"This year has definitely brought a significant number of executive departures," says Miller. "You have Bill Veghte, Mike Nash, Stephen Elop, J Allard and Robbie Bach. But of course with Ozzie being the Bill Gates-selected replacement for Bill Gates, it says something."
Yet Miller also contends that by letting Ozzie go, Microsoft is saying that it has confidence that Windows Azure and its other cloud services can thrive without him.
"I think Ozzie and Microsoft are making a statement that the company is moving forward into the cloud platform realms, and have built a strong offering in Azure," says Miller. "So as far as cloud technology innovation, I don't think Ozzie's exit will have a negative effect."
Although Ballmer stated there are no plans to replace Ozzie -- a decision that will only put "more weight on Ballmer's shoulders", says Miller -- veteran Microsoft Watcher and ZDNet blogger Ed Bott wonders in a blog post if the company truly needs a chief software architect.
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Aside from the fact that Ozzie, who is an intellectual wizard but an introverted man, was almost "invisible as a public face of Microsoft," writes Bott, "maybe it's a good thing that there are no plans to fill the role."
Why? Bott contends that most of Microsoft's disappointments have come from the company focusing too much on big ideas with an overemphasis on architecture and not enough attention paid to actually building the product.
"Maybe Microsoft needs more skilled builders, not another architect," writes Bott.
Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Shane at email@example.com.