Great reading material here…an email from Bill Gates and a memo from Ray Ozzie (CTO of Microsoft) sent to top management just before the press conference in San Francisco last Tuesday where Gates spoke about Microsoft’s two newest web services, Microsoft Live and Office Live. Both internal documents were supposedly “leaked” to the press and the story quickly appeared in The Wall Street Journal as well as The New York Times, among others.
Releasing the documents to the public was a very good PR move for Microsoft as the documents outline Microsoft’s vision of the web “services” future and the end of software as we know it. While a positive and well-thought out plan to dominate the web, I think Bill Gates seriously underestimates the current competition and the momentum they’ve built up so far. After reading the memo from Ray Ozzie, it was obvious that he truly understands where Microsoft has fallen short in the past and it’s great that he’s able to speak so openly about the subject.
The drama doesn’t stop there though: after reading the story from the front page of The Wall Street Journal, Salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff issued a memo to all employees including a comment that couldn’t be more accurate:
“The speech was an amazing bracket to his famous Tidal Wave speech on December 7, 1995 about how Microsoft would own the Internet. But over this 10 year span, what has Microsoft done for business on the Web besides cloning a slow browser? The answer: nothing.”
Business is war, and an all out battle for control of the internet is underway. I’m extremely anxious to see how it will all play out in the next five years. As a side note, the links at the top of this post are not to articles about the story, but to the actual documents from Gates and Ozzie themselves. For more information about the story check out the New York Times or CNET News articles.
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