Conway's Law and Ray Ozzie

Melvin Conway and Ray Ozzie – kindred spirits

Coincidences are sometimes amazing. I was really impressed this week by reading a long article about Ray Ozzie, the new chief software architect in Microsoft. That was of course Bill Gates‘s title before he left. I found so much of value in that article, The Man Who Would Change Microsoft: Ray Ozzie’s Vision for Connected Software. I rarely like to write a post that just points somewhere else but it would have been worth it.

Then UIE BrainSparks, one of my regular reads, had an item on Conway’s Law. This discussed a longer post by Karl Long, which covers more on Conway’s Law. Conway’s Law was devised in 1968 by Melvin Conway. It reads as follows:

Any organization that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure.

Will Google or Microsoft win the Mobile race?

That’s exactly the theme that Ray Ozzie was emphasizing in his vision. Particularly as the Mobile Web takes off and we all try to figure out how the Mobile Web and the Desktop Web should interact, Ray Ozzie is raising the right concerns within Microsoft. Google doesn’t have a lock on this expanded cyberspace. Perhaps this is where Microsoft can do an end-run around Google.

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