Microsoft CEO Satay Nadella gave a keynote speech at Hannover Messe on Tuesday, a big conference for industrial technology, and talked about his vision for the next generation of technology.
His vision is that of the Internet of Things, where all kinds of inanimate things become connected and smart.
“The very thing that you produce, that you manufacture, for the first time is connected to the web of activity around it. It’s not just the connection with everything, it’s the ability to reason about that activity, that data that’s being generated, continuously,” Nadella said.
And then he used a line he’s used before: “When you change the way you see the world, you change the world you see,”
That’s a paraphrase of a quote from Wayne Dyer: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” Dyer says that the line is “one of my secrets for feeling successful and attracting bountiful abundance into my life” and Dyer repeats it to himself daily.
Nadella isn’t advocating the quote as a new-age, abundance-producing axiom. But Nadella says the idea of changing how we look at the world by collecting new kinds of data from machines, with machines that can interpret and learn, is “fundamental to how this new paradigm can perhaps have an impact in all industries in all walks of life.”
To prove the point, Microsoft demoed a bunch of new-age tech at the conference including:
- Windows 10 streaming into car dashboards;
- a partnership with Rolls-Royce to host and analyse aeroplane sensor engine data on Microsoft Azure;
- manufacturing plants in Mexico and Malaysia that can predict when a piece of equipment is about to fail;
- ageing industrial machines that can collaborate together on tasks and extend their usefulness and be controlled with a Microsoft Band device;
- and a smart refrigerator for laboratory and medical refrigerators that can alert its owners before it has a failure.
On top of that, Microsoft made a pitch to sell the crowd on its Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book by announcing the PCs have been certified to run Siemens heavy duty, industrial design software, Solid Edge. Historically, high-powered computer-aided-design software like that needed expensive, powerful desktop PCs.
Microsoft says it’s had success selling the Surface for engineering work already, including to companies like UK-based Ross Robotics.
Here’s Microsoft’s one-minute video that summarises Nadella’s vision: