Ray Ozzie steers Microsoft into the cloud

Ray Ozzie is driving Microsoft into the cloud. The move is a major challenge to the company's existing business, but the company's new Chief Software Architect is confident he can deliver.

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So that's the model Azure is going to take. It seems like it's more like worrying about how you're going to architect the hardware to meet the application, but the application sort of meets the challenges [of different tasks].

Ozzie: That's exactly right. It would be writing a program to be able to catch one ball and keep bouncing that one ball and cranking up a lot of them to handle all of them coming at you instead of designing the app to try to juggle.

I've talked to some users about Azure and they've said one of the benefits of a hosting applications platform like that is the applications would no longer be dependent on the desktop OS, and you wouldn't have to worry about compatibility and things like that. But then, Windows client is still a massive part of Microsoft's business. Obviously you're on to something, but how is Microsoft going to evolve Windows -- starting with Windows 7 -- to take advantage of what you're presenting with Azure?

Ozzie: Let me separate a couple of things. The thing that you saw today is this computer in the sky. The Windows Azure part doesn't have a direct correlation between with things that go on with computers and devices.

I believe that people buy devices because they work for them. You buy a computer because you like the form, you like the function, you like the apps that operate on it. In the future there will be some service interconnection that you like the way it relates to the cloud. But really people buy PCs because they like the cost and the function of what it does.

Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 9, whatever the future Windows are -- they will be successful businesses based on how well they do the job with the hardware innovations that are coming down the line in that realm. It really isn't a decision that will be connected to that service.

Same with phones -- you pick a phone because it matches your outfit or your purse or the way that you want other people to see you. Sure, there's a relationship to the cloud and to other things, but that's why we believe very strongly in Windows and in this services thing.

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