Photo: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital
I asked a couple Microsoft employees for their off-the-cuff reactions to Ray Ozzie’s farewell memo, and they agree that he’s sounding the alarm loud and clear: Windows isn’t going to last forever, and the cloud isn’t just a selling point for the same old Microsoft software.One thought it was a little less polished than the typical good-bye e-mail from a top exec, and detected a bit of self-congratulation in it. Every product group at Microsoft understands the importance of the cloud and connected services today, but that wasn’t a foregone conclusion when Ozzie joined the company five years ago. This person also said that rank and file engineers feel like Ozzie is one of them, and a lot of them wish he’d been more visible over the years.
Another likened Ozzie’s departure to a political assassination, and saw this memo as a kind of a slap on his way out the door. Unlike most other memos from Microsoft execs that find their way into the public, this one was spontaneous. The company’s public relations organisation had no idea it was coming, and didn’t vet it for approval beforehand.
It hadn’t come up in conversation with this source’s colleagues because, like most Microsoft employees, he and his group are heads-down on their current project and don’t have a lot of time to read and discuss 3,000-word memos.
But at least one employee thought the memo was important enough that every Microsoft employee should close their door, turn off their phone, and read it from start to finish–so tweeted Matt Rogers, who’s a director of sales and marketing for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform for developers.