To fearlessly embrace what is inevitable

Microsoft is a giant in tech firms, and justifiably famous. One of its technological gurus Ray Ozzie is leaving the firm and has published a plea for Microsoft to attempt to become relevant in a post-PC world. He says (quoted by Reuters):

“Let’s mark this 5-year milestone by once again fearlessly embracing that which is technologically inevitable,”

It doesn’t sound like a visionary clarion call, does it? Sounds like: If we can’t stop the train we better run to get on it! Once again. (Oops we waited to long as it left the station, … again)

The five year reference is to one of his earlier calls to reform Microsoft from PC and server based thinking to what is now called “cloud computing.” (As an aside I had a bit of work in the service of OASIS and represented them at a Global Grid Forum event in Berlin in 2004… fantastic thinkers in computing at that event!)

By the way see what Ray Ozzie said in Dawn of a New Day. A few gems I gleaned [my irreverent comments in brackets]:

Success begets product requirements.  And even when superhuman engineering and design talent is applied, there are limits to how much you can apply beautiful veneers before inherent complexity is destined to bleed through.
[Hmmm… I think Microsoft still only hires HUMAN engineers? Aliens need not apply. Usual Microsoft-OTT-speak]

Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers and IT.  Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test and use.  Complexity introduces security challenges.  Complexity causes administrator frustration. [Hello, I HEAR you!]

But so long as customer or competitive requirements drive teams to build layers of new function on top of a complex core, ultimately a limit will be reached.  Fragility can grow to constrain agility.

In our industry, if you can imagine something, you can build it. [This is true and why I love tech.] … And so, the first step for each of us is to imagine fearlessly; to dream. [OK this is team rah-rah speak again.]

… there’s one key difference in tomorrow’s devices: they’re relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth.  They’re instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss.  …  A world of content – both personal and published – is streamed, cached or synchronized with a world of cloud-based continuous services.

A lot to think about…

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