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Ray Ozzie

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Ray Ozzie
Ray Ozzie at the Web 2.0 Conference
Born (1955-11-20) November 20, 1955 (age 68)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Known forChief Software Architect, Microsoft
Lotus Notes
SpouseDawna Bousquet
ChildrenNeil Ozzie
Jill Ozzie

Raymond "Ray" Ozzie (born November 20, 1955) is an American software industry entrepreneur who held the positions of Chief Technical Officer and Chief Software Architect at Microsoft between 2005 and 2010. Before Microsoft, he was best known for his role in creating Lotus Notes.[1]


A book of Lotus Symphony (DOS) Reference Manual, published in 1984

He grew up in Chicago, Illinois, later moving to Park Ridge, Illinois and graduating from Maine South High School in 1973 where, in 1969, he learned to program on a GE-400 mainframe and an Olivetti-Underwood Programma 101.

He received his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1979 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the PLATO system, and began his working career at Data General Corporation where he worked for Jonathan Sachs. After leaving Data General, Ozzie worked at Software Arts for Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, the creators of VisiCalc, on that product and TK Solver. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Sachs and Mitch Kapor to work for Lotus Development to develop what became Lotus Symphony. Ozzie left Lotus Development in 1984 and founded Iris Associates to create the product later sold by Lotus as Lotus Notes, based in part on his experiences using the PLATO Notes group messaging system.[2] Iris Associates was acquired by Lotus in 1994, and Lotus itself was acquired by IBM in 1995.

Ozzie worked there for several years before leaving to form Groove Networks. Groove was acquired by Microsoft in 2005, where Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers. That year, he wrote a seven-page, 5,000-word internal memo, titled The Internet Services Disruption:[3] "It's clear that if we fail to do so, our business as we know it is at risk ... We must respond quickly and decisively."[1]

On June 15, 2006, Ozzie took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates.[1]

In October 2008 Ozzie announced Microsoft Azure, the first project to emerge from his advanced development labs focused on new and potentially disruptive approaches to Microsoft's business. The project, originally known as "Red Dog", was led by Dave Cutler and Amitabh Srivastava. In January 2009, another project emerging from these labs, "Live Mesh", received a Crunchie Award for best technology innovation.[4] In October 2009 he also created FUSE Labs (Future Social Experiences) within this advanced development unit, focusing on innovation in social experiences for mobile and web.

Ozzie officially announced his plans to step down from his role at Microsoft on October 18, 2010[1] and his final day was December 31, 2010. In 2011 he helped create the non-profit Safecast.

In January 2012 Ozzie started Talko Inc., a company that delivered mobile apps and services for business team communications primarily focused on those roles in which voice is essential. Talko was launched in September 2014.[5] Ozzie has said that the name "Talko" was meant as an homage to Talkomatic, a popular group chat program he experienced while working on the PLATO System in the 1970s. Ray sold the company to Microsoft in December 2015 with the intent to bring Talko's novel voice and productivity features to Microsoft's Skype.[6]

In 2013, Ozzie joined the board of directors at Hewlett-Packard, and continues to serve as a director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He joined the board of Safecast in 2017.

In April 2020, Ray Ozzie raised $11 million for his new venture, Blues Wireless, an IoT company.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

Ozzie was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for the conception and development of online collaboration products, including Lotus Notes.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Microsoft's Top Software Architect, a Cloud Computing Advocate, Quits". New York Times. October 18, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2010. ... Heralded as one of the world's great programmers, Mr. Ozzie, before working for Microsoft, steered the creation of Lotus Notes, a popular e-mail and collaborative workspace software package. Then, during the dot-com boom, he started Groove Networks, another collaboration software maker, that swapped data using more modern techniques. ...
  2. ^ The Friendly Orange Glow by Brian Dear
  3. ^ Ozzie, Ray (October 28, 2005). "The Internet Services Disruption". Archived from the original on March 19, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Farber, Dan (January 10, 2009). "Talko was launched in September 2014". CNET.
  5. ^ Brown, Bob (September 23, 2014). "FIRST LOOK: Ray Ozzie's Talko cloud calling/messaging iPhone app". Network World.
  6. ^ Darrow, Barb (December 20, 2015). "Microsoft Buys Another Ray Ozzie Company". Fortune Magazine.
  7. ^ "Ray Ozzie's latest project: Former Microsoft exec raises $11M for IoT startup Blues Wireless". GeekWire. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.

External links[edit]