Microsoft will overcome Covid-19 crisis 'pretty strong', says Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressing at Future decoded Bengalurur-Tech summit, in Bangalore. Photo: Saggere Radhakrishna
Asserting that Microsoft is financially strong despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, its India-born CEO Satya Nadella has voiced confidence that the company will come out of the crisis "pretty strong".

In an interview to CNBC on Tuesday, Nadella, however, said the big question would be whether the demand holds up in the US and Europe and other developed markets badly hit by the pandemic.

We feel good about how we are able to meet the demands of work from home kits. On the supply side we are getting back on rails, Nadella said when asked whether Microsoft would be able to deliver later this year certain products, like the new Surface devices and a revamped Xbox gaming console, it had promised before the COVID-19 outbreak.

"The question now would be getting the products done and the launch. We are mostly going to focus on quality as well the situation in terms of demand and more importantly safety for the people," he said.

However, the company in a statement last month, said it would not be able to reach its revenue guidance range for the quarter for the division of the business that contains Windows. Several other companies have followed in taking down guidance.

Altogether, though, the company is holding up, Nadella, who is Microsoft's third CEO, said.

"It is a healthy company in terms of financial strength.

We have a great balance sheet, we are a very diverse business, we have a mix of annuity, non-annuity, that is also stronger than even the last time we even went into the financial crisis, he said.

I feel confident we'll come out of this, frankly, pretty strong, Nadella said.

He said the company's cloud infrastructure and services have been holding up under increased demand.

If this was a previous generation of data centre 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 said.

Nadella, who has been working from home since the coronavirus outbreak in the US, said that he shares an office with his daughters and they've been helping him set up his desk.

Previously, he said, I used to always work from my bed.

Microsoft, who was one of the initial companies to advise work from home to its people, said the company would follow public-health guidance in every country where it operates when it comes to bringing employees back to facilities.

He said he supports any sort of fiscal stimulus from the US government.

I think the government is doing the right thing, which is, they're focused on the employees who are most impacted and the industries that are most impacted, and small businesses, Nadella said.

Because those are the parts of the economy that are bearing the burden of this quarantine and staying at home, he said.

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