Ray Ozzie seeks encore to Lotus Notes, Microsoft triumphs

By , Network World |  Software, Ray Ozzie

Ozzie had a string of successes at Microsoft during his tenure there from 2005 to the end of 2010. A year into that run, Bill Gates left the post of chief software architect and appointed Ozzie. Two years later at Microsoft's TechReady conference for engineers, Ozzie introduced two of the projects he had been working on: Red Dog, now Windows Azure Web services, and Live Mesh, a synchronization app for PCs now being replaced by SkyDrive cloud storage.

Ozzie also founded Microsoft Future Social Experiences (FUSE) Labs, a select team of researchers developing social networking and real-time platforms for creating rich media and collaborating. It was the creative force behind Microsoft's Socl website recently launched in beta where people with common interests can connect and post collages of things that interest them.

This social connecting and collaborating via the Web and the cloud fits with the vision Ozzie left with co-workers at Microsoft after he decided to leave in 2010. And it could offer some insight into what he might be up to now with Talko.

In his Oct. 28 farewell memo from that year he says, "We're moving toward a world of 1) cloud-based continuous services that connect us all and do our bidding, and 2) appliance-like connected devices enabling us to interact with those cloud-based services." Later in the same email he says, "But there's one key difference in tomorrow's devices: they're relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth. They're instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss."

While that seems similar to the status quo at the time, he drew a difference. "At first blush, this world of continuous services and connected devices doesn't seem very different than today," he wrote. "But those who build, deploy and manage today's websites understand viscerally that fielding a truly continuous service is incredibly difficult and is only achieved by the most sophisticated high-scale consumer websites. And those who build and deploy application fabrics targeting connected devices understand how challenging it can be to simply & reliably just 'sync' or 'stream'. To achieve these seemingly simple objectives will require dramatic innovation in human interface, hardware, software and services."

Ozzie came to Microsoft when it bought another of his startups, Groove Networks, in 2005. Its software platform called Groove provided shared workspaces where individuals could collaborate on documents and also provided private workspaces for each member to work on the same documents privately. As part of Office 2013, Groove is called SkyDrive Pro.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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