Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Focuses On “New Demand” As Coronavirus Outbreak Reshapes How We Work

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced many companies to cut costs and lay-off employees, however Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remains hopeful that the tech giant can avoid this. In a conversation with Axios chief technology reporter Ina Fried, Nadella explained just how the tech giant is poised to meet "new demand."

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As working, studying, and socializing remotely becomes the new normal, Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft applications experience growing interest. Everyone from businesses and educators to those in government are turning to Microsoft and the Office suite for a modern solution. In an interview with CNBC, Nadella said he’s confident that as a result of this boom in interest the company will come out of the COVID-19 crisis strong.

“We will weather the storm. We have a mix of annuity, non-annuity that is also stronger than even the last time we went into the financial crisis,” he added referencing the 2008 recession.

Teams saw a 37% spike in daily active users last week. Nadella said Teams is seeing a “60 times increase” and 900 million minutes of usage a day. Azure data centers and services like Xbox Live recently surpassed holiday season usage. “If this was a previous generation of data center architectures or software architectures, I don’t think we would have been able to deal with this crisis as effectively as we have been able to,” he admitted.

The pandemic saw the company's hardware supply chain shutdown, indicating possible product delays, However on Tuesday Nadella confirmed that as the outbreak eases in Asia it is starting to come back online. “On the supply side we are getting back on rails,” Nadella confirmed. A big question mark looms over the US and Europe, as both enter their respective battles against the virus. As it stands, the launch of the new Xbox Series X will go ahead as planned this fall, barring any unforeseen developments.

Despite a dizzying increase in demand, Microsoft has still been financially affected from the pandemic. Last month, it shared that reaching its revenue guidance range for the quarter for the division of the business that contains Windows would be impossible.

Though nothing seems to shake Nadella’s enduring optimism. “I feel confident we’ll come out of this, frankly, pretty strong.”