John Coltrane. Miles Davis. Er... Ray Ozzie?
How do you make Lotus Notes cool? With jazz greats
When Microsoft needs an epic suck-up job, there's only one man who can do it justice. Deep in a bunker in Seattle, out comes the special red telephone that instantly dials Steven "Collective Intelligence" Levy.
Readers with long memories will recall Levy's epic Palladium suck-up from 2002 in Newsweek. He's at WiReD now, and has turned in a 7,000 word profile on Microsoft's Ray Ozzie.
How do you make the guy famous for Lotus Notes and, er... Lotus Notes interesting? You can't - and Levy ploughs all-time levels of desperation in trying to make Microsoft's cloud operating system appear to be a rebel skunkworks project.
But one quote stands out from the dreck.
Former Groove employees still talk about the time Gates visited and the two leaders got off on a tangent about some arcane technical point. As they bounced improvisations off each other, Ozzie coming up with ideas and Gates rocking back and forth with excitement, it was like watching some propellerhead version of a John Coltrane-Miles Davis performance.
Ah, yes. That will be the Coltrane responsible for Giant Steps and A Love Supreme - and the Miles Davis responsible for Sketches of Spain and A Kind of Blue.
And the Bill Gates responsible for the 64kb limit - and Ray Ozzie.
You remember Ray Ozzie - he's the Lotus Notes guy. ®
[Read our digested version of Ray's vision thing, here. It give you everything you need to know about Microsoft's Cloud OS and it's much, much shorter.]