Leaked Documents from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie

Leaked Documents from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie

Summary: Dave Winer has published a leaked email from Bill Gates and memo from Ray Ozzie. This comes from a source within Microsoft, who Dave Winer won't name.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Dave Winer has published a leaked email from Bill Gates and memo from Ray Ozzie. This comes from a source within Microsoft, who Dave Winer won't name. Here's Gates' email and Ozzie's memo.

The crux of Gates' email is the following, which reads like a Microsoft version of a Web 2.0 manifesto:

"The broad and rich foundation of the internet will unleash a "services wave" of applications and experiences available instantly over the internet to millions of users. Advertising has emerged as a powerful new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services along with subscriptions and license fees. Services designed to scale to tens or hundreds of millions will dramatically change the nature and cost of solutions deliverable to enterprises or small businesses.

We will build our strategies around Internet services and we will provide a broad set of service APIs and use them in all of our key applications.

This coming "services wave" will be very disruptive. We have competitors who will seize on these approaches and challenge us – still, the opportunity for us to lead is very clear. More than any other company, we have the vision, assets, experience, and aspirations to deliver experiences and solutions across the entire range of digital workstyle & digital lifestyle scenarios, and to do so at scale, reaching users, developers and businesses across all markets.

But in order to execute on this opportunity, as we've done before we must act quickly and decisively. This next generation of the internet is being shaped by its "grassroots" adoption and popularization model, and the cost-effective "seamless experiences" delivered through the intentional fusion of services, software and sometimes hardware. We must reflect upon what and for whom we are building, how best to deliver new functionality given the internet services model, what kind of a platform in this new context might enable partners to build great profitable businesses, and how our applications might be reshaped to create service-enabled experiences uniquely compelling to both users and businesses alike."

Ozzie's memo is entitled The Internet Services Disruption and is similar to Gates' email in content - but he elaborates a lot more. Here's one part of his memo:

"It is now 2005, and the environment has changed yet again – this time around services. Computing and communications technologies have dramatically and progressively improved to enable the viability of a services-based model. The ubiquity of broadband and wireless networking has changed the nature of how people interact, and they’re increasingly drawn toward the simplicity of services and service-enabled software that ‘just works’. Businesses are increasingly considering what services-based economics of scale might do to help them reduce infrastructure costs or deploy solutions as-needed and on subscription basis.

Most challenging and promising to our business, though, is that a new business model has emerged in the form of advertising-supported services and software. This model has the potential to fundamentally impact how we and other developers build, deliver, and monetize innovations. No one yet knows what kind of software and in which markets this model will be embraced, and there is tremendous revenue potential in those where it ultimately is.

Just as in the past, we must reflect upon what’s going on around us, and reflect upon our strengths, weaknesses and industry leadership responsibilities, and respond. As much as ever, it’s clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk. We must respond quickly and decisively."

Ozzie also talks directly about their competitors, Google, Yahoo and Apple:

"And while we continue to make good progress on these many fronts, a set of very strong and determined competitors is laser-focused on internet services and service-enabled software. Google is obviously the most visible here, although given the hype level it is difficult to ascertain which of their myriad initiatives are simply adjuncts intended to drive scale for their advertising business, or which might ultimately grow to substantively challenge our offerings. Although Yahoo also has significant communications assets that combine software and services, they are more of a media company and – with the notable exception of their advertising platform – they seem to be utilizing their platform capabilities largely as an internal asset. The same is true of Apple, which has done an enviable job integrating hardware, software and services into a seamless experience with dotMac, iPod and iTunes, but seems less focused on enabling developers to build substantial products and businesses."

It's game on folks. One thing about Microsoft is that they may be always slightly behind the times in terms of Web innovation, but when they catch up - boy do they do it in a big way! More on this as I digest it...

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Leaks?

    Sounds more like press releases. DUH-UH is the operative word here. Just what is so "earth-shattering" in these documents? Services will be big - yeah ok. Advertising will help pay for all of this - yeah, heard that one too. Google and Yahoo play in this space and are M$ competitors - yeah ZDNet says that every day. Nice to know that these guys can regurgitate ZDNet stories to one another.
    Roger Ramjet
    • Hehehe

      Yea from the start of these "internal" documents you can easily tell they read like a press release. Leaks my arse.
      IT Scion
    • ZD is the PROPAGANDA channel for Microsoft and Intel!!!

      Nothing new about this but I do read tons about the industry and these folx are completely beholden to Microsoft and Intel and to whoever is paying for ads on their site.. disappointing. Hope this PROPAGANDA burns ZD...
      • We're beholden to .... Google

        You silly troll! If you read CNET Networks' stock filings, you'll discover that our biggest advertiser is: Google.

        Yet no one accuses ZDNet of being a "Google shill". If we're just paid lackeys, then we must not be able to count.

        Stephen Howard-Sarin
        VP, ZDNet
        Stephen Howard-Sarin
  • No Legs

    Does Windows really have the 'legs' to compete on large scale internet SOA solutions?

    I don't think so. Unless they write or acquire a new O/S.

    The lumbering giant can't catch up or compete in their current form--but that doesn't stop the 'marketing glitz' from continuing--Live and such.

    Now that Web 2.0 is evident, expect to see SOAs exploiting Ajax to offer truly rich web interfaces that truly poses a threat to the existing MS client base.

    As former Sen. Bob Dole once said:
    "They know it, you know it, and I know it"
    D T Schmitz
  • Microsoft reinvents itself every 5 years

    Never underestimate Microsoft. They have come from behind many times to take market leadership. Internet Explorer in the browser space is the obvious example. SQL Server is now the market leader in databases. Windows Server came from no where 10 years ago to be the leading server in the eneterprise market, taking marketshare from the UNIX vendors.

    While web based services may not be news, it is big news when Microsoft decides to enter the market and tweak its business model to do it.

    I wrote a blog several months ago that got lots of attention inside Microsoft. It is entitled "The Coming Web Services Tsunami" and can be found here. http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2005/09/the_coming_web_.html

    I wouldn't bet against Microsoft. It is very early in the game.
    • 5 Years Doesn't Cut It

      5 years doesn't cut it.
      It's a 'Brave New World'.
      MS is playing 'catch-up'.
      D T Schmitz
      • Most

        never reinvent themselves. Every 5 is monumental for a company that size. MS playing catch up? In some areas yes but just look at their track record. Entering a market and catching up takes them very little time. They become a contender and/or a leader right off the bat in nearly every market they have entered. That's impressive whether you like them or not or agree with their methods. It's especially impressive when you consider some of their competition does nothing else but one market while MS swims in many.
        IT Scion
        • Client Desktop

          Respectfully submitted and please don't let your knee hit your chin on this, but it's a different story if you are only talking 'bout the Desktop arena which they (MS) garner the major market share of, obviously, but when we branch to discussion 'bout the Net 'at large' it's really technology-wise, a quite different story, in terms of what entities are along on the 'learning curve' and have the best O/S platforms for SOA development.

          Bob Dole:
          "You know, they know it, and I know it."

          Seriously now! ;)
          D T Schmitz
    • Laughable assertions....

      "SQL Server is now the market leader in databases. Windows Server came from no where 10 years ago to be the leading server in the eneterprise market, taking marketshare from the UNIX vendors."

      Market leader in databases?
      Leading server in the enterprise market?

      No and no. Where are you getting this stuff from?
      • Location Location Location

        Oracle Oracle Oraclellllllllllllllllla ;)
        D T Schmitz
  • Leak? Halloween Docs were leaks

    I agree, this is a thinly veiled press release. It's like Bill and Ozzie handed this to every employee at the company, and said "Don't let anyone outside Microsoft see this", and then gave a big, Jon Stewart style wink to each one as they said it.

    Now, the Halloween documents, THOSE were leaks. These are a carefully staged press release.
  • Problems with this leaked memo !

    1. OK first, how come a company such as MS can not control its own internal memo's. There is all sorts of software (Document manangement, email authentication security software, etc) that is supposed to control the dissemination of information.

    Was this unintentionally released memo actually intended? and if so what are they trying to tell their competition under the hidden meanings?

    2.. Read the following ecerpt from the quote posted (I don't believe I am misquoting the intended spirit or meaning of the quote by removing some of the wording in the middle of the quote - I've only done thsi to make it more clear. If I misrepresented the spirit of the quote please let me know and I will gladfully rescind this post)

    "Most...promising to our business.....a new business model has emerged in the form of advertising-supported services and software. This model has the potential to fundamentally impact how we...deliver, and monetize innovations."

    If MS starts using advertising to accrue more money for its software then to %$@#*! with them. I don't want to see any form of adverting on any web based services product I use. Can you see it now - a web based service to use MS Office online with banner ads for Ford and Chevy. I don't like the fact that this quote sees advertising as an opportunity to "monetize" Microsoft's "innovations." Do You?
    • adverts

      Stuff flashing on the screen makes me extremely uneasy and sick. Static ads - no problem. Flashing ones - big problem. If they become even more ubiquitous I can only hope clever folk continue to come up with hacky "disablers" for them.
  • Leaked memo to 4 publishers simultaneously?

    I think this says it all. How could it be leaked, this did come out like a press release.
    This is from Dave Winer's site http://www.hypercamp.org/2005/11/09#a43

    "Something weird happened just before midnight Eastern time, first the Wall Street Journal, then the NY Times, then the Seattle Post-Intelligencer all had reports on a memo leaked from inside Microsoft that "
  • On second thought

    Leaked is the right word. Planned leaks happen all the time.
    IT Scion
  • How is MS going to "catch up?"

    "It's game on folks. One thing about Microsoft is
    that they may be always slightly behind the times
    in terms of Web innovation, but when they catch
    up - boy do they do it in a big way!"

    I don’t want to sound like a jerk but I don’t
    catch-up talk.
    If they have always been slightly behind how are
    they going to "catch up?" There is no proof in
    the pudding.

    They never had any competition for their OS. I
    think it was too expensive to produce and
    maintain for others. The
    entire 90's stunk in terms of desktop software
    was centered around an extremely-buggy
    semi-usable Windows on the desktop with
    keeping servers and the digital movement

    Today is another story with so much more
    competition I
    still don’t see how MS has ever done anything in
    a big way
    because to me software has really never been big
    until now. Maybe just for casual gaming and some
    administration for MS-DOS; security and the
    digital movement was big but that was UNIX. There
    were some big improvements like CAD in the early
    90s but that came along with OS/2 as well. Allot
    of these things didn’t work well if at all on
    So to me MS has always been desktop-centric but
    the desktop was never larger then the server
    which has always been dominated buy UNIX type
    So now saying MS is going to be big on the
    Internet is like saying a baby is going to fly a
    fighter jet.
    Maybe MS is just going back to their Xenix days.
    A UNIX variant. This is all so fascinating.
    Bring back Xenix!!!

    Linux had ample opportunity to compete with MS in
    the 90s
    and because there wasn’t a large enough drumbeat
    wallowed in geakdom. Question: Why did Linux
    finally wake up (KDE 3.5 etc...), maybe it just
    took time? I guess maybe you could say
    MS did
    win out in the 90s but I still don’t see it as
    anything too
    large because people were still not shopping
    online and
    PCs still weren't mainstream.

    I can see maybe the www.live.com site doing well
    they do have allot of $$$ capital, but remember
    this original medium is foundational in
    People based capital not paper money that has
    been MS’, and most of societies’, root
    mentality. This isn’t just a software topic
    either with so many more non-Profits cropping up
    on the Internet almost replacing government as we
    know it.

    The question is: will people want to contribute
    MS’ Shared Source Initiative? Will it be
    successful in this arena?
    Right now they have a Shared Source Initiative
    based site called “Live” up and will be
    asking people to contribute code for free and/or
    based off of advertising so we’ll see and I’ll
    check it out.
    Actually I want to take a look at their Shared
    Source docs myself and see how it compares to the
    Open Source Initiative that I like.


    An aside: This is similar to Isaac Asimov’s
    Foundation series where the universe was
    by a wikipedia like library.
    • Can you say monopoly?

      I thought you could !
      George Jay
  • Cringeley sums it all up perfectly

    Once again

    D W_z
  • Staff soaking up marketing !!??

    Their detachment from reality ia amazing. What business would consider it desirable for their staff to be wasting time viewing advertising. How desirable for management is the concept of their staff reading about alternate employment oppurtunites or staff focusing on holidays instead of the task at hand or even worse be continually exposed to their competitors marketing messages. The accounts department is going to love counting the cost of lost bandwith on advertising, lost labour time spent reading advertising, the cost of disaffected workers dreaming of wining, dining, entertainment, the weekend getaway etc. and the inevitable cost of microsoft's regular security/reliability/stability excuse "we hadn't thought of that" as all your data gets wiped out.