Mixed reality experiences that blend rendered graphics with real-world environments are the endgame of computing, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said earlier this week. While speaking with former cricket player Anil Kumble during his two-day visit to India that ended Tuesday, the 50-year-old singled out mixed reality, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence as the three main technologies that he believes will shape the world going forward, both in terms of the near and distant future.
His remarks reinforce what Microsoft already implied when it announced HoloLens several years back – it sees mixed reality experiences as the interfaces of the future. While Minority Report-like holograms may not be functional in the immediate term, a combination of augmented and virtual reality enabled by high-tech headsets is something that Microsoft appears to be adamant to pursue. Every sector from healthcare and education to administration and entertainment can and already does benefit from HoloLens-powered solutions, Mr. Nadella recalled, adding that there's much more of such solutions to come as Microsoft refines its mixed reality offerings. Microsoft CEO didn't go into many details regarding the tech giant's AI and quantum computing-related endeavors, having only indicated that both are part of the company's long-term vision.
Mr. Nadella's recent visit to his home country was part of his ongoing tour promoting his new book "Hit Refresh" which tells the story of how he reorganized Microsoft after taking over the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant from Steve Ballmer in 2014. Unlike his predecessor, the Indian-born business executive appears to be on good terms with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who famously fell out with Mr. Ballmer over the years, with the two supposedly not even speaking to each other following the previous CEO's decision to retire. Mr. Gates penned the foreword of Hit Refresh, praising the firm's current chief for immediately leaving his mark on Microsoft after taking over the company. With Microsoft's recent decision to completely drop any commitments to Windows Phone and its intensifying cloud-related efforts, as well as the aforementioned remarks from its CEO, it appears that the firm has a well-defined vision of the future that it's now seeking to aggressively pursue under Mr. Nadella's leadership.