Microsoft in a post-PC world
Ray Ozzie steps down as chief software architect at Microsoft, and leaves employees with a new blog post that highlights his vision for a post-PC world.
It seems to be a warning for Microsoft as Ozzie encourages the company to move away from its dependence on the PC toward “continuous services” in a cloud-based system. He praises the company, its employees, and some of their products such as Bing and Office. But he also says some of the “opportunities” he suggested five years ago “remain elusive” and are yet to be realized.
“Certain of our competitorsâ€™ 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,” he writes.
What does the future hold for Microsoft?
“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. Those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead,” he says.
“Today’s PCs, phones and pads are just the very beginning. We’ll see decades to come of incredible innovation from which will emerge all sorts of ‘connected companions’ that we’ll wear, we’ll carry, we’ll use on our desks and walls and the environment all around us.”
His 3,400+ word message also takes us back to 1939 – a time, he says, that isn’t much different from today. That’s a year when Americans were exhausted, having lived through a decade of depression. Unemployment still hovered above 17 percent. In Europe, the next world war was brewing. It was an undeniably dark juncture for us all, he says. In 1939, the Worldâ€™s Fair opened in a way that evoked broad and acute hope and the promise of a glorious future. The fairâ€™s theme was Dawn of a New Day.
“Without a doubt, as in 1939 there are conditions in our society today that breed uncertainty: jobs, housing, health, education, security, the environment. And yes, there are also challenging conditions for our company: itâ€™s a tough, fast-moving, and highly competitive environment,” Ozzie writes. “And yet, even in the presence of so much uncertainty, I feel an acute sense of hope and optimism.”
Ozzie has not said what he’ll do after leaving Microsoft.