Why Sayta Nadella thinks cars are the 'best thing that has happened' to Microsoft

Satya NadellaGetty Images/Mat HaywardMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella

Self-driving cars are going to be here sooner (Tesla and Uber) or later (Apple), but you don’t hear much about a Microsoft car.

And there’s a good reason for that. Microsoft has no plans to build one, CEO Satya Nadella told attendees at the WSJ D Live conference Monday night. 

Many of the big automakers are Microsoft customers who are using Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, to host connected car apps. 

So when the Wall Street Journal’s Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker asked Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella if Microsoft had any plans to build its own car, a la Google, Apple, he said, “I’m very thrilled about the car companies using Azure today. It’s the best thing that has happened to us, quite honestly” Nadella said.

He mentioned that Daimler, BMW, Ford, Toyota are “significant customers of ours” and they are interested in using Microsoft’s premium (aka more costly) artificial intelligence services for their apps. Azure is also powering self-driving car apps for Renault-Nissan, Uber, others.

“They are looking for a trusted partner that’s not going to compete with them,” he said. (Take that, Google.)

Here’s the whole exchange.


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