to be overlooked is Microsoft's decision to move away from its poisonous stack ranking practice. A cultural makeover will take years, but at least the company has realized that internal politicking impedes the speed and agility Microsoft needs.

For more:
- read CIO's analysis
- and VentureBeat's article
- and Computerworld's post

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MS claims market share lead in enterprise voice lines
Windows Phone is fastest growing smartphone platform, says Canalys
Enterprises not interested in Windows 8, says Wall Street analyst