Ray Ozzie Wants to Push Microsoft Back Into Startup Mode
Must-read Wired article about the new Chief Software Architect of Microsoft - Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates him one of the top 5 programmers in the universe. That's a compliment!
This makes me want to dig up that "Ozzie is trying to build that thing he's been trying to build for the last 25 years; nobody cares, still" article.
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Really interesting article about the issues facing Microsoft, Cloud Computing and other problems and possibilities for Microsoft.Ray Ozzie Wants to Push Microsoft Back Into Startup Mode
"Microsoft, Ozzie wrote, had to think and operate more like an Internet company and, as much as possible, like a Web startup. Consider ad-supported or subscription business models, he advised, viral distribution, and experiences that "just work." Instead of the clunkiness that Microsoft products so often displayed, focus on being "seamless." Bottom line: Change big-time, or else."
the back story on Azure and the good 'ol days
Previously, a big part of any development team at Microsoft was making sure its new product worked in lockstep with everything else the company produced. While that approach avoided annoying conflicts, it also tended to smother innovation. "This philosophy of independent innovation...is something Ray pushed very strongly," Ozzie's approach was to encourage people to rush ahead and build things. Then he'd have a team of what he calls the spacklers fill in the gaps and get things ready for release. He spent a lot of time on the physical workspace for his team. He had workers rip down the labyrinthine corridors on one floor and called in architects to create a more open design. Now, walking into the Windows Live Core group is like leaving Microsoft and visiting a Futurama set. Office windows open onto hallways so that quick eye contact can trigger spontaneous discussions. Whiteboards are everywhere. Pool tables, mini-lounges, and snack zones draw people toward the center of the space.
Enigma or not, Ozzie is the one who must lead—or drag, if need be—a software giant with 90,000 employees, $60 billion in revenue, and an untold number of blue screens of death across a chasm. Can he do it? Ozzie's big advantage is that he knows what's on the other side. In fact, he caught a glimpse of it 35 years ago and has been heading there ever since.