Software whiz Ray Ozzie re-emerges with startup Cocomo

Lotus Notes creator and former Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie is coming back with a startup named Cocomo that seems to be focused on mobile communication.

After waiting out his non-compete agreement with Microsoft that expired at the end of 2011, Ozzie opened a Twitter account (@rozzie) yesterday and emailed Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner, who wrote about the exchange.

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Ozzie says the company is recruiting but it won't be ready to say what they're working on for months, according to Kirsner.

So far Cocomo is looking to hire a user experience/user interface designer to fit with the development team they already have in place. The job posting says "a handful of us are just starting work on a new communications product for this new world. ...We aspire to deliver compelling tools for social interaction that people will use, value and love."

The posting contains hints that the product will deal with mobile devices -- phones and tablets -- based on iOS and Android. Candidates should have interests in email, SMS, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. They should also be drawn to "[o]ur multi-faceted identities, and issues of privacy & openness," and the "social anthropology of our ever-growing use of mobile."

The person Cocomo hires will have "a minimum of several years of experience designing, building and delivering mobile apps on platforms such as iPhone, iPad, and Android" the posting says.

Matt Pope posted the job on Ozzie's Twitter account and lists himself on LinkedIn as a co-founder/worker at Cocomo.

The word Cocomo is shorthand for constructive cost model, which is a way to estimate the cost of software development projects. Kirsner asked if it also might be a blend of collaboration and mobility. Ozzie answered that other applicable words include communication, coordination, conversation and coherence.

Ozzie worked at Lotus Development in the early 1980s, but left to start Iris Associates, which created the product later sold as Lotus Notes (Lotus also bought Iris in 1994). Ozzie later formed Groove Networks, a document collaboration company that Microsoft acquired in 2005, leading to Ozzie's rise to Microsoft's chief software architect in place of Bill Gates in 2006.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

This story, "Software whiz Ray Ozzie re-emerges with startup Cocomo" was originally published by NetworkWorld.

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