November 9, 2005 11:47 AM PST

Ozzie memo: 'Internet services disruption'

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of making decisions, show through in our products, or result in the failure to deliver on key end-to-end experiences.

Complexity kills. It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security challenges, and it causes end-user and administrator frustration. Moving forward, within all parts of the organization, each of us should ask "What's different?", and explore and embrace techniques to reduce complexity.

Some problems are inherently complex; there is surely no silver bullet to reducing complexity in extant systems. But when tackling new problems, I've found it useful to dip into a toolbox of simplification approaches and methods. One such tool is the use of extensive end-to-end scenario-based design and implementation. Another is that of utilizing loosely-coupled design of systems by introducing constraints at key junctures ? using standards as a tool to force quick agreement on interfaces. Many such tools are not rocket science: for example, by forcing a change in practices to increase the frequency of release cycles, scope and complexity of any given release by necessity is greatly reduced. Another simple tool I've used involves attracting developers to use common physical workspaces to naturally catalyze ad hoc face-time between those who need to coordinate, rather than relying solely upon meetings and streams of email and document reviews for such interaction. Embracing change at a local level through such tools can make a real difference ? one project at a time.

Next Steps
We're off to a great start with many initiatives already under way ? from efforts occurring now within MSN, to the IW services being launched imminently. We're in a tremendous position to succeed, but doing so will require your belief, creativity, support, leadership, follower-ship and action.

This memo was intended to get all of us roughly on the same page, and to get you thinking. The next steps are:

1) I am working with the division presidents to assign, by December 15th, "scenario owners" ? a role intended to improve our execution of key services-based initiatives through leadership. These leaders will provide an outside-in perspective in mapping out and communicating specific market objectives, while at the same time working with developers and others at the detail level to ensure expedient decision making and continuity. These individuals will be responsible for driving critical decisions such as feature re-prioritization and cuts while appreciating the business tradeoffs and impact of such decisions. They'll listen. They'll rapidly effect changes in plans to ensure execution and improve agility, even for scenarios that span divisions. Initial scenarios to be assigned ownership will include the seven seamless experiences described earlier.

2) Beginning in January these individuals will work with me and with product groups to concretely map out scenarios and pragmatically assess changes needed in product and go-to-market plans related to services and service-based scenarios. For some groups this will impact short-term plans; for many others on path to shipping soon, it will factor significantly into planning for future releases.

3) All Business Groups have been asked to develop their plans to embrace this mission and create new service offerings that deliver value to customers and utilize the platform capabilities that we have today and are building for the future. We expect both technical and non-technical communities to be increasingly engaged on the topic of services and service-enhanced software. As we begin planning the next waves of innovation ? such as those beyond Vista and Office "12" ? we will mobilize execution around those plans.

4) I have created an internal blog that will be used to notify you of further plans as they emerge. There, I'll point you to libraries of documents that you will find interesting to read, and I'll be experimenting with ways that you can directly engage in the conversation.

http://blogs/live

These steps are important and necessary, but not sufficient, for us to deliver on our aspirations. The most important step is for each of us to internalize the transformative and disruptive potential of services. We must then focus on the need for agility in execution, and take actions as appropriate where each of us can.

The opportunities to deliver greater value to our customers, to our developer and partner communities, and to our shareholders are significant. I very much look forward to embarking on this journey with all of you.

-- Ray

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2 comments

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Federal Department of Computing
No other copmpany in the world is able to brag so loudly about what they're going to do than Microsoft. It's like these memos have to be made public so that their partners and customers etc know that they really aren't asleep.

Does Google make such self-seeking and self-important pronouncements public knowledge? Not on your life.

It really is as if Microsoft is the FDC and these "policy" announcements are meant to reassure everybody that everything's on track and Google will be squashed by a billion-pound turkey that can barely waddle out its own yard ...
Posted by paulie_shanna (5 comments )
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Google is the giant of computing services
Pride goes before a fall.

I would much prefer that Google be the 100 pound gorilla of IT as they are definately better at benefitting others while benefitting themselves.

MS is far to greedy and fat to be of any use to the average Joe blogs, and they have no problem ripping people off as well. Google on the other hand are open and give their stuff away. They are the good guys of IT.

Google is also more in touch with what is happening and you don't see Google saying we are going to crush these guys and we are the best, even though they are the best in my opinion.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
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