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Who is Microsofts Chief Software Architect now...

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  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    ..that Ray Ozzie left...too bad he wasn't more visible when he was at Microsoft.

  • User profile image
    ryanb

    Nobody.  They said they wouldn't refill that position.  I guess that means Ballmer is the chief software architect now.  That explains a lot.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    A lot of what?

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    ,PaoloM wrote

    A lot of what?

    Why Developers, Developers, and that group known as Developers are strong focus in development. Big Smile

     

    (What does a CSA do anyway? Is it more like setting development goals/priorities at MS?)

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @MasterPie: I believe that originally it was to have somebody near the top who had the clout to guide the general direction of all of the business units. I think they really do need somebody who can look at all of the different projects and be able to get multiple groups working on parallel projects to work together, spot opportunities for integration, and other stuff that can only come from having a high level view of everybody's stuff.

    To Ray Ozzie's credit, he was talking about the cloud before it became popular. However, It's hard to say if the current "all in" approach to the cloud is partially from his influence.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    From what I heard, not much of what Ozzie spearheaded is still around. Concepts, sure, but those were around well before his arrival...

  • User profile image
    fabian

    @PaoloM: i thought that he was the guy that pushed the cloud agenda ...and thats seems to be all over the company

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    I think it quite dangerous. Since Microsoft is now known more as a coalition of various departments, rather than a single unit that works together, there is no mediating influence. Bob Muglia left after allegedly nailing the coffin in technologies that had been championed by the company, and now someone else from a different department and same position does far worse, at least Bob Muglia was being honest, so will have eternal credibility from us developers.

    I know Microsoft staff have to keep schtum, and best not be seen to respond to a post like this (I wouldn't if I were in the same shoes) but I don't work for Microsoft, nor do I feel I want to or need to, so I say what I think.

    There is a board of Directors that are there to watch Ballmer, reporting to the Chairman , and none of them are anything resembling a Chief Software Architect. Bill Gates did not sit in this role doing nothing, and the problem Microsoft has is one the Civil Service has. Even if someone from outside is better qualified to fill a role, the culture of the company precludes this, and means the principle of Buggin's Turn applies. This is a corrosive element in any organization, and usually indicates that companys like Apple and Google can gain market-share because they are able to bring new thinking and ideas from outside. There are a lot of people like Brad Abrahms for example that have taken bigger roles at Google, and staff leaving for Facebook.

    There hardly is ever an announcement from Microsoft to say a senior role is being filled by someone from outside. That is why they are being outmaneuvered technologically in more places than they have ever been.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    Nobody really talks about this, but my impression is that Bill Gates basically failed in the CSA role. He tried to make technical decisions from the top down and despite his technical background and wide-ranging intellect he just wasn't close enough to the actual work, so he tried to push ambitious but ultimately unrealistic ideas like Longhorn in .NET or WinFS. After those got scrapped I think the product divisions felt burned which is why they mostly just ignored Ray Ozzie, and eventually got to just make their own technical decisions without interference.

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    Charles

    Technical Fellows (like Russinovich, Cutler, Campbell, etc...) are the company's technical leaders and work as a group to ensure we do the right things across the company in terms of technology advancements. This group also monitors and help control technological reduncancy across divisions. In some sense, a single point of control like a CSA doesn't really make sense at a company of this size and complexity. Ballmer is not the CSA. He's the CEO (a business position, not a technical one...). We need to bring the TFs into the spotlight more - just like we did at PDC09. Perhaps it's time to get a bunch of them together and have you ask them questions in real time on C9 Live Smiley

    C

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    @Charles:Thats a great idea. 

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    Maybe we can get some of them together for //build/....when we actually find out who the conference is for Smiley

  • User profile image
    Charles

    @Ian2: I'll ask a few of them. It could that it's only a good idea to us Smiley
    C

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Cool, it would be good to get a better understanding of how the various technical strategies within MS come about and are bound together going forward - that must be tricky?

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    ,Charles wrote

    Technical Fellows (like Russinovich, Cutler, Campbell, etc...) are the company's technical leaders and work as a group to ensure we do the right things across the company in terms of technology advancements. This group also monitors and help control technological reduncancy across divisions. In some sense, a single point of control like a CSA doesn't really make sense at a company of this size and complexity. Ballmer is not the CSA. He's the CEO (a business position, not a technical one...). We need to bring the TFs into the spotlight more - just like we did at PDC09. Perhaps it's time to get a bunch of them together and have you ask them questions in real time on C9 LiveSmiley

    C

    There is a semi interesting article on the NY Times today describing some of the differences between the decision making process at Apple and Google (link). The author argues that the strenght of Apple is that there is one leader making the decisions. Althought the article is "design" oriented, some of it could apply to technical decisions too. I would like see arguments why Microsoft choose to go with a group of technical leaders and not with a single person.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    ,giovanni wrote

    *snip*

    There is a semi interesting article on the NY Times today describing some of the differences between the decision making process at Apple and Google (link). The author argues that the strenght of Apple is that there is one leader making the decisions. Althought the article is "design" oriented, some of it could apply to technical decisions too. I would like see arguments why Microsoft choose to go with a group of technical leaders and not with a single person.

    Rather than saying "one person, or many people" there is a third option: "many people, with a single voice" - that way you get the benefit of combined experience, but also the benefits of a single, authoritative voice.

    A common complaint of Microsoft lately is the lack of a single unifying vision, this applies not only to technologies, but also design: something Microsoft has been lacking in since we moved on from 256-colour graphics in Windows 95.

    y'know, I still miss those upscaled pixelart icons from the IE4 Desktop Update to Windows 95.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    ,W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Rather than saying "one person, or many people" there is a third option: "many people, with a single voice" - that way you get the benefit of combined experience, but also the benefits of a single, authoritative voice.

    A common complaint of Microsoft lately is the lack of a single unifying vision, this applies not only to technologies, but also design: something Microsoft has been lacking in since we moved on from 256-colour graphics in Windows 95.

    y'know, I still miss those upscaled pixelart icons from the IE4 Desktop Update to Windows 95.

    Personally I think that "many people with a signle voice" is kind is kind of impossible and counterpoductive: you want people to be opinionated and bring their own personnality, but I do agree with you about a more unified vision. At least that is what it looks from the outside sometimes.

  • User profile image
    exoteric

    @W3bbo:Did you not hear the tree fall in the forest?

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