Ray Ozzie is not a doomsday guy

The press is having another field day with Ozzie's 'doomsday memo.' Bah. Read what he says about the future of the technology industry and learn, pilgrim

Last week I wrote about Ray Ozzie's "unexpected" departure from Microsoft in my blog "Ray Ozzie's leaving Microsoft: What took him so long?"

Yesterday, in an unexpected move (yes, this one was unexpected), Ozzie posted a 3,500-word blog, dated October 28, entitled "Dawn of a New Day," in which he talks about future directions for the technology industry and what Microsoft must do to keep up. The press has latched onto a sound bite, calling the blog a "doomsday memo."

It's anything but.

In an ode to the old KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principal, Ozzie hits the nail on the head once again:

Complexity kills. Complexity sucks the life out of users, developers, and IT. Complexity makes products difficult to plan, build, test, and use. Complexity introduces security challenges. Complexity causes administrator frustration.

And as time goes on and as software products mature -- even with the best of intent -- complexity is inescapable.

That's what you need to understand. That's what will kill the PC. It'll kill the Mac, too. Customers say they want more complexity -- more features, more doodads, more check marks on an ever-expanding checklist. But when they open their wallets and go to spend their money, they buy something that's easy, simple, and flashy. Enter iPad. Enter Android. Hello, Chrome OS.

Companies are stuck in a rut, buying more features and more complexity -- and getting less and less productivity for their money. The learning curve has turned into an insurmountable wall. That's where Ozzie's vision of continuous services -- the cloud reliably takes care of the complexity -- and simple, connected devices kicks in. The learning curve becomes a tiny bump. Per Ozzie:

In the short term, this means imagining the "killer apps & services" and "killer devices" that match up to a broad range of customer needs as they'll evolve in this new era. Whether in the realm of communications, productivity, entertainment or business, tomorrow's experiences & solutions are likely to differ significantly even from today's most successful apps. Tomorrow's experiences will be inherently transmedia & trans-device. They'll be centered on your own social & organizational networks. For both individuals and businesses, new consumption & interaction models will change the game. It's inevitable.

Over the weekend, at a mini family reunion, I was struck by a new killer app. It's such a Big Deal that the people who saw it working came away from the weekend saying, "I gotta buy one of those." I bet more than a few of them went back to their offices on Monday and said, in various contexts, "Why can't we do that?"

The killer app? Being able to take a photo or video, post it on Facebook, then email or Twitter other family members with the URL, all in a couple of minutes.

It's the two-bit rendition of Ozzie's continuous services and connected devices. It's powerful. It's simple. It works in the middle of the jungle. And it's the future.

The "post-PC world" revolution has already begun.

This article, "Ray Ozzie is not a doomsday guy," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog.

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