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March 13, 2006

Ozzie Has Always Been With Us - Gates

Courtesy of TechWeb News

One year after Microsoft acquired Ray Ozzie and his Groove Networks, Bill Gates said Ozzie, who is charged with reinvigorating the software colossus' technology, is fitting in very well because in a way Ozzie was always connected to Microsoft.

"Ray has never really been an outsider," said Gates, noting that Ozzie worked on Microsoft projects as an outside developer. "Even when he was developing (Lotus) Notes, he was helping us improve Windows. Moreover, Ray is super well-respected inside Microsoft, just as he is throughout the industry." Gates' interview comments on Ozzie were published Monday in the Boston Globe.

Gates praised Ozzie's "scenario-based approach to the development of software and services," adding that Microsoft developers have responded well to Ozzie's approach.

Gates also discussed his longtime history with Ozzie, who is leading a bicoastal work schedule commuting between the Groove Networks facility in suburban Boston and Microsoft headquarters in Seattle.

The two have been in touch since the early 1980s, two ace software developers mutually admiring each other's work. "I had said to Steve (Microsoft CEO Ballmer) for a long time that Ray was the best guy in the industry who didn't work for us. And Steve would always respond, 'Well, let's get him.'"

"That opportunity presented itself a year ago, and now Ray has the opportunity to make many more positive contributions inside Microsoft… " Gates told the Globe.

Gates also cited Craig Mundie and David Vaskevitch as key persons also playing important roles in Microsoft's major businesses. Mundie is senior vice president, chief technical officer of advanced strategies and policy while Vaskevitch is senior vice president, chief technical officer for business platform. They all report to Gates, who in addition to being chairman of Microsoft, also serves as its chief software architect.

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