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"Ray really starts with the customer," says Windows and MSN boss Kevin Johnson. "He looks at things 'outside in,' as he says, not technology-out."

Many executives now concede that Microsoft tended to take the opposite approach – focusing first on the technical possibilities and only later on what customers really wanted.

As a senior executive puts it, "Our customers buy our products in an integrated fashion, but we build them in a siloed fashion."

David Kirkpatrick has written an insightful piece on Ray Ozzie's role in reinventing Microsoft for the 21st century. Even after making allowances for the usual PR filter it is recommended reading. As a self confessed organisational wonk following developments at Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (GYM) of late has been fascinating. It would really help Microsoft if Katy Hunter humanised Steve Ballmer's enterprise story.

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