Departing Ozzie tells Microsoft: Look to a post-PC world
Microsoft’s departing software chief has urged the company to move on from its Windows and Office roots and imagine a “post-PC world” of simple, global web devices.
Five years after Ray Ozzie made his mark with his “Internet Services Disruption” memo – regarded as Microsoft’s manifesto for internet-based “cloud computing” – he is again calling on the software giant to envision a future where simplicity is key.
Ozzie’s emotional call to arms comes alongside what some analysts say is a watershed moment for the third largest company on the Standard & Poor’s 500, which in November will see the first of a new generation of smartphones driven by its operating system hit store shelves, in a belated attempt to become a major player again in the booming wireless devices market.
Let’s mark this five-year milestone by once again fearlessly embracing that which is technologically inevitable
“Let’s mark this five-year milestone by once again fearlessly embracing that which is technologically inevitable,” Ozzie said in a personal blog post addressed to executive staff and direct reports.
“The next five years will bring about yet another inflection point – a transformation that will once again yield unprecedented opportunities for our company and our industry catalyzed by the huge and inevitable shift in apps and infrastructure that’s truly now just begun.”
That world, Ozzie argues, will be one where users access always-available services through “devices that are fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth. They’re instantly usable, interchangeable and trivially replaceable without loss.”
The call from Ozzie, who announced his retirement from Microsoft last week, is meant to galvanise the company, which has fallen behind Apple and Google in the rapidly growing phone and tablet computer sector and has been surprised by phenomenon such as social network Facebook.
“Close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like, if it were to ever truly occur,” wrote Ozzie in a memo posted on his personal blog. “Those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead.”
Shortly after joining Microsoft, Ozzie wrote his now famous “Internet Services Disruption” memo in which he evangelised now-common cloud computing.
In Monday’s blog, Ozzie said some of the goals he envisioned five years ago “remain elusive and are yet to be realised.”