Microsoft Names New Head of MBS


"We went through literally dozens of candidates for the role and at end of the day concluded Satya was best for the job," he said.

Nadella has been at Microsoft for eight years, all of them focused on the company's foray into the business applications market. After a slow start, MBS -- which counts among its products the Dynamics ERP and CRM applications -- saw 17 percent growth and turned a profit this past fiscal year. Revenues for the year were $920 million, Nadella said.

Looking ahead, he said he is committed to building on that success and most critically try to gain market share, which to date the company has not been able to do. Nadella also said he expects the channel to play a significant role in growing the business.

"I'm really looking forward to continued progress on both the R&D side and by selling our products through our partner channel in very profitable way," Nadella said.

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One of the key challenges for Microsoft is finding a way to balance its traditional business software with its forthcoming Live offerings that will mark its expansion into the software as a service space. Nadella said he envisions both the on-premise and services-based application models to co-exist.

As for Burgum's future, he did not say. He will continue to reside in Fargo, N.D., headquarters of the former Great Plains Software, which he ran before Microsoft acquired it in 2001.