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Microsoft Revamp For Online Push Gains Urgency

Updated below with full text memos link: Microsoft is worried, very worried: in an internal e-mail, Bill Gates said the company needs to better address technologies and trends that are fueling a new wave of money-making on the Internet. The e-mail, which complements a memo from Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s CTO, describes some of Microsoft’s missed opportunities and also tips a hat to companies such as Google,, Skype and other start-ups.

It also confirms the role that Ozzie is playing in pushing the newly formed groups to create online services that can be paid for by subscription or through advertising.

Microsoft’s OS and MSN unit, Ozzie writes in his memo, must join forces to define a new kind of software cookbook for creating services — a “next-generation Internet services platform,” to drive innovation both inside and outside the company.

Ozzie doesn’t define specifically what kind of services and software the company will create, but emphasizes that they will be “seamless” — designed for the current environment in which users move between PCs, laptops, hand-held computers, cellphones and videogame consoles.

NYT: “We will design and license Windows and our Internet-based services as separate products, so customers can choose Windows with or without Microsoft’s services,” Ozzie wrote, indicating that the services would have software connections so that “competing services can plug into Windows in the same manner as Windows services.”

FT: Seven or more senior management appointments would be made by December 15 to improve execution of service initiatives, he added, and each business group would have to come up with plans for more offerings.

Updated: Dave Winer has the full text of both the memos: Bill Gates || Ray Ozzie


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