OZZIE'S PLAN will take the company in the right direction. The question is how much progress it will manage to make. Microsoft is a giant corporation with 70,000 employees, and Ozzie is basically telling all of them to change how they think about their jobs. It's probably one of the hardest things Microsoft has ever attempted.
Imagine being an airline mechanic. You're accustomed to waiting for planes to roll into the hangar to be fixed. One day, someone tells you that from now on, you're going to have to maintain the planes while they're in the air. That's what Microsoft is facing. For most of its life, it rolled the Windows and Office planes into the hangar and retooled them. Now it needs to write software that can be maintained more easily on the fly. Once you turn on a service, like an online word processor, "it's on forever," one former Microsoftie says. "It doesn't ever go off. So when you add features or want to fix something, you have to do it while it's running. It changes your mindset in terms of what's possible and what's impossible."
- Fred Vogelstein (no artigo "Rebuilding MS", p/ a Wired)
A figura central do artigo é Ray Ozzie, o inventor do Notes que está há 18 meses na MS. É o 'substituto' do Bill. O cara não precisava provar mais nada, mas topou encarar um dos dois maiores desafios gerenciais do século XXI: reconstruir a MS. (A outra luta inglória é a salvação do duo GM/Ford). Faço minhas as palavras do Cory Doctorow, do Boing Boing:
I know tons of really excellent 'Softies, solid nerds who do great work that they believe in. What's weird to me is how the collective output of all that great work by great people produces such lousy outcomes -- DRM-crippled OSes like Vista, stupid products like the Zune, grotendously complex apps like Office, and promising research projects that go nowhere, security holes that you can drive a truck through, and a browser that is more broken business-strategy than utility software...
Not to mention the naked jockeying to turn open standards into proprietary products, the blind worship of software patents (even as they're being shredded by them), the convulsive distaste for open source (years after David Stutz's blazing resignation letter in which he told the company exactly how to respond to open source) -- it's this kind of weird alchemy that turns great people doing great work into a kind of fumbling evil.
I sure hope Ray can do something for them -- if only for the sake of my friends in Redmond. It can't possibly be good for your soul to work hard and have nothing good come of it.