Qi Lu, head of Microsoft’s Applications and Services division (Office, Bing, Skype, etc), is speaking this morning at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. (A webcast of the Q&A is being streamed here.)
When asked about his impressions of new CEO Satya Nadella, Lu said that he’s had the opportunity to work with Nadella closely in a number of capacities. (We hear he was Nadella’s mentor for a time.)
“I hold very, very high regard for Satya,” Lu said. “Satya has already hit the ground running, driving a lot of focus forward.”
Lu said Nadella was driving clarity, focusing the “devices and services” strategy already in place at Microsoft on “high value services.”
Lu sidestepped a question on when Office might be arriving for iPad. (A recent ZDNet report said it might be coming “sooner than many think” — perhaps even ahead of the touch-first version of Office that Microsoft is developing.)
Lu said Microsoft considers two main factors when deciding what to ship when: Whether there’s genuine customer need and whether it makes economic sense for Microsoft.
“We have been working on a touch-first version of those core apps (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.),” he said. “We’re going to make those apps available for Windows devices and non-Windows devices. But exactly what timetables and when and how, we have to go back to those two factors.”