As you may know, there have been a large number of memo's written by any number of our senior executives. Probably one of the most famous was the "original" Bill Gates "Open Letter to Hobbyists." In addition to those, one of the latest ones that have hit the web, include the "The Internet Services Disruption" memo written by Ray Ozzie and "Internet Software Services" by Bill Gates.
Invariably, I have seen a ton of these before I joined Microsoft. As an outsider, they provided an interesting glimpse into the world I now call home.
What has been most interesting to me, is watching competitors use these memo's. Here is a screen print of a document that salesforce.com sends to almost every prospect that says that they are considering Microsoft CRM. While I have put some quotes in here earlier from Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, etc. But the interesting thing is that this quote is from an internal email from Ray Ozzie to Senior Management.
Well, the Business Group went and showed Ray what they where saying and asked about it...
Wouldn't you know he had a decent response? :-) So next time you get one of these emails, here is a response directly from the man himself.
“Microsoft’s Live strategy is based on the use of powerful software, combined with internet services, to deliver customers seamless experiences that shield them from technical complexity and improve user experience. For the first time ever, we can consider how to intentionally balance where to put the application, where to put the data, and how rich to make the user experience, based on factors such as security, mobility, and flexibility. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a clear example of how we provide software+services solutions that give our customers the choice they need in managing, deploying and creating applications that meet the unique requirements of any given business.“
Chief Software Architect
At about the same time I was writing this post, I ran across a great interview of Steve Ballmer in the New York Times. You can read it below. I like the Software+Services pitch.
At one point, he says, “All software will become software with a service.” Mr. Ballmer emphasizes the word “with.” The clear message is that Microsoft is embracing the move toward software written by using open Web standards and delivered over the Internet, but that these software services will be added to Microsoft products instead of replacing them.