Microsoft CEO talks 'post-post PC world,' shows off language translator

Microsoft's new CEO was (mostly) gently grilled by Re/code's founders Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher as the kickoff speaker for the inaugural Code Conference.

He discussed Microsoft's future in what he called the "post-post PC world" and talked in mostly broad generalizations about the future of the company before introducing one new ambitious product – a version of Skype that aims to translate a conversation in any two languages in real time.

Microsoft VP Gurdeep Singh Pall demonstrated by having a conversation with a friend in German, that was translated into English in real time. Nadella said the product will launch later this year (currently working with about 40 languages), first on Skype for Windows but eventually on other devices as well.

Read MoreRead Re/code's liveblog of Microsoft's Nadella

What's this "post-post PC world"? Nadella described a software environment built around people rather than devices, where data finds the user, rather than the other way around.

He also said that Microsoft will remain, at core, a software company despite the fact that it will occasionally build devices when necessary. He reiterated that the company will not sell its search business to Yahoo, and that, at present, he's leaning towards building new businesses rather than making big acquisitions.

"I think we have to build something big, if along the way we have to buy some things, I think that's fine, but we have to build," he said.

Read MoreGwyneth Paltrow talks...Internet trolls

Asked if he was for or against Nokia's acquisition before becoming CEO, he said "I'm not going to answer that," to no small amount of laughter from the audience.

Despite alluding to other changes afoot at the company, at least one of the company's businesses will remain the same for now. "I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today," he said.

Disclosure: NBC News group is a minority stakeholder in Re/code and has a content sharing partnership with it.