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Monday, October 25, 2010

Ray Ozzie writes about Microsoft in a post-PC world

Ray Ozzie, who is stepping down as chief software architect at Microsoft, has written a memo envisioning a world without the PC as he prepares for retirement.
He posted the long memo, titled "Dawn of a New Day," on his personal blog today, which he is also sending to Microsoft's executive staff and direct reports.
"It’s the dawn of a new day – the sun having now arisen on a world of continuous services andconnected devices," Ozzie wrote. He borrowed the theme from the New York World's Fair in 1939, which he said inspired hope in society that anything was possible.
Ozzie took over writing these memos when he became chief software architect in 2006, replacing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The Gates and Ozzie memos have had a lasting impact at Microsoft, setting the course for the company over several years. In 2005, Ozzie wrote the "Internet Services Disruption" memo, which pushed Microsoft to go "all in" on cloud computing.
It's unclear what impact the latest memo will have on the company since he is on his way out, but Ozzie issues a call to action to "imagine fearlessly; to dream."
Ozzie urged readers to imagine a "Post-PC world." For a company that makes most of its money from PC software, including Windows and Office, this message is alarming. Ozzie acknowledges that "our journey began in support of audacious concepts that were originally just imagined and dreamed: A computer that’s ‘personal’. Or, a PC on every desktop and in every home, running Microsoft software. ... As such, it’s difficult for many of us to even imagine that this could ever change."
He describes the future of computing as continuous services and connected devices. "We’re moving toward a world of 1) cloud-based continuous services that connect us all and do our bidding, and 2)appliance-likeconnected devices enabling us to interact with those cloud-based services."
"For both individuals and businesses, new consumption & interaction models will change the game. It’s inevitable," Ozzie wrote.

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