The Financial Times sat down with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for a long conversation about the future of the company, his vision for the internet and the recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
Gaming as an important pillar
In the interview, Nadella said that gaming was more than a "side bet" for Microsoft. He said that the company he "grew up in" had always been about three things - tools for professionals, tools for software development and games.
The fourth thing that Microsoft has successfully added to the core is enterprise. Nadella said that enterprise was something, "that most people thought we would never be able to do," and actually build infrastructure.
Talking about cloud gaming, Nadella said, "One of my coolest features is I can play the game instantly because I don’t even need to wait for it to download. I can just start playing on the cloud and then have it slowly stream down and use the local CPU."
Metaverse and the future of the internet
Speaking about the Metaverse, Nadella felt that Microsoft's experience with designing games will be extremely beneficial when it tackles what he calls, "the next internet."
"Metaverse is essentially about creating games. It is about being able to put people, places, things [in] a physics engine and then having all the people, places, things in the physics engine relate to each other," said Nadella.
On the Activision Blizzard deal
When quizzed about the Activision Blizzard deal, and whether the company will now find itself in the regulator's firing lines, Nadella said that even post the acquisition, "we will still be number three with sort of low teens share" and that even the number one company "is also teens share."
Nadella said that this showed how fragmented content creation platforms are, and said they, "will be a big player in what is a highly fragmented place."
He said that the biggest constraints content companies faced was distribution and said that the only open distribution platform was Windows.
"The biggest store on Windows is Steam [the digital distributor of PC games]. It’s not ours. People can do any payment instrument, whereas all the other gaming distribution platforms are closed," said Nadella."To some degree, that’s why we are very hopeful that, by becoming stronger, even with low share, we can create more distribution for many small players . . . using things like xCloud," Nadella added.