Bill Gates has just announced that he will hand over his day to day role as Chief Software Architect at Microsoft to Ray Ozzie. The same Ray Ozzie that invented Lotus Notes and licensed it to Lotus Development which was ultimately sold to IBM.
So they guy that created a core piece of infrasturcture software at Microsofts largest competitor is to lead their software and product strategy going forwards. Is this a wise move?
Yes, it is, for Ray Ozzie is probably more the visionery that Microsoft needs going forwards. He may even prove to be the only man big enough to go up against the Google team and does seem to get software as services.
Will it mean that Microsoft will change faster? - probably. I can see Ozzie forcing the company too take the threat from Google more seriously than ever and help them reshape corporate compouting as Google is reshaping consumer computing.
And as consumer software is increasingly about the Internet, corporate software must be about software on demand, on the move and off the grid, at the edge! And Microsoft still have a chance to lead that charge before Saleforce.com steal it from under them.
Bill Gates has perhaps never been more visionery than today in recognizing the need for change - every other company leader should take note. We could not applaud Gates more.