Microsoft’s transformation through Ray Ozzie’s eyes

Key points:

  • In the realm of the service-centric ‘seamless OS’ we’re well on the path to having Windows Live serve as an optional yet natural services complement to the Windows and Office software.  In the realm of ‘seamless productivity’, Office 365 and our 2010 Office, SharePoint and Live deliverables have shifted Office from being PC-centric toward now also robustly spanning the web and mobile.  In ‘seamless entertainment’, Xbox Live has transformed Xbox into a real-time, social, media-rich TV experience
  • Quite important to me, I’m also quite proud of the degree to which we’ve continued to grow and mature in the area of responsible competition, and the breadth and depth of our cultural shift toward genuine openness, interoperability and privacy which are now such key cornerstones of everything we do
  • Certain of our competitors’ 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.
  • We’ve seen agile innovation playing out before a backdrop in which many dramatic changes have occurred across all aspects of our industry’s core infrastructure.  These myriad evolutions of our infrastructure have been predicted for years, but in the past five years so much has happened that we’ve grown already to take many of these changes for granted:  Ubiquitous internet access over wired, WiFi and 3G/4G networks; many now even take for granted that LTE and ‘whitespace’ will be broadly delivered.  We’ve seen our boxy devices based on ‘system boards’ morph into sleek elegantly-designed devices based on transformational ‘systems on a chip’.  We’ve seen bulky CRT monitors replaced by impossibly thin touch screens.  We’ve seen business processes and entire organizations transformed by the zero-friction nature of the internet; the walls between producer and consumer having now vanished.  Substantial business ecosystems have collapsed as many classic aggregation & distribution mechanisms no longer make sense.
  • 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.
  • Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT.  Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use.  Complexity introduces security challenges.  Complexity causes administrator frustration.
  • Our PC software has driven the creation of an amazing ecosystem, and is incredibly valuable to a world of customers and partners.  And the PC and its ecosystem is going to keep growing, and growing, for a long time to come.  But today, as I wrote five years ago, ”Just as in the past, we must reflect upon what’s going on around us, and reflect upon our strengths, weaknesses and industry leadership responsibilities, and respond.  As much as ever, it’s clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk.”
  • 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.
  • 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
  • In 1939, in New York City, there was an amazing World’s Fair.  It was called ‘the greatest show of all time’. In that year Americans were exhausted, having lived through a decade of depression.  Unemployment still hovered above 17%.  In Europe, the next world war was brewing.  It was an undeniably dark juncture for us all. And yet, this 1939 World’s Fair opened in a way that evoked broad and acute hope: the promise of a glorious future.  There were pavilions from industry & countries all across the world showing vision; showing progress:  The Futurama; The World of Tomorrow.  Icons conjuring up images of the future:  The Trylon; The Perisphere. The fair’s theme:  Dawn of a New Day.
  • rest is yadda, yadda, yadda;o)

My take: Very interesting insights on how Transformation has been done at Microsoft. It completes insights I’ve heard at REMIX 2010 in Brussels during conferences of Georg Petschnigg of Pioneer Studios and Kat Holmes/Karen Davis, members of the Design Team who created WP7’s Metro interface. Ray Ozzie highlights Cloud Computing and Mobile Devices power, thanks to what i call Hyperconnectivity, but leaves other key trends such as NUI (for which Microsoft is working hard lately), User Context and Service on the side.

Link: http://ozzie.net/2010/10/25/dawn/

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Foresight and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s