Friday, June 16, 2006


Transitions at Microsoft

Bill Gates announced that he will transition from day-to-day responsibilities by July 2008 and retain his post as the Chairman of the company that co-founded over three decades ago. More important is the elevation of Ray Ozzie as the Chief Software Architect.

Why is this critical? It signals a fundamental commitment to the inevitable move to the network era. The future is not about software as a product but about software as service. It is about reorienting the company around the concept of Microsoft Live. It is about building the requisite capability to win in the network era.

Will they win? That's an open question. Microsoft will always be Bill Gates. and Bill Gates will always symbolize Microsoft.

But the announcement of Ozzie as the Chief Software Architect is more than a symbolic transition--in my opinion. It is a signal of the power of the network era and the need to adapt business models to the new context.

The leaked memos a few months back hinted at the transition. Yesterday, Gates made it official.

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