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.


How do you keep your feet in both worlds as you're facing competition on both sides? You have to worry about Google on the Web services side and you still have to worry about open source, and now Google is trying to get in on the desktop applications. It's a delicate, tricky thing.

Ozzie: Oh, there's more [competitors] -- there's many more. On the business apps side you've got SAP and Salesforce.com.

As someone who has had a long-term relationship with Microsoft and came in three-and-a-half years ago, one of the things that I've respected about Microsoft is it's a very resilient culture.

Every time Microsoft has had a very big competitive battle, the culture learns from that battle, and then when some new battle comes along, it doesn't paralyse the company. People go, 'Oh, here we go again. I guess we have to turn the ship and address that challenge.'

There have been some immense things. Open source I think was probably the thing that shocked the system the most because what if people don't value software anymore? Of course, that didn't turn out to be the case. Open source turned out to probably have created more opportunity because enterprises had to integrate our systems with their systems, that creates more demand for our systems. It's just a good situation.

Is Google perceived as a threat? I'm sure there are people within the company who view it that way. But as long as they stay focused on the customer, what they're delivering for that customer, as long as every time there is a chance to do new product planning that we factor in what we can learn from what the competitor is doing and just keep iterating, I have confidence we'll stay in a good place.

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