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As some of you already know, I have recently made another move. After over 15 years in the Software (vendor) space in one capacity or another, I have moved back into the enterprise. Although the last couple of years I have been focused on cloud, especially cloud application platform (Windows Azure and VMware Cloud), I am now very excited to go back to enterprise architecture.
Leading Enterprise Architecture for Enterprise Functions at Chevron! The scope of the application portfolio, the enterprise architecture leadership in the company, and the leadership in ITC is absolutely refreshing!
How did I get here? What led me to walk away from the hot team at Microsoft – Windows Azure, and even more interesting, leave Microsoft after 9+ years.
First, its important to note that most of the 9 years I spent at Microsoft were incredibly rewarding. I worked with some really smart and good people. And Microsoft is indeed a great company to work for.
So why leave? Well, first I need to get something off my chest – let me start with Innovation and R&D. Every year for the last 9 years, Microsoft executives remind all the employees, customers, partners, the world that they spend between $6 – 8 billion in R&D annually! Really? Now, I am not implying that there is a lack of innovation going on in the mildew forest (redmond); there are some really cool things like XBOX Live, Surface, .Net, Windows Azure, Live Mesh. But lets face it, Windows XP to Vista to Windows 7 (a Vista SP) over 9 years was not very innovative – especially now that I am using OS X! Windows Mobile Phone strategy? Search? Over $60 billion in R&D over 9 years – I can probably come up with a list 10 startups that had less then $300 million in funding in total that are more relevant today and innovative. …OK. I feel better now.
I mentioned being on the hot Windows Azure team, as well as listing it as innovative, and I still think there is some really cool technology there. Some of the best innovation in the last 9 years at Microsoft. Public PaaS Cloud is certainly innovative, interesting and very relevant to future deployment scenarios (not all, but some). But I started to question the overall “cloud” strategy and approach. I really think Azure technology should have first been introduced as a private cloud (on – premise) platform, enabling enterprises to build on their virtualization footing, and start with customized private PaaS. Then compliment that with a Public PaaS strategy that included ISPs and Partners and enable hybrid cloud scenarios. Instead, its sort of a huge leap for most enterprises to think about what workloads to build onto this primarily new and proprietary platform running in Microsoft Data Centers, and have a completely different perspective and approach to cloud patterns on-premise. Sorry, its not Hyper-V and Windows Server.
Then there is Ray Ozzie’s departure (not to mention all the other executives leaving to this day). Ozzie was the new Bill Gates at Microsoft. The “architect” of the new Microsoft and leading the transformation and vision for the cloud – the driving force and vision behind Azure. All of a sudden, while on the Azure team and coming to, Ozzie resigns! And then Ozzie writes his “Dawn of a New Day” . As I wrote in my blog post regarding the memo – Its a very interesting read and as one of my colleagues tweeted; “Shut the door, turn off your phone and read Ray Ozzie’s Dawn of a New Day” .
Anyway – my Azure bubble was popped. I was no longer a believer, nor passionate about the direction. There were other things that I wont go into, and there were also things that made me want to stick around – mostly some good people. I will absolutely treasure some of the work and people I was fortunate to work with – some of who are still at Microsoft. Keep up the good work!!!
I have found a renewed love for something from Microsoft that runs on the Mac – MacOffice 2011. Now, we just need OneNote on the Mac.
I am finding an incredibly rich, innovative, and very relevant approach and strategy at my new gig! With some incredibly compelling dialogue with enterprises regarding cloud. More on that on that later….
Many of you know by now that I have left Microsoft a month ago after 9+ years. I’ll write more about that later, as well as discuss my new place of employment and focus.
For now, however, I would like to tell a quick story. My new employer gave me the choice of a Windows XP laptop or an Apple MacBook Pro, and for my mobile phone it was either Blackberry or iPhone (thank goodness I do not have to have a Windows Mobile phone again – for the last 9 years I have had to suffer with WM). Well, after being on Windows 7 at MS, there was no way I was going to XP. So I went Apple all the way! I wanted to take a first hand take at Mac, as well as break my tie to Microsoft for a number of reasons (more on this later).
After about 2 days, I quickly fell in LOVE with Apple products. The MacBook and OS 10 simply blow away Windows (any Windows)! And the iPhone (mind you, I had to settle for 3G) was light years better than any Windows phone (Windows Phone 7 is certainly a huge improvement from WinMo, and I had the opportunity to use it, but I would still take iPhone any day)! It has now been about 3+ weeks on Mac/iPhone and I have decided that I will be getting the iPad v2 when it comes out, and the next laptop I buy my children and/or wife will be Macs. No more Windows machines in my house!
Now, please note that I also LOVE Mac Office 2011. But Windows…OMG…I can’t believe I was using Windows PCs (and still have some at home that I have to support) for most of career. There is only one thing, one application, that I miss having for my work pc – OneNote. I am considering Evernote or Pear Note. But otherwise, I am all in on the Mac.
My MacBook and iPhone ROCK!