The End of an Era – Ray Ozzie’s Legacy

This just in … Ray Ozzie is stepping down from his Chief Software Architect role at Microsoft. It was announced by Steve Ballmer.

SNAGHTMLa2f356fI was a little surprised when he started at Microsoft, but not really surprised that he is stepping down. In my eyes he has nothing to prove. In his 5 years at Microsoft I’m sure he worked hard to instill some of the forward thinking concepts that Lotus Notes and Groove had 10 and 20 years ago, respectively, into the current and pending offerings coming from Microsoft.

My prediction is that Ray’s legacy has not even begun to kick in yet. His vision is unparalleled in the industry. In the pantheon of computer industry legends he is right up there. My guess is there were things even he couldn’t change in the Microsoft machine.

Although I never worked with him directly I was impacted by the projects he lead – including a lot of work on Lotus Notes. I was a Lotus Notes Developer back in the ‘92-‘94 time frame. Many of the features available back them still aren’t generally available today. At least not with the same ease of use, deployment and ability to update on the fly.

Ironically, I don’t know of many of the efforts he worked on at Microsoft. I know he moved the Groove Networks capabilities into SharePoint Workspace. However, as mentioned above I’m guessing some of the ideas he had are slated for the next generation of collaboration products.

I wish him well and hope that some of the things he pioneered will become built-in components of the tools I use everyday.

Interestingly … Ray is already onto something. Not formally, but in the Social Media sense … he’s back to blogging. Where Ray goes … great things tend to happen. Watch (t)his space.

  • What are your predictions for his next steps?
  • What impact do you think Ray had at Microsoft?
  • Will they survive him and make it into the next generation of Microsoft products?


clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.