Full-Text of the Gates/Ozzie Emails

One of the things that bugs me about traditional media is that they allude to source documents, like emails, but don’t just give you the full text. It’s so inside baseball, and it drives raw data fans like me nuts. A nice thing about the blog-o-sphere is that source documents now show up so quickly.

Case in point: The “Internet Services wars” memos from Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie alluded to in late-day stories in the WSJ, N.Y. Times, and elsewhere tonight. While journalists have read them, they don’t provide them for the rest of us. It didn’t take long for them to show up online though, so there they are (courtesy of Dave Winer):

Two quick closing points: First, while both are worth reading, the Ozzie memo is the key one. Second, does anyone really believe that these memos were not written with full knowledge that would be spread everywhere? I don’t.

Related posts:

  1. Gates & Ozzie on the Trouble with Email
  2. Ray Ozzie & the Perils of Photoshop
  3. Full-Text Feeds
  4. Back to Blodget Emails
  5. Are Rumors of Email’s Death Exaggerated?

Comments

  1. peter says:

    Who is saying that the emails weren’t going to be spread everywhere? You send email to 50,000 people and it’s going to get out. Everyone knows that.

  2. Paul K. says:

    Right, that’s my point. This was cheerfully calculated behavior, where Microsoft wanted the media frisson that comes from people thinking they had seen documents showing Deep Thoughts From Senior Microsoft Officials. Cynic that I am, I would not be surprised if Wag-Ed flacks read the emails before they went around.

  3. peter says:

    It’s probably not that. Having worked there a while back these emails are directed at creating sea change internally. Knowing that they will be leaked means they must be worded carefully. But the primary focus is internal change. Microsoft’s infrastructure problems (size, bureaucracy, etc) always make this hard. But you can be guaranteed everyone internally is talking about it. All meetings from here on out are painted in the light of what these memos are saying Microsoft must do. As a result decisions will be made differently.

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  5. Gavin says:

    NBC news president Rubin Frank said: “News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising.”
    The “leaked” Gates and Ozzie emails are more like open letters written by Microsoft and released to press who feel they are getting deeper insight into Microsoft’s strategy.
    During the last two weeks Gates and Ozzie announced “live software” while Ballmer launched VS 05 and SQL Server 05. These emails are part of a strategy to position those announcements, and news outlets (and blogs) who reproduce them – or take them at face value – should be aware of that, and treat them very skeptically.
    For an example of something that was really leaked, go back to the embarrassing internal memos released as part of Microsoft’s DoJ case.

  6. Gavin says:

    NBC news president Rubin Frank said: “News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising.”
    The “leaked” Gates and Ozzie emails are more like open letters written by Microsoft and released to press who feel they are getting deeper insight into Microsoft’s strategy.
    During the last two weeks Gates and Ozzie announced “live software” while Ballmer launched VS 05 and SQL Server 05. These emails are part of a strategy to position those announcements, and news outlets (and blogs) who reproduce them – or take them at face value – should be aware of that, and treat them very skeptically.
    For an example of real internal memos that were never intended to see the light of day, go back to the material released by the DoJ as part of Microsoft’s antitrust case.

  7. peter says:

    If that were true the memos would be devoid of MS speak. I see the use of words that have particular meaning within MS peppered throughout. And pray tell how would MS communicate with their employees in the situation where they didn’t want it leaked? It’s impossible. While I didn’t enjoy working at MS (actually I hated it), this paranoid, subversive view that some people hold on the outside is just so far from anything I ever experienced there.

  8. Michael Robinson says:

    Microsoft is going nowhere. They still don’t “get it”:
    “RESPONSIBLE COMPETITION – We will compete energetically but also responsibly and with recognition of our high legal responsibilities. We will design and license Windows and our internet-based services as separate products, so customers can choose Windows with or without Microsoft’s services.”
    The actual question, of course, is whether consumers can choose Microsoft’s services with or without Windows.
    They have no idea what they need to do to join the community of non-evil software producers, and until they join that community, they won’t benefit from the disruptive community network effects.