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Say it Ain't so Ray

You probably heard the news that Ray Ozzie quit Microsoft and will either retire or do something else.

Fact is, that's not altogether surprising. For as brilliant as Ozzie is, he hates the limelight, doesn't give a lot of speeches and doles out interviews like they were bottles of water on a life raft.

And that's a shame because Ray is a great conversationalist. I interviewed him in 2005, right after Microsoft bought Groove. He was open and had great ideas about managing developers. And every time I e-mailed him, he got right back to me. One time he even asked for more feedback from Redmond readers (folks like you) about Microsoft's communication strategy.

It's too bad that more of us in the press didn't get to know Ray. It's too bad that customers didn't have the same experience. If Ray was less publicity shy, the world would have more insight into the inner thinking of those that make Microsoft's next generation of products.

I see a rather nice legacy here, despite the relatively short tenure. Ozzie is the guy who, more than anyone, moved Microsoft to the cloud. Azure is getting good reviews from everyone I talk to who has actually touched it.

Office is also moving effectively to the cloud (more on that in my next item), and most Redmond server apps play in the cloud just fine.

Microsoft announced no plans to replace Ozzie.

Do you see anyone filling Ozzie's shoes? What does this departure mean for Microsoft? Fire up your e-mail and let me know at

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/20/2010 at 1:18 PM


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