EMC buys a startup with no shipping products.
Let's break it down. It just hired the guy who used to be the third most powerful man inside Microsoft during it's endless expansion in the go-go 90's and put him in charge of it's Cloud Infrastructure and Services Division.
That didn't exist on the org chart until the press release but now it becomes the fourth pillar of the company joining the Storage Division, Content Management & Archiving and RSA divisions. Maritz being appointed CISD President with Fortress, Mozy, Maui, Pi and things to be revealed later now being his.
So who is Paul Maritz?
I knew of him having read numerous issues of Byte Magazine (In the shop and straight off the shelf. I had no money/no shame) and having followed the Microsoft Antitrust trial, but I knew nothing of the man. Seconds after I read the press release I fired off a note to some people I know who would have seen Maritz up close and in action. The picture I got back from numerous sources was someone cerebral, brilliant but quite reserved.
Put in context alongside Microsoft's big two Gates and Ballmer were described as "The sound and fury to Maritz godlike creation process. His bandwidth (Zillanote: Microspeak for ability to process new ideas. I think.) is astronomical."
Maritz ran platforms & applications at Microsoft. To you and me that's Windows, Office and everything else. He's the guy who made the call to dump OS/2 and run full speed with NT and Windows 95. A showdown with IBM was inevitable and he wanted it to happen on Microsoft's terms. Lotus, Borland & Novell fell to his sword. Under his leadership Microsoft saw off Java and as for the fall of Netscape David Boies tried to paint him as it's architect.
Though looking back you can probably point the finger right at Netscape on that one. The best thing to happen to Netscape users was the company imploding, taking Communicator and SuiteSpot (Netscape Application Server being the worst piece of garbage I was ever paged at 4:00am to deal with) down with it and sowing the seeds of FireFox.
After less than two years of retirement Maritz decided to get back into the business of ideas and work on software for the cloud. This was a few years after he had recognised that Internet delivery of software and services threatened Microsoft's core business model.
Now that he's at EMC make no mistake this game has changed.
And I don't know why I'm calling him Maritz since as of today I'd be better of calling him "Chief". Regardless, I'm just glad I'm not competing against him.