Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Andreas Grabner, Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Bill Gates' Microsoft Web Services Memo Disclosed By SOAP & RSS Pioneer Dave Winer

The Co-Developer of Frontier, Manila and Radio UserLand Has Further Contributions to Make, It Seems

In an extraordinary first, Dave Winer (pictured) - best known as editor of Scripting News, the weblog he started in 1997 and for pioneering several Internet standards in distributed computing, including SOAP, XML-RPC, RSS, OPML and podcasting - has obtained what he claims are 100% authentic copies of internal memos sent out recently to Microsoft staffers by Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie. And he has published both in full at his site.

The purported memo dates from October 30 and is addressed to Microsoft's "Executive Staff and Direct Reports; Distinguished Engineers." Its subject line: "Internet Software Services"

Gates notes in opening that he wrote a memo a decade ago entitled "The Internet Tidal Wave" which described how the internet was going to forever change the landscape of computing, and then 5 years ago the company "focused [its] strategy on .NET making a huge bet on XML and Web services."

Microsoft was a leader in driving these standards and building them into its products, Gates writes, adding the claim that "over 92% of the Fortune 100 are utilizing .NET and our current wave of products have XML and Web services at their core and are gaining share because of the bold bet we made back in the year 2000."

Gates then outlines Microsoft's next big bet: the shift to a services model. He writes:

"In many ways this is not completely new. All the way back in 1998 we had a company meeting where we outlined a vision in which software would become more of a service over time. We've been making investments since then -- for example, the Watson service we have built into Windows and Office allows us and our partners to understand where our users are running into problems and lets us improve their experience. Our On-line help work gives us constant feedback about what topics are helping our users and which we need to change. Products from MSN like Messenger and Hotmail are updated with new features many times throughout the year, allowing them to deliver innovations rapidly. Our Mappoint service was a pioneer in letting corporations connect up to a web based API on a subscription basis."
Microsoft needs to do far more than this though, according to Gates, if market leadership is what it is seeking. Once again - see yesterday's SYS-CON story on this - he cited advertising as Microsoft Priority #1.

"Advertising has emerged as a powerful new means by which to directly and indirectly fund the creation and delivery of software and services along with subscriptions and license fees. ... We will build our strategies around Internet services and we will provide a broad set of service APIs and use them in all of our key applications."
Gates ends his memo by telling everyone in the company that while the "services wave" will be very disruptive, Microsoft has a clear opportunity to lead. "But in order to execute on this opportunity," he writes, "we must act quickly and decisively." But he then strikes a ruminative note, at odds with his earlier call to action:
"We must reflect upon what and for whom we are building, how best to deliver new functionality given the internet services model, what kind of a platform in this new context might enable partners to build great profitable businesses, and how our applications might be reshaped to create service-enabled experiences uniquely compelling to both users and businesses alike."
Tasking Ray Ozzie with leading Microsoft's services strategy across all three divisions was the first sign that Bill Gates believes that the company's services challenges and opportunities will impact most everything it does.

"Ray has long demonstrated his passion for software, and through his work at Groove he also came to realize the transformative potential for combining software and services," Gates observes.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...