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Ray Ozzie  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is losing a key exec

In a surprise announcement this afternoon, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that the company's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, is stepping down from his post. Ozzie took over the role as chief software architect from Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Ozzie has played a huge role in the development and deployment of Microsoft's Azure cloud-based computing efforts and has long been a pivotal force in the development of Windows-based operating systems.

Here is section of Steve Ballmer's email to all Microsoft employees announcing the departure:

With our progress in services and the cloud now full speed ahead in all aspects of our business, Ray and I are announcing today Ray’s intention to step down from his role as chief software architect. He will remain with the company as he transitions the teams and ongoing strategic projects within his organization - bringing the great innovations and great innovators he’s assembled into the groups driving our business. Following the natural transition time with his teams but before he retires from Microsoft, Ray will be focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment where Microsoft has many ongoing investments. We have tremendous opportunities in the entertainment space overall, and I’m excited about what we can accomplish. Beyond that, Ray has no plans at this time. While he’ll continue to report to me during the transition, the CSA role was unique and I won’t refill the role after Ray’s departure. We have a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market.

While Ray will be onboard for a while, I’d like to thank him today for his contributions to Microsoft, both as a leader and as a long-time Microsoft ISV. As an early ISV, Ray contributed significantly to the early success of Windows. Since being at Microsoft, both through inspiration and impact he’s been instrumental in our transition toward a software world now centered on services. He’s always been a ‘maker’ and a partner, and we look forward to our continuing collaboration as his future unfolds. Ray has played a critical role in helping us to assume the leadership position in the cloud, and positioned us well for future success.

Ballmer's email doesn't give an exact reason why Ozzie is leaving, but one can only hope that his talent is picked up by another high-tech firm. Companies that specialize in cloud computing would probabaly kill to have Ozzie onboard.

Ozzie has even had nice things to say about Google's efforts in cloud computing. "On the Android-versus-Chrome issue, Android is a bet on the past; Chrome is a bet on the future," said Ozzie back in June. "When you install an app, you’re targeting a device. When you use Chrome, you’re looking at a cloud-based future."



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RE: The future is ...
By goodsyntax on 10/21/2010 8:45:52 AM , Rating: 3
How is it Microsoft's fault if someone who uses Windows XP with no patches, service packs, anti-virus or properly configured firewalls gets compromised?

Another analogy would be to blame Ford because a car owner has driven his/her car for 100K miles, never changed the oil, nor performed any maintenance and wonders why the engine seized, the rims are warped because the tires blew out 60K miles ago, the car can't stop because both the pads and rotors are destroyed, and they keep hitting other cars on the road every time they need to go to the store.

Maintenance is an integral part of any system, software, mechanical or biological. To ignore the maintenance aspect is pure negligence on the part of the user/owner.

Maybe ISPs should start implementing Network Access Protection, which would prevent this whole mess in the first place. Only users with up-to-date operating systems and software with current virus definitions, etc., can access the internet. Others who do not meet this requirement would be redirected to an ISP portal that provides the updates and offers downloads of AVG, Avast or any of the other free anti-virus packages available. Most ISPs even offer a free subscription to McAfee or Symantec as long as your account is in good standing.

You do have a point about the base hardware requirements for Windows 7 (and Vista, but we're just going to pretend that OS never existed). A lot of what Microsoft does in regards to hardware requirements is a double-edged sword. Yes, the average Joe may need to purchase new hardware in 3-5 year cycles in order to support the newest OS releases, but for the past two decades, Microsoft has been the biggest driver of the hardware markets. In large part, many of the advances and, more importantly, profitability of hardware manufacturers are due to the predictable refresh cycles from Microsoft.

As for tablets, I personally think that it is a fad. As ARM produces better CPUs for the low power market and manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG produce better, more capable smartphones, there is little that tablets can do that a smart phone cannot. Having played with an iPad, I feel it is too small and underpowered to be useful (at least for the things that I do) and too big to be pocketable and transportable. Give me a smart phone with HDMI and integrated pico-projector, a fold up bluetooth keyboard and mouse and I'll gladly trade it in for a tablet. Something that supports VPN and RDP/ICA protocols, so I can remote into my home servers, is all I would really need.

The problem with Linux these days is fragmentation. There are literally hundreds of distros, variants, spin-offs, etc. with differing levels of support. I know it runs contrary to the open source tenants, but I do think that some refocusing is in order. Linux has missed their biggest opportunity to get mainstream acceptance during the Vista debacle and the initial Netbook/Nettop/Tablet fad. Asus and other manufacturers initially offered some kind of Linux variant, but users were frustrated by the lack of software, confusing interface and decidedly un-Windows like environment. Maybe if Ubuntu (Hardy Heron) were the distro that was selected, things would have been different. It wasn't until Microsoft extended support and offered licensing of XP to this market that it really took off. At this point, with IOS, Android and possibly challenges from WebOS and Windows, I think the Linux ship has sailed. It's unfortunate and indicative of the lack of a central group managing, marketing and driving mainstream Linux adoption.

Finally, the black markets go to where the opportunities are. Whether it's impostor drugs, software piracy or identity theft, sleazes and criminals gather anywhere there is opportunity to make easy money. And governments are seeing this activity as an opportunity for a power grab. It has absolutely nothing to do with YOUR protection, rather it has EVERYTHING to do with increasing THEIR power, reach and authority.


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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