The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Ray Ozzie does another memo

Five years ago Ray Ozzie wrote his famous memo on internet services disruption in 2005, following his becoming chief architect at Microsoft when Bill Gates left. Ozzie is leaving Microsoft now under unclear circumstances but his departure is accompanied by a new memo as it turns out. In the intervening five years, I cannot help but be disappointed notwithstanding the gains that Microsoft has made. Windows and Office have both improved dramatically (think Vista) and I no longer equate bloat to Microsoft products. But those gains had nothing to do with the content of the 2005 memo. That memo was all about cloud services and search/ advertising as a business model. Neither of those have come to pass at Microsoft.

When I think about the I find the confusion and similaries between Windows Live, Skydrive, Azure, and Office 365 quite staggering and the usability beyond comprehension despite the free 25 gig space. I have become a dedicated Google Apps user over roughly the same period, and the ease with which these services work leaves a highly unfavourable comparison for Microsoft.

Ray Ozzies Blog

Five years ago, having only recently arrived at the company, I wrote The Internet Services Disruption in order to kick off a major change management process across the company.  In the opening section of that memo, I noted that about every five years our industry experiences what appears to be an inflection point that results in great turbulence and change.

Certain of our competitors’ products and their rapid advancement & refinement of new usage scenarios have been quite noteworthy.  Our early and clear vision notwithstanding, their execution has surpassed our own in mobile experiences, in the seamless fusion of hardware & software & services, and in social networking & myriad new forms of internet-centric social interaction.

The new letter is quite reflective this time. There are hints about connected services and connected devices all pointing to ‘The Big Shift’ – an oblique reference to the book ‘The Big Shift” and the Deloitte authors. But all the while we get the feeling Ray was pulling Microsoft in a direction it did not want to travel.

Written by Colin Henderson

October 27, 2010 at 14:02

Posted in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: