GigaOM Interview: Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corp.

59 thoughts on “GigaOM Interview: Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect, Microsoft Corp.”

  1. I’ve had to chance to meet Ray a couple of times and think he’s singular in our universe: he’s not only credible as both a platform architect and business executive, he is an amazingly nice guy without a scent of the usual arrogance that haunts our industry.

    A couple of things come to mind from your interview:

    1. I think people sometimes forget about peer-to-peer in this discussion of cloud computing and hosted server farms like AWS. Beyond the obvious cost advantage, it’s remarkably fault-tolerant and there’s no lag in demand and supply. From Skype on my desktop to my Vudu box on my TV, I think we’re only just beginning to understand the benefits. And yes, I know Skype was down last year as well, but let’s not mistake implementation for design.

    2. Ray hit the nail on the head when he said services like AWS are going to have different margins. Let’s be clear though: it’s going to have really low margins because a provider’s ability to differentiate this low in the stack is pretty limited. But that said, I really have to applaud Amazon for pushing the envelope on this.

    Looking forward to more of these.

  2. If the margins are going to be higher in the stack, why is Microsoft investing in low level clould infrastructure? Why not just delegate this low level stuff to a datacenter, like did Sun?

  3. Paul, I understand your question because I pondered the same. I believe there are basically 3 tiers of service in the cloud. One is the underlying server farm infrastructure of hardware and bandwith, two is a middleware cloud utility software platform, three are the applications that reside on the cloud platform. I think MS will get vertically integrated in all 3, as they usually do. They will have higher margins at levels 2 and especially level 3.

    My understanding – hope it helps.

  4. aha, as msft and others move toward services infrastructure development, how long until we see a new utility computing cost model and standard on par with KwH (electricity) for consumption and usage? isn’t that where it’s all headed? mark my words, software is headed toward the electricy industry utilities standards model – or my name ain’t orville reden…

  5. @ Paul,

    Regarding your question about why Microsoft is doing it: two reasons: mostly to get developer action and actively involved. I think they are doing an infrastructure which is blended – in house and outsourced. the other reason for building their own infrastructure: who else can spend millions to keep MSFT-based infra running. 😉

  6. Om:

    Good to see you back! Thanks for your coverage on Ray Ozzie’s musings. I would think that distributed/cloud computing relies too heavily on a backbone that is NOT 100 percent stable. The military would never run its systems on a “sometimes” available network, so I would guess that any business hoping to attract people away from enterprise systems needs something very robust and secure. I’m looking forward to reading more of your pieces, I hope at a more leisurely rate than before. Best of health, Om!

  7. Anthony

    totally agree with you hence the notion of Sofwtare PLUS Services that Microsoft talks about. i know that will sound like pushing the Microsoft message but truly, it’s an important point you make and one other SaaS vendors are actually quietly accommodating.

  8. Nothing but excuses offered to prop up the lies put out by Microsoft. Their so called “highly educated” “skilled” visa and outsourced workers are shams. They are not educated even at a base level, nor are they skilled. They have less than a high school education and are given a two week or less training session and a manual. Most of their “service” amounts to telling people to perform a cold reboot.

    Web services (if Microsoft and their ilk have their way) will continue to deteriorate. More of the same old thing, with one price tag or another attached. Offering nothing substantive.

    What they are visualizing is a drastically smaller consumer base, and offering high premium “services” that are what has been available for free. Create a big dependency, control all means of support and service and bleed the dependent dry.

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