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Ray Ozzie and Microsoft Azure

Blogging is a funny thing. We at RCPU have always referred to RCPU as a newsletter, in part because it is an actual e-mail newsletter for subscribers (and was before it was ever a blog) and in part because, for us, the word "blog" doesn't carry a lot of credibility. Blogs are like opinions (which are like...something else): Everybody has one, or so it seems. 

This week, though, RCPU was definitely more blog than newsletter. We took a blog entry from Microsoft (via an entry from one of our sister sites) and misinterpreted what it was saying, thereby making more of a story than what was really there. In this case, the story was Ray Ozzie's apparent exit from Azure development at Microsoft. Well, Ozzie's role in Azure hasn't changed. If you want more detail, read on.

We often use the words "apparently" or "as far as we can tell" in this newsletter because, well, honestly, your editor doesn't have time to report first-hand the entries you see here. We focus here on commenting on news stories other people have written or on interesting things we pull off the Web. And most of the time, we understand pretty well what the stories we use are saying. (We almost never actually write news, though, and don't claim to do so. Yes, we do realize that the word "newsletter" can be misleading, but we still like it.)

So, we were surprised to read that Microsoft, in consolidating its Azure operations with Bob Muglia's Server and Tools business, appeared to be taking Ray Ozzie off of Azure, which was a major project for him and of which he has become, to some extent, the public face of late. In our defense, Microsoft's own blog entry on the reorg wasn't crystal clear.

But after our blog entry on Ozzie and Azure ran this week, we got an e-mail from Microsoft's PR firm (hey, somebody's paying attention) clarifying Ozzie's role in Azure development. It reads:

"In short, as chief software architect at Microsoft, Ray is responsible for oversight of the company's technical strategy and product architecture. Ray's role isn't affected by this change. Ray will continue to be very involved with Windows Azure; however, as Microsoft prepares to begin billing customers for the service in February, it makes sense that Windows Azure would move from an advanced development project under Ray's oversight into a mainstream business in a product group at the company (with full marketing, sales, etc., support)."

So, there you go. The key phrase is that second sentence: "Ray's role isn't affected by this change." Instead of being an earthquake, this is just a typical Microsoft reorg, one that moves Azure from a development stage (under Ozzie's oversight) to a business stage (under Muglia's). It makes total sense and really isn't such a big deal at all -- and it doesn't mean that Microsoft has booted Ozzie from the Azure world. We're sorry that we jumped the gun on this one, and we're glad that Microsoft set us straight. We seek above all else to be accurate and fair.

Of course, none of that explains what's happening with Live Mesh, which seems to have just disappeared into Azure, but that's another blog -- sorry, newsletter -- entry for another time.

Posted by Lee Pender on December 11, 2009 at 11:56 AM


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