Bloggers read between lines of Ozzie

One week after announcing his departure as Microsoft Corp.’s chiefsoftware architect, Ray Ozzie sent a final (and lengthy) memo to company staffthat basically urges the company to continue embracing cloud computing or dietrying.

Ozzie argues that Microsoft’s core business is under threatin the “post-PC” world and the way of the future will be simple, low-costdevices that hook into cloud services. He also described the devices oftomorrow as “simple and fundamentally appliance-like.”

While Ozzie applauds a lot of Microsoft’s efforts in thecloud over the last several years, it also seems to serve as a warning for thecompany, according to ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley.

“The ‘Dawn of a New Day’ memo makes it clear — at least tome — that Ozzie has concerns about Windows,” she wrote. “He doesn’t state thisas bluntly as I just did. (And maybe the talk I’ve heard about an Ozzie vsWindows Chief Steven Sinofsky feud is coloring my opinion here.) But youwouldn’t catch any other member of Microsoft’s top brass wondering aloud aboutthe rightful reigning place of PCs in the future.”

She added that Ozzie’s memo directly conflicts with Microsoft’sofficial public stance that Windows PCs are now and will stay at the centre ofthe computing universe.

TechCrunch blogger Erick Schonfeld said the memo reminds himof a similar one written by Ozzie nearly five years ago where the Microsoftexecutive pushed Internet services as the future evolution in the world oftechnology. With his outgoing memo, Schonfeld wrote, it is almost as if Ozzieis saying that Microsoft didn’t completely get the message.

“What he describes sounds a lot like Google, which ispushing to remove the distinction between native apps and Web apps with theChrome OS and Google Apps,” Schonfeld wrote. “Google is also probably thefurthest ahead in terms of syncing connected devices such as Android phones andGoogle TVs to the cloud. A general design principle Google follows is if yourdata is in the cloud, it should be available on all your devices.”

Windows IT Pro blogger Paul Thurrott agreed, suggesting thatthe new memo serves simply as a reiteration of Ozzie’s previous company letter.

“He speaks of ‘agile innovation’ from Microsoft’scompetitors — not named, but based on the markets he cites, he clearly meansApple and Google, at the least,” he wrote. “And he very specifically discussedthe ‘post-PC’ world, a world that those very competitors are already embracing,for obvious reasons.

Thurrott added that even though a lot of the Ozzie’s ongoingletter was self-congratulatory about Microsoft’s efforts in the cloud, manyemployees will be reading between the lines and preparing for many toughdecisions the company will have to make going forward.

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