Wired Dec 2008: Ray Ozzie-Azure Back Story and the Changing Culture at Microsoft

In the December 2008 issue of WIRED magazine, Ray Ozzie, CSA of Microsoft, is on the cover and the feature article title is “Saving Microsoft: Can Ray Ozzie fix the house that Bill built?” It’s worth a quick read if you want a back story on Ray Ozzie and Windows Azure (and if you’re curious about the shiny red Nike Shoes worn by Amitabh Srivastava, CVP of Microsoft, during the PDC keynote).

During Ray Ozzie’s keynotes, he often talks about the shifts created with the move toward Software plus Services. One interesting point is that while in the past, a big software release like Windows 2008 would have been considered the finish of a development cycle, but in the S+S world a big software release is just the beginning.

The article also talks about Ray Ozzie’s influence in changing the culture at Microsoft and moving the company toward a more startup-oriented rapid technology development pace – as opposed to the past monolithic product release pace.

I mean, for example, Silverlight 2.0 was just released, and just when you are coming to grips with this, you have Scott Guthrie already blogging about Silverlight 3.0. IIS7 is now modular and extensible and Microsoft is moving rapidly to launch many out-of-band IIS7 extensions. There are no signs of Microsoft slowing down, and in fact, it’s accelerating even faster.

Another example; the PDC conference happened this year and another one is announced for next year. Usually, the PDC occurs every 2-3 years. The last back-to-back PDCs occurred in 2000 and 2001. Microsoft announced the beta for .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET at PDC 2000 and then announced the RC of .NET Framework and Visual Studio at PDC 2001 along with the launch of Windows XP. I fully expect some major announcements at PDC 2009.

So with Ray Ozzie at the helm of Microsoft, not only do I see the changes at Microsoft, I also feel his influence on our business. As a niche windows host, we will need to organize ourselves in a fashion to keep up with all of this. It’s a challenge, but this also makes the whole enterprise exciting and fun for us too.

You can find the Wired article here.

Takeshi Eto
VP Marketing and Business Development

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