We’re building Azure as the world’s computer: Satya Nadella

On the second day of his visit to India, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed a gathering of over 700 tech leaders and developers at Microsoft Future Decoded Tech Summit Bengaluru. He gave a snapshot of the tech stack that Microsoft is building and urged developers that the tech they build should build inclusivity, trust, and sustainability.

“As developers, one of the responsibilities I think we all have is that we have to think a lot more broadly about our impact. If anything, the last 10 years have taught us is that technology becoming so ubiquitous, so pervasive in our society and in our lives, it also comes with responsibility,” Nadella said. “Every single developer choice, that design ethos you exhibit, the ethics of the diverse team you have, are going to matter in terms of are we going to create a much more inclusive world.”

“The highest leverage thing that we can do is to empower you to build this world that we all want to live in, that future that you all will dream of, and make possible. That’s what we want to achieve. In fact, if anything, we want to give you the best toolchain, the best leverage to make your dreams come true,” he added.

Nadella highlighted two key trends that will define the compute fabric needed in the future. There will be 50 billion connected devices by 2030, which will be the endpoints. On the other hand, by 2025 data generation will quadruple to 175ZB.

“You put those things together and you think about the computing fabric you need, and that’s what Azure is motivated by. We’re building out this distributed computing fabric as the world’s computer.  We’re building out Azure as the world’s computer,” Nadella said.

For developers, he underscored the openness of Azure to meet their “real-world needs” by ensuring that open source gets the same first-class treatment as Microsoft’s tools and services and Azure meets all data residency and sovereignty laws as it expands globally.

“If a startup developer wants to build once and reach the world, there can’t be a better time than now,” he said.

Talking about startups, he called out the 100x100x100 program launched earlier this week. A first of its kind program in India, this initiative will bring together 100 committed companies and 100 early and growth startups that have enterprise-ready solutions to offer. Each participating company will commit to spend $100K over a course of 18 months on solutions provided by the SaaS startups.

While in Bengaluru, Nadella also visited Microsoft Research India lab and addressed a company-wide townhall with employees. On February 26, Nadella is scheduled to address students and educators at an event in New Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, kicked off the proceedings

“Today every company is a technology company, a digital company. Moving forward, you have to think about every person as a developer. With 4.2 million developers, India has the number one developer pool on the planet. But there are 650 million people under the age of 25 and today with the power of low-code or no-code programming available in everybody’s hands, every person is a developer,” he said.

He also invited Amod Malviya, co-founder of Udaan to talk about how being born in the cloud helped the B2B marketplace startup become a unicorn in record time.

“Every single second that we could invest in having engineers solve the end problem was important. And that’s where our choice of embracing the cloud completely helped. Azure made it easy for us,” Malviya said. “For us, the choice became very easy because Microsoft had very publicly stated the kind of investments it was making in the cloud business and the kind of commitment it had towards developers worldwide. Those public commitments allowed us to make the decision.”

When asked for advice for the developer community, Malviya was upbeat about being a developer and the opportunities in the field.

“It’s the best time ever to be an engineer,” he said. “Engineering is solving great problems. It’s the best time ever because firstly, today technology is more accessible than ever. Secondly, with the kind of open-source ecosystem, you have the ability to step away from the keyboard and observe real-world problems and use the saved time to solve those problems.”

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