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Ozzie states in his memo that Microsoft needs to match the speed and innovation displayed by some of its competitors in order to keep up with the rapidly changing technology market. "[I]t'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," Ozzie wrote. "How would customers accomplish the kinds of things they do today? In what ways would it be better? In what ways would it be worse, or just different?"
Specifically, Ozzie describes how continuously connected devices from tablets to smartphones are changing users' behavior and how cloud computing is transforming the way those users access information.
"As we've begun to embrace today's incredibly powerful app-capable phones and pads into our daily lives, and as we've embraced myriad innovative services & websites," Ozzie wrote, "the early adopters among us have decidedly begun to move away from mentally associating our computing activities with the hardware/software artifacts of our past such as PC's, CD-installed programs, desktops, folders & files.
"Instead, to cope with the inherent complexity of a world of devices, a world of websites, and a world of apps & personal data that is spread across myriad devices & websites, a simple conceptual model is taking shape that brings it all together," Ozzie stated. "We're moving toward a world of 1) cloud-based continuous services that connect us all and do our bidding, and 2) appliance-like connected devices enabling us to interact with those cloud-based services."
While Ozzie outlines many challenges for Microsoft, his memo ends on a note of optimism for the software giant. "Let there be no doubt that the big shifts occurring over the next five years ensure that this will absolutely be a time of great opportunity for those who put past technologies & successes into perspective, and envision all the transformational value that can be offered moving forward to individuals, businesses, governments and society," he wrote. "It's the dawn of a new day – the sun having now arisen on a world of continuous services and connected devices."