Ray Ozzie's unexpected departure from his role as chief software architect does not look good for Microsoft, not least because it follows a series of other high-level departures. It follows Microsoft Business Division president Stephen Elop's move to become CEO of Nokia last month, and the retirement of entertainment and devices …
"That makes this a healthy change for Microsoft, though it raises the question of who is the person of vision who can guide this huge company's strategy?"
There isn't anyone. Ballmer is more worried about his competitors' products than his own, and is little more than a snake oil salesman. The old, successful combination of Paul Allen and Bill Gates - i.e. tech & business - is long gone, and it isn't coming back.
Gates, despite *not* being the visionary people claim, saw this coming a long time ago.
Come back Bill, all is forgiven. Let's hope he comes back and is able to re-invigorate this dying dinosaur. Don't get me wrong, MS are produing some great stuff, but they are not sexy any more, not sufficiently innovating, and they make far too many basic mistakes all over the place.
I may have had a few too many schooners for lunch today, but reading this shouldn't it have been accompanied with the troll icon and a massive sarcasm marker
I was going to wait until i sobered up to reread before replying, but I'm not sure when that will happen
Bill doing a Steve?
Is Bill going to return to his ailing company and reinvigorate it the same way that Steve did with Apple? I'd like to see him sell up at the high point, watch others run it into the ground and then buy back in at the lows to make even more money for his charitable ventures.
"MS are produing some great stuff, but they are not sexy any more, not sufficiently innovating"
That bit about innovating - that's what is called 'sarcasm', right?
"focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment"
ObDilbert: "Why can't we concentrate our resources across the board?"
Entertainment sound good though. Watching telly, listening to the radio, maybe pottering around doing some light gardening.
Coming as someone who has worked with Ozzie's products over the years (both Notes and Groove)... he does have some great ideas but planting the seed vs. executing on the idea are two different issues. Also, in general, syncing/replicating data (whatever you want to call it) is actually a lot more difficult down at the nuts and bolts levels than most people realize. It is, however, the holy grail in a world where cloud connectivity, 100% of the time, no matter where you go for all three screens is not a reality. I'm not exactly surprised that Ray and Microsoft couldn't get it working - but that's no reason to throw in the towel IMO.
So what exactly is the job of a CSA... to plant the seed and get it half or mostly baked (which is what he did for Azure, but apparently not for Mesh) or is it to take it all the way into the market under his personal fiefdom (i.e. making his own new division inside Microsoft)? To me it would seem that having Ray, or someone around, to run the incubator... to span the divisions is absolutely crucial. Regardless of his apparent/alleged failures, losing him and not replacing him puts Microsoft squarely in the Nokia model - which is essentially a bunch of small independent companies inside one corporate umbrella. For a company that essentially does one thing (software) that is really... really not good.
/Fail, because not replacing the Ozz is a big one
Ballmer may indeed be a great salesman.
It's just that few customers are buying the shiny new stuff he's selling.
Windows ("Windows Classic", anyone?) and Office are the cash cows and the only thing that keeps the boat afloat. Without those, MS would look like, well, maybe Corel.
Chief software architect
I think Microsoft's problems started when Gates crowned himself "chief software architect".
That was a great mistake by Gates as that is not what he is good at, at all.
Perhaps they could employ Jobs as a part time "chief software and design architect".
It's the office stupid
MS has a single product , MS Office - and the Windows/Exchange/SQL server licenses that go with it, that makes all their money.
That means that whatever an exec in the MS Office group wants he will get - everybody else inside MSFT is either working for the greater glory of Office or is an enemy within.
Or at least that's my experience of working in companies with a cash cow product - any innovation is seen as a threat to the cash cow. Generally the company does really well (on paper) right upto there being an external competitor - then it becomes obvious that they couldn't innovate themselves out of a paper bag.
@ Yet Another Anonymous Coward
"MS has a single product , MS Office - and the Windows/Exchange/SQL server licenses that go with it, that makes all their money"
Err, yeah, and of course a couple of other product lines like, for example, SharePoint, SQL, Development Tools, Xbox etc. All of which are billion dollar businesses in their own right and thus make more money every couple of minutes than you will make in your life......
Et tu, Brute?
(as the title)