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October 26, 2010

Ray Ozzie, X- Microsoft Chief Software Architect writes about the post PC world

Ray Ozzie is (soon to be post) Microsoft Chief Software architect and writes a lengthy article about the post-PC world

It is considered to be a doomsday warning memo to Microsoft. He is saying that Microsoft must succeed in the cloud computing and the continuously connected wireless world or die.

Ironically he has a call for less complexity takes 3400 words and comes the person who is best known for bringing about Lotus notes

Dawn of a New Day

The past five years have been breathtaking. But the next five years will bring about yet another inflection point – a transformation that will once again yield unprecedented opportunities for our company and our industry catalyzed by the huge & inevitable shift in apps & infrastructure that’s truly now just begun.
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Instead, to cope with the inherent complexity of a world of devices, a world of websites, and a world of apps & personal data that is spread across myriad devices & websites, a simple conceptual model is taking shape that brings it all together. 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.



At first blush, this world of continuous services and connected devices doesn’t seem very different than today. 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.

For each of us who can clearly envision the end-game, the opportunity is to recognize both the inevitability and value inherent in the big shift ahead, and to do what it takes to lead our customers into this new world.

In the short term, this means imagining the ‘killer apps & services’ and ‘killer devices’ that match up to a broad range of customer needs as they’ll evolve in this new era. Whether in the realm of communications, productivity, entertainment or business, tomorrow’s experiences & solutions are likely to differ significantly even from today’s most successful apps. Tomorrow’s experiences will be inherently transmedia & trans-device. They’ll be centered on your own social & organizational networks. For both individuals and businesses, new consumption & interaction models will change the game. It’s inevitable.

To deliver what seems to be required – e.g. an amazing level of coherence across apps, services and devices – will require innovation in user experience, interaction model, authentication model, user data & privacy model, policy & management model, programming & application model, and so on. These platform innovations will happen in small, progressive steps, providing significant opportunity to lead. In adapting our strategies, tactics, plans & processes to deliver what’s required by this new world, the opportunity is simply huge.

The one irrefutable truth is that in any large organization, any transformation that is to ‘stick’ must emerge from within. Those on the outside can strongly influence, particularly with their wallets. Those above are responsible for developing and articulating a compelling vision, eliminating obstacles, prioritizing resources, and generally setting the stage with a principled approach.

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