Tag: ray_ozzie

Ballmer going soon too?

I see Bill Gates has decided to take early retirement – I hope he has a decent pension plan in place 😉

Seriously though, this has to be good news for Microsoft. Ray Ozzie who has been named as his successor (along with Craig Mundie), is someone who has a very good name in the software community and if there is anyone who can help Microsoft shirk the poor corporate image they have, it is Ray.

Owen Thomas reckons that Steve Ballmer can’t be far behind and that:

At this point, Ballmer’s associated more with the hard-charging business tactics that led to Microsoft’s antitrust woes and a low stock price that’s sapping employee morale. Whoever replaces him will have a host of problems to solve – but unlike Ballmer will be able to start with a clean slate.

No Gates and no Ballmer, now that’d be a new Microsoft!

Microsoft becoming more open?

Microsoft made two major announcements overnight – the first is an announcement by Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie that Microsoft are extending RSS under a Creative Commons licence, and calling the extended RSS, Simple Sharing Extensions or SSE.

Russell Beattie likes it:

Adding in SSE namespace could then in theory allow *any* data contained in an item can be kept in sync. Pretty cool, hey? Sort of a universal data communication spec: Anything that any database can spit out, you can keep track of it, synchronize, and manage changes. Very, very cool.

As does Dave Winer (the inventer of (the current flavour of) RSS):

Microsoft’s new approach to synchronizing RSS and OPML, using methods pioneered in Ozzie’s earlier work, and keeping the “really simple” approach that’s worked so well with networked syndication and outlining, combines the best of our two schools of thought, and this creativity is available for everyone to use. It’s a proud moment for me, I hope for Ray and Jack and the rest of the people at Microsoft, and perhaps for the open development community on the Internet.

There’s a draft spec for SSE and a FAQ, if you’d like to know more.

Then Brian Jones, of the Microsoft Office team, made an announcement about the Office XML formats. Brian said:

We are going to bring the Microsoft Office Open XML formats to a standards body with the intention of eventually making the formats an ISO standard. This should really help everyone feel certain that these formats will always be available and fully accessible. We are going to work with Apple, Barclays Capital, BP, the British Library, Essilor, Intel Corporation, NextPage Inc., Statoil ASA and Toshiba to form a technical committee at ECMA International that will fully document all of our schemas so that anyone can understand how to develop on top of them

This is a huge step forward for Office formats – this will clear the way for the simple creation and sharing (mashing) of Office documents server side.

Even more significantly, Brian went on to say:

we are moving away from our royalty free license, and instead we are going to provide a very simple and general statement that we make an irrevocable commitment not to sue. I’m not a lawyer, but from what I can see, this “covenant not to sue” looks like it should clear the way for GPL development which was a concern for some folks.

This is tremendous news – I was moderating a talk recently at Tech Camp Ireland and I remember making a comment on the fact that Microsoft was opening up their Office format and making it XML by default. I was quickly slapped down from the audience (by Colm MacCarthaigh, if memory serves – apologies Colm if it wasn’t you) because I was told it was going to be proprietory and in any case it would all be tied up in licencing. I didn’t have any ammo with which to defend Microsoft at the time (and frankly, not generally being their greatest fan, I wasn’t too upset by the comment!) however, this announcement changes that.

Make it so Brian!

Microsoft 2.0? Yawn.

The online world is buzzing with the news of Microsoft’s conversion to Web 2.0!

Tim O’Reilly is quite positive about it:

Overall, leaves me with a lot of optimism that Microsoft is fully engaged with the right problems, and we’ll be hearing a lot more from them.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch said:

After what I saw today, I despair for many a silicon valley startup. Seriously.

And Om Malik, in what has to be one of the more original posts on Microsoft’s announcement reckons:

A little nip-and-tuck, some hip-hop and a $500 haircut with highlights to hide the 40-odd summers. Its a midlife crisis you can see from a mile. Trust me!

What are they all on about? Well, yesterday Microsoft announced two new services – Windows Live and Office Live – these are not, as the name might imply, online replacements for Windows and Office (more’s the pity – but i guess that’s one cash cow not ready for the slaughterhouse just yet!) – they are more like portal sites.

Windows Live, for example, is Start.com but there’s loads more coming to it we are promised – just look at the Windows Live Ideas page.

The announcement was made by Bill Gates himself, and by Microsoft Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie – and it is being claimed as another “turn on a dime” moment (remember the last one was in 1995 when Bill realised that there was something out there called the Internet and people were using it without paying microsoft anything?).

Personally, if it weren’t for Michael Arrington’s enthusing, I’d fail to be even slightly whelmed!

UPDATE:
I just spotted the Live.com team have a blog

Further Edited to add:
Of course, if you have a Mac, don’t bother trying to view live.com – as usual microsoft’s developers live in a monocultural Windows only world – the chances of them taking over the web when they stubbornly refuse to develop for other platforms are, thankfully, small!

Yet another update:
I see Joel Spolsky has also rounded on Live.com’s poor Firefox support and DHTML issues