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Why Did Ray Ozzie Leave Microsoft And Where Will He Go?

In a battle between senior management at any company and any particular CxO, there can only be one winner usually and this is possibly what might happen to Ray Ozzie as he tried, like Don Quixote against the windmills, to change the way Microsoft does business from ground up.

Although he has brought a number of changes within the company, notably refocusing the company's priorities around cloud computing with Azure, the so-called "Windows in the cloud" being his most important achievement within Microsoft.

But there's something his 3500 words memo showed, it is that he didn't go far enough, or at least he didn't get enough support from his hierarchy to implement even more radical, sweeping changes across Microsoft's businesses.

The Guardian points out that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, might have succeeded his fourth coup by outing Stephen Elop, Robert Bach and J Allard in rapid succession, all of them recruits from Bill Gates' era.

In effect, as one commentator astutely pointed out, Steve Ballmer might be suffering form the Gordon Brown ailment; great as a number two and bad as a number one. Assuring continuity is one thing, innovating in the face of adversity is another altogether more difficult task.

As for Ray Ozzie, well, his vision of a world where devices which rule "are relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design, from birth" and are "instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss", point to only one direction; Google.