Rebuilding Microsoft

Wired has a story on Ray Ozzie’s plans:

The goal is radical and risky: embrace a variety of revenue models, including monthly subscriptions and online advertising, to become more competitive. But the vision is simple: enable users to have access to their data and applications wherever they are and regardless of what device they’re using the laptop at work, the PC at home, the cell phone, the television, whatever. “It should all behave seamlessly,” Ozzie says.

He’s quick to point out that Microsoft will continue to sell software in a box for a long while. Business customers, in particular, still want a degree of stability and predictability in the software they use, so many may prefer an old-fashioned release cycle. These users may also wait awhile before they let someone like Microsoft or any outsider run their servers. It would be bad business to get too far out in front of these customers, Ozzie says.

But he sees lots of ways to use the Web to complement Windows and Office that Microsoft has barely tapped. “Take PowerPoint, for example,” he tells a gaggle of analysts crowding around him at a Microsoft cocktail party in July. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could hit F5 when you finished preparing a presentation and have your PC automatically upload the file to a Web address? Then people listening to your presentation by phone could see you flipping through your slides in real time, too.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.