Ray Ozzie Steps Down as Microsoft Chief Software Architect
Ray Ozzie Leaving Microsoft
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Engineer, will be stepping down after five years with the Redmond-based computing giant. Ray Ozzie was a huge proponent of cloud computing, pushing Redmond to embrace the trend of seamless user experience, which was pretty much the opposite of what MS had been doing.
CEO Steve Ballmer did not say why Ray Ozzie was leaving the company, only that he'd stick around for a bit to ease the transition (to whom?) and work on some of Microsoft's entertainment initiatives.
Mr. Ballmer's email provided no explanation for Mr. Ozzie's departure. Mr. Ballmer noted that Microsoft has made big strides in the area of cloud computing, an initiative that Mr. Ozzie led for most of his tenure at Microsoft.
Ray Ozzie's 2005 memo "The Internet Services Disruption" discusses how Microsoft would benefit by providing an end-to-end, seamless user experience, and also makes note of how Microsoft's rivals have, so far, been eating its lunch, even if Microsoft was earlier to the table:
SEAMLESS OS – The operating system as it would be designed for today’s multi-PC, multi-device, work anywhere, web-based world. Enabling you to login using any of your service-based or enterprise identities. Deploying software automatically and as appropriate to all your devices, and roaming application data and settings. Permitting seamless access to storage across all your PCs, devices, servers and the web.
The memo discusses the concept of lightweight development for a future composed of handheld devices (smartphones, check) and cheap, low-powered computing devices (netbooks, check).
Steve Ballmer acknowledged Ray Ozzie's hand in shaping Microsoft's future:
As a company, we’ve accomplished much in the past five years as we look at the cloud and services. Windows Live now serves as a natural web-based services complement to both Windows and Office. SharePoint and Exchange have now decidedly embraced the cloud. And by conceiving, incubating and shepherding Windows Azure, Ray helped ensure we have a tremendously rich platform foundation that will enable app-level innovation across the company and by customers for years to come.