Ray Ozzie to quit Microsoft

Ray Ozzie (Microsoft)
By Richi Jennings. October 19, 2010.

After five years of swimming upstream against Microsoft's culture, it looks like Ray Ozzie has called it a day. Or perhaps he was pushed? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers resist the "leaving under a cloud" gags.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Another amusing Error'd...


Gavin Clarke reminds us:

Ozzie is stepping down as chief software architect - the jobs Gates last occupied. ... Ozzie was a hot hire for Microsoft in 2005, coming on board with the acquisition of his online collaboration start-up Groove Networks. ... [He] will only remain with Microsoft to transition his teams and people to other groups. ... But before he leaves, Ozzie will also be "focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment.".


Steve Ballmer ... credited Ozzie with helping to catalyze Microsoft's move to the cloud ... having moved SharePoint and Exchange to the cloud and launched its Windows Azure platform ... and he championed FUSE Labs ... bringing Office collaboration capabilities online via Facebook via Docs.com.

Preston Gralla says it "should surprise no one at all":

Ozzie is one of technology's great visionaries, but at Microsoft, he [was] unable to cut through turf wars and political in-fighting. ... Even though Ozzie's background and breakthroughs before ... Microsoft had to do with networking, collaboration, and connecting people, Microsoft [has fallen] further behind in those areas. ... That's through no fault of Ozzie. He ... couldn't get past people protecting their own turf


Some people may think that Ozzie's leaving was sudden, but it's been rumored for a while. ... Ozzie's departure should be no surprise at all. Microsoft had a visionary in its midst, but didn't know how to put him to use.

But Mary Jo Foley is surprised:

In 2007, I questioned whether Ozzie was the right guy to fill Bill Gates’ ... shoes. I thought he’d end up as a researcher at Microsoft or in some other role. But I didn’t expect him to leave completely so soon.

The pseudonymous Mini-Microsoft seems prescient eight days earlier:

What's left that Ray Ozzie is running? FUSE labs? You know, the people who blew their internal reputation by hijacking and hacking the Office Web Apps. ... I would not be surprised to see Ray finding a new endeavor sooner than later. First Mesh, now Live Labs.

Meanwhile, Pete Mortensen "never really understood the Cult of Ozzie":

Every project he's ever been involved in has been bloated, over-featured, and way behind schedule. Having actually used Groove, and then worked furiously to get it off of my computer, Microsoft is well-rid of him.


His track record is spotty at best. And I encourage anyone who disagrees with that assessment to go back to using Lotus Notes version 5.

And John Gruber goes in for the kill:

Sounds like a “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” departure. Everything he’s done at Microsoft has been a dud.

And Finally...

New Math (and more Error'd)

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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