Microsoft has just announced that Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie is leaving the company, in the form of an open letter from Steve Ballmer to Microsoft employees. Ray, who succeeded Bill Gates in his currently held position, is famous for his focus on moving Microsoft into the cloud. As recently as June we saw Ray on stage at D8 with Steve Ballmer, and there's no indication given in the open letter as to Ray's reasons for leaving, though Steve does point out that much of Ray's vision for the cloud is already in progress at Microsoft. Ray will stick around for a transition phase of unspecified length, and Ballmer doesn't plan to fill the "unique" role of Chief Software Architect when he's gone.

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