Microsoft's champion of cloud-computing Ray Ozzie has announced his retirement from the role of chief software architect.
Ozzie's departure may indicate victory of perpetual licensing advocates in the company over those supporting a shift to the cloud computing model, according to the Guardian.
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has repeatedly dodged questions about whether the company is considering adopting a cloud-computing model.
But Ballmer said in an e-mail to staff that Ozzie had helped ensure the company had in Windows Azure a rich platform foundation that will enable app-level innovation across the company and customers for years to come.
Ballmer said Ozzie, though having stepped down from his specific role, will be focusing his efforts in the broader area of entertainment, where Microsoft has many ongoing investments.
Since leading the early development of Windows Azure, Ozzie's role has become less pronounced, according to the Financial Times, with the Azure project transferring to Microsoft's server and tools division nine months ago.
Ozzie is expected to leave Microsoft after a short transition, the paper said.
Ballmer said no-one would be appointed to succeed Ozzie in the role of chief software architect.
"We have a strong planning process, strong technical leaders in each business group and strong innovation heading to the market," he said.