Ina Fried

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A Tiny Bit More on Ray Ozzie’s New Start-up, Cocomo

Everyone knew that Ray Ozzie would eventually resurface after leaving Microsoft.

The Lotus Notes creator and Groove founder has lain extremely low since departing the software giant at the end of 2010. However, word surfaced on Wednesday that Ozzie’s new project is a venture called Cocomo that is actively hiring, preferably in the Seattle or Boston areas.

According to the report in the Boston Globe, Ozzie is joined by two ex-Microsoft employees, Ransom Richardson and Matt Pope. Ozzie confirmed the bootstrapped venture but offered little detail on what the start-up will focus on. The job posting for a user experience designer seeks someone with experience in both mobile and social who is proficient with iOS and Android apps.

“A new day has dawned as it relates to how we might interact with one another, and a handful of us are just starting work on a new communications product for this new world,” the company said in the posting. “We’ve got huge goals, pragmatic plans, and a sense of urgency.”

In a brief online chat this morning, Ozzie told AllThingsD he wasn’t ready to say much more. However, he did share one more name involved with Cocomo: Boston start-up veteran Ari Goldberg. Goldberg also worked at Microsoft in Boston, but left in November, according to a LinkedIn profile.

Cocomo does have the barest of Web sites, consisting for now of a logo and a link to its hiring email address.

At Microsoft, Ozzie inherited the Chief Software Architect mantle that had belonged to Bill Gates. During his time there he helped re-direct Microsoft from focusing on software that ran on a server or desktop toward Internet-delivered services. While his vision can be seen in products like Office 365, Windows Azure and Windows Live, there was considerable tension at times between Ozzie and Microsoft’s product teams.

Ozzie appeared on stage with then-boss Steve Ballmer at our D8 conference in June 2010. One particularly notable part of this interview is where the two are discussing Google’s strategy of promoting both Android and Chrome OS. While Ballmer dismisses the dual-pronged strategy, Ozzie characterizes Android as a bet for the past and present and Chrome OS as a longer-term bet based on where things are headed.

And it was just a few months after upstaging his boss that Ozzie parted ways with Microsoft.

Update: One more tidbit: It appears that Ozzie and team spent $33,000 to acquire the Cocomo.com Web address, according to Domain Name Wire.


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