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Ray Ozzie, the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) chief software architect who announced he would step down this month, says in a memo to staff today that the company has made “great progress” transforming itself over the past five years, although he also says “some of the opportunities I laid out in (a) memo five years ago remain elusive and are yet to be realized.” That memo warned that advertising-supported sevices and software presented a fundamental challenge to Microsoft’s business.
Ozzie’s new memo, which you can read in full here, notes that the progress of Microsoft’s competitors has been “noteworthy.” From the memo: “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.”
Ozzie goes on to say that Microsoft now needs to imagine and prepare for a “post-PC world,” noting that the market is transforming into 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.” To prepare, he says, the company needs to dream up “killer apps & services” and “killer devices” that fit.
Ozzie isn’t leaving Microsoft quite yet. First, he’s going to focus on “the broader area of entertainment,” according to Microsoft. He doesn’t mention in his memo what that role will entail, but it would make sense that he might be working on some of the services and devices he refers to, which he notes in his memo will definitely play a role in the “realm” of “entertainment.”