Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft's Mix '08 line-up

Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft's Mix '08 line-up

Summary: Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, has become increasingly notorious for his invisibility on the Web 2.0 conference circuit. If the Microsoft Mix '08 Web site is any indication, Ozzie sightings are going to become even scarcer in the new year.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Browser

Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, has become increasingly notorious for his invisibility on the Web 2.0 conference circuit. If the Microsoft Mix '08 Web site is any indication, Ozzie sightings are going to become even scarcer in the new year.

Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft’s Mix ‘08 line-upUnless Ozzie is a last-minute addition to the Microsoft Mix '08 keynote line-up, he won't be one of the main speakers at Microsoft's biggest Web conference of the year.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Developer Division General Manager Scott Guthrie and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures Guy Kawasaki are all on the keynote list for Mix '08. But Ozzie is nowhere to be seen on the preliminary line-up.

Ozzie's two big public appearances of 2007 were Mix '07 and the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting. That was it.

Microsoft's explanation, whenever anyone asks about Ozzie's whereabouts, is he is busy helping the company figure out its Web strategy. (Ozzie never responds directly himself.)

I realize some companies use executive scarcity to help create demand and mystique. (Textbook example: Former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner.) But isn't Web 2.0 all about collaboration, networking, blogging? Isn't Ozzie supposed to be filling Chairman Bill Gates' Chief Software Architect shoes by serving as Microsoft's public face to the tech world?

Is there anything to be read into Ozzie's disappearing act? What's your take?

Topics: Microsoft, Browser


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • He has his hands full

    [i]What?s your take?[/i]

    Not to mention his plate, his schedule, his sleeping hours, his dreams, etc.

    He's trying to change the course of the most massive software company ever, against the momentum set by the founder, without the founder's cult status, without being at the top two spots of the org chart, without being the richest pair of lungs on the planet, and with Gates and Ballmer looking over his shoulder.

    Seems to me the wonder isn't the appearances he [u]doesn't[/u] make so much as the ones he [u]did[/u].
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures?

    No WONDER Microsoft warez is sooo pee pee poor! The C.R.A.P. is still developed in a Garage!
    • As opposed to what:

      Linux? Made in an outhouse up in the 'docks??
      • Message has been deleted.

    • About Guy Kawasaki

      It's amusing to me that you see this as a Microsoft "issue". Guy is most famous as the original Apple Macintosh evangelist, before founding his current company. MIX is a Microsoft conference, but it's unusual as a conference for the way different speakers are brought in who don't necessarily represent the Microsoft way. It's intended as more of a conversation than a one-way presentation. More on Guy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Kawasaki. More on MIX here: http://www.visitmix.com.

      YOU SHOULD TRY IT YOU MAY JUST LIKE IT...having said that,
      the past year has brought about the Windows Live Products
      which are excellent. Kudos to Ray's Hard Work.
  • he is ready to jump into the Linux bandwagon

    Nobody can excell at M$, only in an OSS project.
    Linux Geek
  • There are obviously some big battles going on behind closed doors.

    And, they must keep Ozzie off the stage until it is resolved. The problem, is when to let the Microsoft divisions compete head on with Google, Yahoo, and others, and stop worrying about cannibalizing the cash cows internally with your own (presumably cheaper) product. But, as many have found out, it is better to cannibalize your own product that have somebody else do it!!
  • Poor Ray

    Bill said Zig and Ray thought he said

    Now he's in Nigeria selling Vista for
    $3, and his Iphone won't work.
    Ole Man
  • Hmmm, I don't think so.

    "But isn???t Web 2.0 all about collaboration, networking, blogging?"

    I don't think so. I think Microsoft is a for-profit and its all about how to leverage it in a way that generates profits. That is what for-profit companies do.
  • RE: Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft's Mix '08 line-up

    met Ray - Not impressive at all - Very cold personality - didn't show he is a great software architect - i hope your book will talk about Ray "of dark"
    • You're not being truthful

      The guy is not perfect but anyone who has ever met the guy knows that "cold personality" is not a good way to describe him. He's nice, somewhat shy but engaging and sensitive. He's exactly what MSFT needs...they have enough loud-mouthy, pushy people.
      • I really don't agree

        I don't agree - his role is "Leader" for Microsoft. Don't tell me he was so far. Well he pursue the great work of Copying other people's ideas/technology so maybe you are right - he is good!

        When you are a chief architect you should at least talk to the Media once in a while and show RESULTS! - it's not the case. I am not asking for him to be like Ballmer but at least not like Casper (the ghost).
  • Ray Ozzie is preparing for next gen Microsoft (IMHO)

    I missed reading your blog yesterday so I involuntarily answered your question on my blog

    What do you think?
  • RE: Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft's Mix '08 line-up

    Because he is over-rated and the cloud computing is over-hyped. The Goove network is going nowhere and will be abandoned just like his Lotus Notes. Webify everything doesn't make business sense, applications like Google Docs, besides getting all the press exposure, offer little productive values. What Microsoft needs instead is the overhaul of its core Window operating system. They need a guy like J Allard to take a fresh look on the Windows, revamp it so that it won't get further behind Mac OS X.
  • RE: Ray Ozzie MIA from Microsoft's Mix '08 line-up

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