The Winds of Change Are Blowing

The Winds of Change Are Blowing

Summary: Microsoft made the huge announcement today that Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chief Software Architect and will be replaced by Ray Ozzie. As Richard McManus noted, Ray Ozzie is notorious in his support for the web and I this transition shows that the old guard at Microsoft knows the world is changing.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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RayOzzie.jpgMicrosoft made the huge announcement today that Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chief Software Architect and will be replaced by Ray Ozzie. As Richard McManus noted, Ray Ozzie is notorious in his support for the web and this transition shows that the old guard at Microsoft knows the world is changing.

A lot of people aren't yet sold on the software as a service model, let alone delivering entire applications over the web. But if you look at the landscape of software, the change to more agile development and a more distributed model is already taking place. Google has begun releasing heavy duty web applications, Adobe is moving very strongly into the software space (both web and desktop), and now the biggest software company in the world has made a significant leadership change.

It may seem sensationalist, naïve, or just plain crazy to say that the world of software will never be the same again, but it's true. We're moving software to the web and in the process realigning priorities for software developers. It won't make sense to have applications that require an install because you can provide the same level of power and security without the hassle of one. It won't make sense to build applications that require a specific operating system because cross-platform applications will be faster to build and provide more reach.

Bill Gates has had a profound effect on the world, and I wish him the best of luck as he focuses on his foundation. But this is time for new leadership at the world's largest software. Software has gone new age, and it's time to let new blood run the show. The web is here, and there is no doubt Ray Ozzie and Microsoft are going to leverage it as they build the world's software.

Topic: Tech Industry

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4 comments
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  • Wonderful insight

    You know- I read that news announcement and didn't reap half of what it truly meant because I didn't know the background as far as the personality of the new leadership. I appreciate the insight I gained from this read.
    Mani
    diamondtearz@...
  • For crying out loud

    If you think Sheets and Writely are heavy-duty applications, you're more clueless than most of the "Web 2.0" buzzword-ites.
    baggins_z
    • Not Sheets and Writely

      You're right, and I'm not talking about Sheets and Writely. That's all I can say.
      ryanstewart
  • Hindsight

    Obviously, hindsight is worth millions. But if the truth be known, when it was publically announced that Ray Ozzie would be joining the MS Team as the CTO awhile back, we already predicted this series of events and wanted to bet it; nobody took us up on it, so no millions.

    The fundamental shifts at MS was evident in many ways. For example, no real change to it's web flag ship product IE for over six years - were they holding off for Longhorn/Vista? The only reason they had released IE 7 now is due to the FireFox threat not because of client demand. The current stable of MS products and tools are too many and costly for anything that resembles true web presence. MS has wanted to be "everything to everybody all the time" but from the wrong business model. SaaS as MS is proffering is not a cup of tea most of us want to drink from. We can't trust them to fix their historical problems why would we trust them with anything on the web? SLA's MS style? Burnt to many times to buy that fluff.

    Another example since Ray's participation, collaboration is a "really" big push for MS. In the past, MS and ilk scorned Groupwise and NOTES/Domino. But Ray as the original collaboration guru, creator of NOTES and then Groove, has truly changed MS's path. The only good thing was in Bill Gates's recognizing how collaboration is the underpinning for all future web style offerings and services. Steve Ballmer is still in the dark as he thinks the MS compendium of products can compete with the likes of past glories like NOTES and future glories like Google and IBM's Workplace.

    So, here we are and the only thing we wished for was that Steve B. also leave MS since his stewardship was great for the money (some would say) but very poor on envisioning the future. But to the end of days I still say thank you to the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ray Ozzies, etc. who gave us very long term careers.
    Sheeva