Microsoft's Ray Ozzie Sees "Post-PC" World

Microsoft's retiring Chief Technical Officer Ray Ozzie asked that the company move on from its PC-oriented roots and envision a world that mainly relies on the Internet and wireless devices. The comment arrives just after the public announcement of his retirement and in less than a month before the 25th anniversary of Windows 1.0's launch.

"It’s important that all of us do precisely what our competitors and customers will ultimately do: close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like, if it were to ever truly occur," he said in a blog. "Those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead."

He goes on to recognize a "wholesale reconfiguration" in the way we perceive and apply technology, referring to how consumers embrace apps and tablets. He also said that early adopters are moving away from mentally associating computing with PCs, CD-installed programs, desktops, files and folders. Instead, they're shifting towards cloud-based continuous services and appliance-like connected devices enabling them to interact with those cloud-based services.

"Many years ago when the PC first emerged as an alternative to the mini and mainframe, the key facets of simplicity and broad approachability were key to its amazing success," he said. "If there’s to be a next wave of industry reconfiguration--toward a world of internet-connected continuous services and appliance-like connected devices--it would likely arise again from those very same facets. It may take quite a while to happen, but I believe that in some form or another, without doubt, it will."

He added that there's an opportunity for those who envision the "end-game" to recognize both the inevitability and value inherent in the big shift ahead. Its also their responsibility to do what it takes to lead customers into that new post-PC world.

"In the short term, this means imagining the ‘killer apps & services’ and ‘killer devices’ that match up to a broad range of customer needs as they’ll evolve in this new era," he said.

To read his entire blog, head here.

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  • Parsian
    i like my PC. how dare they thinking of taking it away from me :'(
  • thechief73
    I dont know about everyone else but I am kinda getting tired of big shot tech people saying PC's are dying or everything will be wireless cloud computing and cloud based software, I agree with the cloud storage and software to an extent but I do not think it will be ubiquitous. Cloud PC's indeed a good vision of the future but is so far off to the average user its almost like sci-fy, flying cars, unicorns and fairy dust. Seems like at least once a month someone comes out and says the same thing, IMHO they all need a reality check. This requires infrastructure that is several years in the very best case senario and decade(s) at worst.

    Even if this does at some point become a reality, do you want to trust your PC's ability to function as you wish to a remote server and a private company which needs to be 100% reliable and safe to store your software and important files?

    There will always be the need for an interface on hand to opperate and with the advancement in smaller and smaller microarchitecture processes why put the rest of the hardware at a remote location when it can be just as easily there on hand more reliably and safer.

    If you ask me advancment in technology will make his ideas obsolete before they are even implemented or adopted.
  • Other Comments
  • dogman_1234
    Well, it is a star of an idea...

    I guess we will all have to see.
  • eklipz330
    way to go out lookin' like a jerk... aren't pc sales going up?
  • victorintelr
    Interesting concept of the future, still we don't know what lies ahead, but someone has to start with an idea at least.