MICROSOFT has a new boss. A 46-year-old cricket fan from India, Satya Nadella takes over at a difficult time.

Satya Nadella’s email to all staff on his first day as Microsoft CEO was blunt: “We must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world,” he said.

Nadella is only the third CEO in the company’s history. He steps in as Steve Balmer retires, and as Microsoft struggles to keep pace with innovation elsewhere.

Since the early 2000s, competitors old and new have grabbed great chunks of Microsoft’s business.

Apple products are everywhere you look. Google dominates on the web. Samsung and Amazon are innovating with new hardware ideas.

Microsoft was ready for the desktop PC world of the ’80s and ’90s, but not for the mobile world of today. That’s where it needs to focus.

So what’s on Satya Nadella’s to-do list? Maybe something like this: 1. Fix Surface. Microsoft’s tablet is more expensive than rivals, with fewer features and much less storage space. It needs rapid and radical improvement.

2. Fix Windows. Microsoft’s flagship software, Windows 8, introduced new interface features that left long-term users flummoxed. Innovation is good, but not at the expense of confusing loyal customers.

3. Invest in design. There’s already a better logo and corporate identity, but Microsoft needs to apply the same logic to its products.

Luckily, Nadella won’t be working alone. Microsoft has always been good at investing in people, and has a team of fine minds in place to tackle these problems. And Nadella has already been in touch with another guy, a man from Microsoft’s early days, to get him to come and help out.

You might have heard of him too. His name? Bill Gates.