What Kept Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ‘Up All Night’? The Answer Is Sweeter Than You Think

It’s a known fact that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is a huge fan of cricket. So, when India posted an impressive 70-run victory over New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final, no wonder that the Indian-origin tech leader stayed up with millions of Indians eagerly following every moment of the match. Coincidentally, the match coincided with Nadella’s keynote address at the Microsoft Ignite developer conference in Seattle, where he humorously acknowledged the scheduling overlap.

“Little did we know when we scheduled Ignite that we will schedule it on the day when there is a World Cup semifinal going on,” Nadella joked. “And I’ve been up all night, but it finished five minutes ago. I am glad it did. This is the short version of the game, by the way.” In the last bit, he referred to the classic Test format of cricket matches, which lasts for up to five days. 

During the conference, Nadella shared insights on Microsoft’s advancements, notably the rebranding of its chatbot product, formerly integrated with the Bing search engine and later in Microsoft Edge and Windows 11. The product will now be known as Copilot, signalling a strategic shift towards the chatbot domain, putting Microsoft in direct competition with OpenAI.

Furthermore, Microsoft is gearing up for the future of artificial intelligence with the development of custom AI chips, namely Azure Maia and Azure Cobalt. These chips are slated for deployment in 2024 and are designed to reduce reliance on external hardware providers, offering an alternative to Nvidia’s H100 GPUs.

In a move towards streamlining its task management tools, Microsoft is set to consolidate Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Project for the web into a unified experience known as Microsoft Planner. This integration, scheduled for early 2024 within the Microsoft Teams app, will be followed by a web-based experience later in the same year. As a part of this transition, existing apps like Tasks by Planner and To Do within Microsoft Teams will be renamed simply as “Planner.”

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