Right on Ozzie! (Full text of the Bill-Ozzie email here)
Every time there is a sea change in the way technology is going I am amazed at how Bill Gates clues into it within 6 months. And never too late.
So, a word of warning. Watch the security implications of this new trend. Yes, Google, Salesforce, Writely, are all amazing. But they are all common platforms/data stores within a single organization's data center. They are prone to disruptive outages and "leakage" of data.
Massive investment in redundancy, reliability, and security must be made to switch to a services platform. Services like Google and the Secure Proxy Services offered by Prolexic Technologies run on specially hardened versions of Unix (Google Linux and Prolexic BSD respectively). Know anyone who customizes Windows for their server farms? Do you know anybody who even *knows* what Windows services to turn off? For instance, turning off Windows Explorer and IE would be a good idea for hardening a Windows server. Can you do that?
Customization is great. Just as using a Mac OS protects you from all the worms and viruses created for Windows, using a unique OS protects you from all but concerted targeted attacks. So go ahead, use standard data constructs like XML and standard programming philosophies like AJAX. But use home grown OS's and applications.
That is going to be the biggest challenge for Ozzie and Bill. Once you internalize the transformative and disruptive potential of services you have internalized the risk and inadequacy of Windows.