Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vista 2007. Fire the leadership now!


It certainly sounded like Microsoft leadership committed to us, our customers, our partners, and our shareholders that Vista would be out in 2006.


We should have asked for more details around the "or else" part of that commitment.

I was upset at missing the back-to-school market. Now we're missing the holiday sales market. All of those laptops and PCs are going to have XP on it. What percentage will upgrade to Vista? Well, I guess that's the little dream that I need to give up on. Vista's deployment is going to come from people buying CPUs with the OS pre-installed, not dancing down the CompUSA aisle as they clutch that boxed version of Vista to their loving chest. So not only did we miss last year's opportunity, we're missing this year's opportunity, too. With the convergence of high-tech media, this holiday season would have been an explosive nodal point to get Vista out for a compounded effect.

Personally, I've been holding off of buying a laptop and a new mega-big-iron PC until Vista is done. I'm super-excited to get Vista Ultimate on that new PC and be able to hook Media Center up to my Xbox 360. And now I'll wait.

In my afternoon daydream, after Allchin's email went out, I imagined all the L68+ partners from the Windows division gathered together and told, "You are our leadership. When we succeed, it is directly because of how you lead and manage your teams. When we fail, it is directly because of how you lead and manage your teams. We've had enough of failure and we've had enough of you. Drop off your badge on the way out. Your personal belongings will be dropped off at your house. Now get out of my sight."

Sigh. Well, I'd settle for the version: "... When we fail, it is directly because of how you lead and manage your teams. We reward success. We do not reward failure, especially sustained failure that has directly affected this company, its future, and its stock price. You will not receive any incentives this year. You will not receive a bonus. You will not get a raise. You will not be awarded stock."

People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where's the freakin' accountability?

Discussions elsewhere:

In the meantime, the discussion of how you'd sell Vista in 30-seconds to a non-techy consumer hasn't come up with much Abbie-understandable reasons other than "cooler games!" Sure, Abbie probably spends a lot of time with solitaire and minesweeper, so that's good. But most of it focuses either on issues so deep and technical that the average consumer is going to shrug and say, "Hell, I don't think I need any of that!" or on issues that make you think that XP is a ticking time-bomb of unstable code ready to explode 1s and 0s over anyone who looks at it wrong. And as for Alpha Geeks and super-users, it sounds like LUA is going to be a daily pain in the patootie.

The good news? Well, we've got plenty of time to conjure up reasons why Vista is going to be better than XP in a way that anyone can understand and agree with. Plus $500 million to spend doing it.

Oy. Oy. Oy.

Updated: added the Channel9 link.


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Anonymous said...

I interviewed an external candidate today. He seemed like a smart guy, and he asked me towards the end, so what do you think of all the discontent among ms employees, I've been seeing this mini blog comments. I didnt know what to say, what would you say if you were asked this question by a job candidate? seriously.

Anonymous said...

Hey no everything about OSX was so rosy. If you remember, OSX was based on nextstep which was developed in the late 80's. It has a mach kernel with freebsd components (it's not just simply a freebsd distribution, it has a unique kernel and driver model) and a proprietary windows server. Apple brought in in 1996. And only released it as a product in 2001, and they were running behind and decided to release what was essentially beta code as a final product, took them a few more months to a year to get the OS to be excellent in quality through point upgrades.
Since then they' only done minor changes, few new features and apps, speed tweaks. All impressive but last time they tried to take on a project as big as vista they had many of their own problems. Now that they have a strong modern OS as a foundation, it makes it easier for them to add new features and innovate without rewriting the whole OS, and OSX Leopard will be out some time, rumored a features are a database file system, resolution independance and more....

Anonymous said...

Its funny... I would love to see management clean some house... never going to happen. HR and legal wouldn't allow it.

As for vista... I have had 5 people tell me "have you read mini... it sounds like you wrote it." I've been critical of Vista and why to buy for a long time... this release feels nowhere near where we were with XP... I knew in November it was going to slip... with XP far less features and yet %50 of the people I knew had it on there primary at that point... Feb, March and I still don't know anyone that depends completely on a vista box day in day out.

Three years back this summer I had a neighbor of my parents back in the midwest come up to me all excited about longhorn and he asked me... "so why should I buy it" I blanked... had nothing to say... I still don't... nearly three years later... THATS NOT GOOD!

XP SP3 its not... but why can't they explain that?

Anonymous said...

I think this will sum up the Vista experience.

2000: MSFT is the company who is most hated by its competitors

2006: MSFT is the company who is most hated by its employees.

Any questions?

I hate to say it, but I see a union gaining ground at MSFT. The sole reason being smacktards like the partner with 1.8 Mil going to Italy while everyone else suffers under 2% raises and shitbag management.

That's kind of why unions were founded. Because of sweatshop mentality corporations like MSFT has become.

Anonymous said...

>>Another Question: How come no one is being fired ? Do you think this would happen at Apple ?

>>Apple has a record of shipping their stuff on or ahead of time.

1) Apparently we Mac users have forgotten what a POS 10.0.0 was. [Especially compared to DP4!] And 10.0.1... heck it wasn't until 10.2 (some would say 10.3) that OS X was really usable. The perf! My god! Classic was so much faster for YEARS.

2) MS could learn from Apple on how to ship an OS on time and feature complete:

A- Don't tell anyone when the OS will ship until about 2 months before it hits stores - like at WWDC or at MacWorld.

B- Don't promise anything other than 5 features until about 2 months before.

Of course, that pisses off all the enterprise users, and delights the consumers. Somehow I doubt MS is going to take tat approach.

Anonymous said...

Its different strokes for different people. I wouldn't mind the 2% raise if the work was challenging. Its the feeling of not being able to exploit my full potential that eventually got to me.

Looking back, I think it would have been better to call bs on the feature explosion in windows and repurpose some of those feature teams to the online effort.

Anonymous said...

From the outside, I'm not so sure the leadership as such a responsability... the developpers aren't innocent: they followed every technological hype rather than focusing on the product and end user.

The most prominent example of that is the .Net Framework, designed by developpers for developpers, with only developpers in sight and as aim.

Where was the customer is that design process? How was the arrogance allowed to bubble up so high? How come after so many years, it's still a slow (yes, slow!) piece of software that is full of bugs (yes, it is!)?

Stop following hype, start focusing, fire those hype-driven developpers, and get us some *working* developpers, that'll focus more on serving end-users needs than having fun with bloated code they can neither fix nor optimize into usability.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to give 2 steve jobs quotes though.
"It took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we'd given customers what they said they wanted, we'd have built a computer they'd have been happy with a year after we spoke to them - not something they'd want now."
"Real artists ship"

Vista is ambitious. And that is a good thing, it conforms to the first quote well If you want to do more than a windows me, you need to tell people want they need, vision and innovation need arrogance. Ballmer and Gates seem to be doing this part well at the moment though, well at least aren't failing at it.
It's the second quote that MSFT is having problems with. And that's probably due to management issues. Now Jobs is infamous for giving employees a hard time if they do crap. And apple had really bad management before he came back to the place, it was a chaos of teams who tended to ignore what the guys above them ordered, Jobs brought the place good management and coordination. MSFT does not have this, and so they are stumbling like apple did with copland.

Anonymous said...

i was waiting for an upgrade in the os, but then with all the delays there has been i decided to buy a mac.

the new os will be amazing, but there will be the same "the world is changing", when windows 95 came out.

Anonymous said...

To those saying “stop pointing fingers, suck it up, take personal responsibility” I’ve got two words. F-YOU. And the brain-addled, arthritic goat you rode in on. I have been sucking it up. For five years. I’ve been working my ass off to build a product and I’ve seen GMs, PUMs, VPs and other overpaid zeros walking around with their heads up the asses. No leadership, no decisions, no goals, no hard choices, no accountability. I've watched at least 40 man-years of dev time down the ol’ crapper in my org because of worthless management. Now I spend my days adding SAL annotations, fixing PREF*** bugs, and changing comments in the code so we don’t call some third-world country by a politically incorrect name in some obscure header file that hasn’t had an edit since we were all using SLM. By the time we ship, the damn place will have had another coup and changed its name again, so who cares?

I’m willing to be accountable for my mistakes, but first I want to see some GMs held accountable for theirs. I’ve made lots of mistakes in my career, and I’ve been accountable by making up for them with even more successes. But now every good thing I do is craptulized by someone farther up the management chain. We are working hard, but can’t make a difference because we don’t have any coordination or direction. The managers who should provide that are MIA. Off buying villas in Italy, I guess. So Mr. Just-Suck-It-Up, what do you propose I do? Stage a dev coup and tell my PM team that I’m calling the shots now, so they can forget about those last few DCRs? That should look good on my September review, considering my boss the GM used to be the GPM. Or maybe I should march into Amitabh’s office and tell him I’m firing all his flying-monkeys and bulk resolving their PREFIX bugs. Should I go over to building 9 and tell the Shell team to dump Glass and just go back to the XP shell in the name of shipping?

Pardon me, I need to get back to adding some more ecounts to the code.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster, I can only say you are boring, man...you must be a developer...I've never seen so many acronyms on a single text...try to clarify your thoughts next time, will ya?

And yeah, Mac OS X kicks major ass; BillG should step down and write a few more books on the "road ahead", babbling obvious prophecies to every other nerd reader out there...

Anonymous said...

Is it all hopeless, should we bail now?

When we see co-workers interviewing candidates should grab this college kids by the collar and say "look at me! you can make it, you can survive, there's still time for you to escape!!!" ?

Anonymous said...

Windows Vista: It's Mac OS X minus the "You have to buy our shiny cool hardware" attitude.

I've been self hosting on 5271 and 5308 to evaluate Vista (legally). I've found it fascinating that there is no way for me to file bugs.

That single point I think clearly demonstrates just how poor management of VIsta has become. They've lost touch with the users, not a good thing for management to do.

But the nature and number of bugs I'm finding have disturbed me more than the various management failures.

It has been my observation that good developers with poor management develop good code that doesn't meet customer needs.

With Windows Vista I have mostly found it to be full of inexcusably bad code that doesn't meet customer needs.

In my humble opinion they need to line all the Vista Developers up in a long line down 156th towards Crossroads and walk down the line and dismiss every 10th developer.

After a couple rounds of that I think the code quality would be improved enough to begin working on the failures of management.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft shouldn't waste resources on Palladium / DRM / TCPA in order to spy on customers, the infamous WPA was and is a shame already. Instead, product quality, freedom to let a customer install a copy on all his/her PCs after having bought the license and legally (with businesses paying a more expensive license if they own more than 2-3 PCs that many families have in their houses nowadays) should be the main Microsoft goals.
If Microsoft didn't waste so much money and resources with the DRM locks in order to force customers to pay more and more and control what they do with their PC making Microsoft the new Big Brother over customers, I bet Vista developers and coders would have achieved much better results with no delays.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous commenting on .NET , yes, that's a shame. Sun Java was and is a lame thing already, a pain for any developer to write code on it, worse than C++ on OOP since it supports less OOP than C++ although Java is considered the main OOP choice which is pretty silly, indeed. Then it came Microsoft with its C# thing and .NET to show the world that something worse than Java could have been developed.
ATI drivers already require .NET Framework and over the previous generations pre-.NET ones the memory usage it's over 50MB+ , just to have the control panel up and running... which is pathetic and silly sloppy code.
Very good C++ coders able to optimize with in-line assembly are getting really rare, indeed. .NET is even worse than writing code in Visual Basic, it's sloppy, its memory usage is insane that you can call it a memory leak anyway.

Anonymous said...

Look, as a Microsoft partner I'd like to inject that perspective. We don't care about Vista. We don't care about the delay. Even as a consumer, I stopped caring a long long time ago. We'll start writing software that is focused on Vista when our clients demand it which I expect to happen... never. They all run XP and have no intention of upgrading. Maybe in 2012, when Vista is getting replaced, we'll care. But not now.

And as to the posters talking about Apple or Linux grabbing 50% if they'd just get their strategy right, you're all nuts. The only time I've seen Microsoft respond effectively is when challenged. If there were a credible challenger, Vista would be out and it would be good. The best thing for all of us would be if Apple or the free software herd started getting it right. Because then (and only then) will Microsoft do what it does best and respond to a threat.

Shuttle 999 to oblivion said...

A Rogue's Gallary at Microsoft

Here is a short list of the chief villians and idiots and their sins. They've made MS a much less successful company in the last 10 years.

[1] Steve Balmer - Prancing Public Buffon Antics, Customer Defocus, No Technology Depth - Fire him and get a real President with vision.
[2] Jim Allchin - .Net / Managed Code Fiasco, Longhorn Reset, Longhorn Basics Unfunded Mandates - Fire him and revoke his options before he retires.
[3] Brian Valentine - Ugly WAR Team Tyranny, COSD techno Luditism, Physical Violence & random Furniture tossing - Fire him immediately before he assaults someone.
[4] Will Poole - Open MPAA/RIIA Bedfellow & DRM Moron, Windows Client Lack of Vision, wasteful DMD Codec Wars - Fire him immediately before he dorks something else.
[5] Craig Munde - Billions wasted on WebTV, Tigre Media Servers, UPNP Community Alienation and ineffectual Politicking in WA DC. - Fire him retroactively and get back the BILLIONS he's wasted.
[6] Chris Jones - Semi-talented Wunderkid VP wannabe, an example of good old boy insider promo, Mr. Cut-Cut-Cut if it's not done by 8/05, Oh wait - we're slipping again! - Should be made an IC Program Manager somewhere useless like MSN or RedWest.
[7] Jawad Khaki - Perennial GM/PUM humiliation & Burnout, Random High Priority Demands, Warring with BrianV, Entire Org underleveled and underappreciated - Fire him and get a decent people manager
[8] Longhorn Basics Teams - Random Unfunded Mandates, Arbitrary and last minute Decisions on Quality and Security requirements, destroyed the ability of the product teams to deliver on their planned commitments - Put them in stocks in the village square for and let all the product teams beat them like dogs.
[9] WinSE - Minimial actual development, chronic pushback on produc teams, weekly security cluster fucks, nastiest possible working environment at WAR teams. - Fire them all and outsource Sustaining Engineering to actual engineers (in India or wherever).


I'm sure you can add to this list of rogue and also add to their voluminous sins. The real problem is that "partner" class players at Microsoft are "made men" and are not launched when they do major damage. Instead, they are just moved so they can do more of the same.

Lou Giliberto said...

Something happened around XP - not sure what, but it's like the whole company got castrated or de-uterized.

It's like Metallica. They used to rock \m/ Then they got rich, lost their angst, and now play contrived pop with distortion. Worse, they show up at music awards dressed like Hawaiian pimps instead of in jeans and T-shirts.

We at MSFT are like Metallica. We used to do Kill 'Em All and Master of Puppets, and now we're doing Reload and St. Anger.

The question is: once you release something like St. Anger, how do you go back to Ride the Lightning?

Yes, there are deep philosophical insights in speed metal. When we think about what needs to be done to "keep it real" as they say in the 'hood, the answer lies before us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am going to italy this fall, and while I am there will decide what I am going to do with the rest of my life. I honestly am not sure if I want to come back to Microsoft and be surrounded by a whining bunch of pathetic coders like you. Hard to say.

How come I have the distinct impression this is a 20-something anti-MSFT geek sitting in his parents' house at his cheetos-stained keyboard killing time trolling here while fresh pr0n is downloading?

Even Carly took the money and slithered away quietly. No big-money employee is stupid enough to post this kind of crap.

Step off, bitch. There's enough problems without your imaginary ones.

Anonymous said...

Has Microsoft finally turned into the IBM it once feared so much ?

Anonymous said...

Heh... "exactly" on the IBM observation. The whole internal MS scene is now mired with scummy development process, 40-hour a week labor and fat-cat executives presiding over a bloated cash cow monopoly on auto-pilot that is Windows.

The only difference between IBM and Microsoft is IBM has great marketing and closely allied corporate IT support.

Microsoft has, well, MSN.

Oh yeah, and free pop, still. LOL

Anonymous said...

Simple, Use Linux !
Yeah ! Here im Msft !
I'm disappointed with the company who work... Fire Ballmer !

Anonymous said...

Like the MasterCard commercial says:
Priceless. This has been a hoot.

A few comments:

I hear alot of talk about Apple vs. MS and how customer will switch and to some respects this may or may not be true. If you are a MS lover, you will always go with MS no matter what crap comes out of it (i.e. VISTA). And if you are a die hard APPLE fan, you are just loyal. That how they survived for so many years. However, there is a 3rd category of people which I suspect are many. They are people like myself who are current MS users, who don't really care about all the flash in the OS, who just want something stable and runs fairly quickly and does not bog down system resources, who are waiting to upgrade from my 5 y/o pc and who has been looking at APPLE lately. Now, I have been waiting to upgrade for a while now and have been waiting for VISTA to push out the door so I could buy a new DELL with VISTA on it. However, with another setup and delay it makes me wonder what the heck is going on and will probably move over to APPLE because waiting another full year to uprade is not something I want to do. It is this 3rd category which MS needs to worry about b/c I suspect there are many people like myself.

VISTA has been pushed back so many times and scaled down so many times, people are all wondering and when it is finally delivered during sometime in 2007, will it actually work ?

It is really sad when even people within MS cannot come up with a handful of reason why people should shell out their hard earned money for VISTA. That really instills alot of confidence in people. Alll I been hearing is that it looks pretty but according to some comments here that may not be true because it is such aresource hog that those pretty looks may need to be turned off unless I am willing to shell out more dollars for a PC that resembles something a gamer would use.

Why is it so hard to do? I just want a simple pc that does email, surf the net without being attacked and infected with junk, and works well with my other gadgets (digital camera, MP3 player and others) and does not crash.

People at work are BOUND to use Vista, since the Enterprise will be getting copies earlier than consumers. Once they see how much better it is than Vista, they'll wait until January to buy the consumer version.

So take a chill pill...

Are you smoking something ? Releasing to the enterprise and forcing people to use it will probably do more harm then anything. People will see how slow it is, how much of a resource hog it is and see it crash all the time. Oh Yes, you are right, I will immediately stand in line in the middle of the night like a freaking loser and shell out my hard earned money for your crap.

An yes, delaying it to the public will really make a corporate IT manager confident that VISTA is ready to go live. Any IT manager with a brain cell or two will wonder what the s*** is going on.

Hey, the good news for all you MS folks is that there will be another REORG so someone can boss you around and F*** You like the other moron.

And lastly, rather MS will collapse or not is still up in the air. And more likely it will not but morphed into something else... maybe. But lets face it, all this stuff is making everyone (your competitors) laugh their ass off and realizing that your execs are doing all the hard work for them by F***ing everything up. All your competitors (which are many) have to do is chip away another inch or two.

Anonymous said...

I've been "with" Microsoft as a consumer since DOS 3.11, following dutifully and coming to know what it is to "Love Microsoft". I've gobbled up each revision of DOS, then Windows, as Microsoft has accumulated and grown. I used to laugh at my Macintosh friends, pointing out that the programs for sale for Mac aren't anywhere near the numbers available for Microsoft's Windows. I've watched as Microsoft went from Windows 1.0 to Windows 3.11, yonder up through all the intervening iterations, until Microsoft reached Windows 2000. That's when my love affair really broke with Microsoft. Windows 2000 seems to be where most of the real innovation was spent and where it sits today. I am using Windows XP SP2 with all the patches - but it's still just Windows 2000 underneath with "Insane Clown Paint" covering it up.

I sort of knew that Microsoft was heading down the alley of "Make it simple and dammit, Make it Pretty!" and as I saw screenshots of Windows Vista and learned more about it I found something unusual unfolding in my mind - not the usual geeked-out-it's-so-cool-lets-try-it-now
feelings I've had before when it comes to Microsoft's products but rather an active and growing interest in Macintosh OS X.

I sit here today, I've applied for the public beta to try out Vista, but I don't really care - not deep deep down. I suppose it's because when I saw the 'shots from Vista, they looked frighteningly like a half-hearted attempt to crib off of OS X.

So where do I sit, as a consumer, now? I've no interest in Vista - I'll probably play around with it some as I'll get corporate/enterprise copies at work eventually but this Q4 holiday season - I'll most likely be buying a Mac, moving all my stuff to that and using my venerable Dell Dimension Windows XP box to do the sparing few things that XP can do... namely, NCSoft's City of Heroes. That a game is the only thing keeping me attached to Microsoft and loyal as a customer might be one of those "early warning signs" like when an entire species of frog suddenly goes extinct... :)

Anonymous said...

My company (400+ PCs) just finished migrating to Win XP fully at the end of last year. I don't see another OS migration until 3-4 years down the road.

And seriously if given the choice I don't think we even need to upgrade. It's only because Microsoft ended support for Win 98 that we were forced to upgrade. In the end all the users still use their PCs for simple word processing and presentations. So tell me again why we need Vista or for that matter bloated Win XP?

I feel that Vista should just be released as is (not that I will buy it). There is no guarantee with its super gigantic code base that it will be bug free on release and besides which final release of Windows has been? Microsoft should follow Google and just release their software as a beta version because even their final builds are usually a glorified beta.

In fact, even though I've been a Windows user since Win 3.1, I'm seriously considering a Mac just because its almost a PC now and it has OSX and Safari (worlds better than IE). And Apple actually gives a hoot about customer feedback.

I think Microsoft definitely has become complacent and is now resting on it laurels. Besides it's too big a company to move quickly should the industry change suddenly.

Anonymous said...

Any great volume management, which is usable for end users, is missing since 20 years. The Amiga had a great volume management in 1985, it was one of the reasons the Amiga had such a large fanatic community. Microsoft does not have a usable volume management - up to today. A:-Z: just sucks!
I would not call Microsoft a "fast follower". It is anything but fast, Microsoft is a lame tiger.

Anonymous said...

My company (400+ PCs) just finished migrating to Win XP fully at the end of last year. I don't see another OS migration until 3-4 years down the road.

Yes, other then your multinationals most places of employment are like yours... small and does not have the resources. And most are not going to go through another migration just because MS says VISTA is ready (NOT, otherwise there would not be another delay) and its cool.

Cheopys said...

Has Microsoft finally turned into the IBM it once feared so much ?

That happened between 1989 and 1992.

:thumbup: to the guy writing about adding SAL annotations while Rome burns


Anonymous said...

Are you a Microsoftie wondering whether VP Chris Jones will follow through his commitment not to take any bonus if the 8/31/06 RTM date was missed?

Just drop by Chris' internal blog for the answer...

Anonymous said...

A Mac developer's perspective.

Disclaimer: I'm no MBU member, nor a MS employee. I work for another multinational, competing MS on one or two fronts only. Not Apple.

I can't comment on the code or process behind developing Vista but, while I thought it was funny for a while so see features and release dates being dropped from LH/Vista, now I see it some other way.

I dont want to put down any of MS individual developers but other than some notable exceptions, MS products have been alike unripe swiss cheese for a long period of time.

To me, this time around, it feels like MS has finally decided to add more milk to the mixture and not release a buggy product wich, in the end (we all hope) will be more stable and reliable.

Yeah. That spells missed opportunity and longer adoption time but in the end, aren't you folks a little happier to release a product you can be proud of?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused at the comments questioning where the customer interaction was when the .NET framework was being designed.

Um, why would you ask the end consumer of Windows what features they wanted in a programming language and API?

Anonymous said...

As a customer I have to say I'm deeply worried about being forced to upgrade to this "dog" of a product! My major concern is that due to the "automated code scanning for bugs" described here, that this new product will be FULL of holes for years, and all us users will have even more security issues than today. I for one will never trust an MS OS again...and reading stuff here just confirms my belief!

My prediction: Linux will grab server share (either redhat or suse or both) and Apple will grab desktop share, unless you guys get back to basics and write bullit proof code.

Us users would prefer a basic secure OS, that is immune to attack, rather than a bloated POS with loads of bells and whistles, but has the security strength of a paper bag!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sending this from vista 5346. I now believe Vista is going to surprise the bejesus out of people. In a good way.

I was not in Windows for other releases. I wonder what has changed. In the past the Windows team seemed more focused and definite about what they were doing. I remember coming to get a bug fixed in XP & those guys were animals. Now the animals all seem like pussies.

Anonymous said...

This is great! Next time my clients ask why I missed my deadline, I can just say, "Hey, Microsoft has BILLIONS, and they can't meet their ship dates! Why are you holding me to be held to a higher standard?"

Of course, since I'm not a monopoly, I'll probably be fired.

Anonymous said...

Fire them all and outsource Sustaining Engineering to actual engineers (in India or wherever).

That work is already being outsourced to India - those guys are fucking it up even worse than the Redmond employees in 28. You're already getting your wish, and the screwups that go along w/ it.

Anonymous said...

What do you think is the best group to be in for a new hire?

A startup company would be a good choice.

In a smaller company, you know what your contribution is worth.

I can't echo that enough. Five years within the Windows group immediately after college was devistating! I came away doubting my self-worth, doubting my technical skills and wondering if I should go work for McDonalds or just slip into a suicidal depression.

I threw an amazingly crappy resume around for a couple weeks and was awakened by the amazed reactions on the faces of interviewers at startups when I demonstrated that I really knew my stuff.

I quickly found a great job at a startup with co-workers who are very cooperative, friendly, and encouraging. The money is better, the environment is better, the hours are better...why the hell did I ever work at Microsoft?

(Oh, and I know a few hiring managers who find it refreshing to see a resume that does not contain MSFT experience. In Seattle, it seems that everyone has done a stint there.)

Anonymous said...

>Linux is infinitely better than the Windows junk.

Who 'da Punk, I don't mind the vitriol (heck, even the the dev-test-pm flamewar was interesting in it's own way), but can't you make some effort to clean up the posts with nothing intelligent to say?

Anonymous said...

Mini, get off your lazy behind and start moderating this blog again. And while you are at it, expunge all these idiots. Yes Apple will grow a whole percent to 4% of the market with Vista delay. Microsoft will shrink to 94%. Now you morons go back to slashdot

Bill Gates said...

Mini, Or do I call you by your real name John Vista. This is your boss Bill, your fired

Mitch said...


Re Explaining Vista to my Mom – easy, hey Mom you can get to your files with fewer mouse clicks than with XP2. The shortcut navigation in the address bar alone is worth the upgrade. As with any OS, the easier it is to navigate the file system (a core feature) the better.

Re: Office 12 – who will buy? All those people frustrated with the 32 toolbars in Office 2003.

Re: Delay in Vista. The reality is that software development is a non-predictable and non-repeatable process. As soon as everyone admits it, maybe we will become more realistic about ships dates and more importantly help industrialize the software industry in devising ways to build and customize products that don’t take years to do. MS providing 7 different UI technologies alone is not helping. Consolidate and simplify, then maybe the ship date won’t slip.

Anonymous said...

Quit crying and just get linux!

Fedora Core released version 5 on March 20. It was developed at a cost of...zero. To get it to install on your computer costs...zero.

It just works. It does not, however, do many XP standards, such as BSOD, virus and spyware.

Anonymous said...

The money is better, the environment is better, the hours are better...why the hell did I ever work at Microsoft?

*cough*Big fish, small pond.*cough*

Between the internal training (live and canned), the library services (Quick quiz, how many of the people here have visited the MS library?), the external training budget, the tuition assistance program (want your M.S. paid for by MS?), the live & on-demand seminars from the EE and research guys, the ability to play with every MS product ever made, the free certifications, and so forth, this is about the best damned place to prep for the rest of your career that there is, whether that career is at MS or not. That's why you should've come here after college.

Anonymous said...

Some of my old buddies at a startup company just went back to MS to start a health related group. They're operating the dev group like a startup (minimal process, heads down dev). If you're a current softee and are looking for a starup environment and good leadership and not ready to move out of the empire, check out the health strategy group. If not for the fact that I am now working in a non-profit, I'd join them in a heartbeat.

Nick P said...

>>A boatload of SA plans expire 12/31/2006. Many of these accounts purchased SA under duress, BUT were promised that LH would come out in their 3 yr window.

IF we do not deliver them bits before the end of this year and fulfill our wink-wink SA commitments made by the field, we are toast.<<

And this is why I've never bought into SA; double the money on the promise that something MIGHT get released before it runs out and that something MIGHT be worth the additional outlay.

Getting it out to business in November is just a crappy way of dodging the SA bullet at the expense of the businesses that were promised a revolutionary product. What are they going to get? NT5.2. I really feel for the MS posters here who obviously deeply care about what they do, and are just as obviously deeply disillusioned and wounded by the organisational paralysis that's gripping their division, but I can't see us bumping to Vista any time soon. There's just no point. To borrow from Gertrude Stein "The trouble with Vista is that when you get there, there isnt any there there."

Anonymous said...

How much more will it slip?

At my office, we have a betting pool on the Vista slips.

Nobody was willing to bet against this slip.

Almost everyone expects one more slip.

I am betting that it will slip at least two more times before it ships.

A half-month slip with how many months remaining? This is just the warning shot to manufacturers to not count on you. From here on, the slips just get easier.

Anonymous said...

I dont work for microsoft, I'm a comp science student. But the way you guys are moaning about MS you'd think it was the red cross. MS doesn't give a damn about innovation or its employees. All it cares about is maintaining its monopoly. The company has used dirty tactics from the start.

The only good products MS has ever released (and they are not even that "good") are XP and Office.

Windows Vista is a pile of crap. It forces people with perfectly good LCDs to buy new ones in order to play "protected" content. You will need a whole host of DRM compatible hardware. Lets not even discuss the massive amount of memory vista needs in order to run smoothly. I think an accurate description of Vista is XP with a couple of extra features and a Mac OS X like gui. They can delay it until the year 3000 for all I care. XP works just fine.

Anonymous said...

Sinofski might be able to make some order here.

Back when I was a Microsoftie a while ago, I attended a management course where Sinofski was presenting.

Amongst other very insightful comments on how to run a big software project was:
"If you have to slip, dont slip by a few days. It will not help. Bite the bullet, slip by a few months and then stick to your schedule"

I believe this is true.

This was obviously not applied by the current Windows Management.
And therefore, they will fail again at meeting the new deadline.
I guess once Sinofski gets the grasp of what is hapenning there, he will republish a new schedule.

Anonymous said...

It's very simple... the quickest way to get something out the door is to build a proprietary windows desktop ON TOP OF a BSD/GNU underbelly... with your own custom win32 compatibility libraries to run existing wincode on... come on guys... you know it makes sense...

Anonymous said...

This is just my observation. Nothing more.
Disclaimer: I'm a retired old fart. I use a Mac at home. I don't code, and I wouldn't even call me a power user. In addition to my Macs (2, networked) I have an old IBM laptop and a Dell (for special apps that I run every now and then)

Since January of last year, I've had some interesting calls:

Friend 1. Retired photo-in-annual-report senior Wall Street executive . Bought a Mac. Had some problems. Apple store was great to him. THEY insisted they replace his machine with a new one (there was nothing wrong with the first one, BTW). I've been helping him learn OS X. His biggest problem has been learning how to do things easier than he could with his Dell/Windows machine, which is now in his basement for his grandkids to play with. Hasn't called for help now in a couple of months.

Friend 2. Analyst for custom Windows-based clients. Codes, too. Bought his daughter an eMac last year. Calls me for advice now and then. Last month he informed me that his next computer (for personal use) will be an iMac. Keeps his peecee for work.

Daughter. Always used Windows-based PCs. Professional potter. She took my old Power Computing 180 under OS 8.6 and is using it for about half her apps now. Next replacement for her machine will be an iMac.

Son. Senior exec at a cable TV and internet firm. Heavy Dell user. Very knowledgable. Intends to move his 2 daughters to Mac laptops, and probably his own home computer as well within the next 2 years.

I don't see any movement at all in the corporate world from Windows to Macs, so you guys will always have jobs at MS. There's just too much money already spent for hardware and software, and too few Mac-savvy people to even partially staff IT departments. I DO see individuals moving to Macs and OS X at home. Lots of people.

I'm no Apple apologist. I prefer Firefox to Safari, Now up-to-date over the OS X Calendar, and Eudora over Apple's mail program. My Office 2000 runs fine here and I use it all the time.

So maybe Apple can pick up a good share of the consumer market. It's just a drop in the bucket, after all, and most home users aren't all that anxious to upgrade their OS anyway. One of my Macs is running 10.2.9 and the other 10.3.9. Maybe I'll upgrade to 10.5, and maybe I won't.

So I don't see any problem with getting Vista out to the masses a couple of months late. Those who want to will wait, and most of them won't even bother.

Sleep easy.

Anonymous said...

The problem starts with the top.

Billg - what experience does he have leading an organization of this size and complexity? NONE. Now this is not to say he isn't a genius, he absolutley is. But not wrt the problems MS is now facing. He should retire as CSA and focus all his energy, intellect and standing in the world community to solve aids or something on that magnitude.

Steveb - what experience does he have leading an organization of this size and complexity? NONE. I've seen Steve's antics - he's a big child who has no business running a business like this. We need someone like a Jack Welch - a REAL LEADER who understands MANAGEMENT to transform MS.

L68+ Partners - for the most part follow Bill and Steve's lead. Garbage in, garbage out. Time to house clean big time at this level - it wreaks of MANAGEMENT INCOMPETENCE. And when you look at what these guys are making vs. the rest of us - truly unbelievable.

The best thing that could happen for MS shareholders - break the company up, put an experienced leader at management (which pretty much excludes most with MS now) in charge of each and watch them go. My guess is half would fail. Sure, the monopoly would be broken, but its already broken and heading down fast. The annuity type nature of our P&L is just masking the real problem, but it will eventually be seen there too which means nothing but a slow downward death to the stock price.

Chances of this happening? Next to zero. Time to leave I guess.

How depressing.

Anonymous said...

Linux is nice, until you've got to update the monitor or wanna run wireless or something else. Then you gotta do a lot of tweaking. I was a linux user for years from slackware to fc4 to suse 10.0 and have yet to find one that does everything I need. And I got sick of it and just this week took my work pc from linux to win2k. At home i've got a linux and 2 macs for myself and pcs with xp for the kids. It does seem xp has stableized and i'm not reinstalling everyother week like I was.
As for vista, a big who cares. Having been involved in many man large developemnt projects I can tell you now that it won't matter when it ships. It also won't catch in till it's been out in the field for a year or so. Do you think Dell is going to force customers to vista? Never happen. They will offer a choice, winxp or vista. How many will take vista? Corporate won't byte into it for a least a year and then only if it's cost justified. How much extra will it cost? Take into consideration new large hardware, new software, training, an last but not least support.
I won;t get the kids upgraded to vista for several years or until xp comes off the market. Myself - macosx.
It works, no fuss no muss.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with previous post on it starts at the top.

I left MS precisely because the anitcs required to be "successful" were so absurd - completely disconnected from any reality of delivering true value and business results. MS has no clue how to do this.

I'm now in a CXO position at a company that actually delivers real value, on time and to the delight of thier customers. And I now feel good about what I do again.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people have become partners with Microsoft just for the sake of getting a break. How long doses one have to wait to relase a product if you have had a pre-release partnership with MS ? hmmmm .Good question no answer . I hope MS knows.

MS, get real Apple and Linux will be the market leaders if you do this. Dont defeat your partners. MS parnership will be as bad as the disease MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

Anonymous said...

This thread may have jumped the shark some time ago, but I'll just add one or two more horse flogs myself, just because.
Summary of threads thus far:
-Vista's not ready
-much of middle and upper Mgmt at MS sucks
-Vista sucks resources
-Working for a large bureaucratic monolithic company sucks.
-Mini's premise of the lean and mean applies directly to this fustercluck. Talk about vindication. OOOeeee Jethro. Let's boot some overpaid,underperforming exec dead-weight out the door.

Did I miss anything?
Lots, but enough of the kvetching already. Get out or get fired up to make changes in your sphere of influence.
Don't complain (like we all do) about stupid boss tricks; you cannot change the 'ineffectual middle mgmt suck-ups' (tribute to 'Almost Live') who will end up in the upper echelons of a large corp food-chain. You can only compete with them - and to do so, you must dive into the manure pit they own.
Don't complain about some loud-mouth sales hack who's now in charge of the company. He got there because he's a friend of Mr Rich. He'll stay because Mr Rich has been out of touch with reality for yrs (to be fair, you would be too, if you had a phalanx of minions who lied to you about what was really going on)
Don't complain, it only makes you sound like a Monty Python sketch and no one will listen to you anyway. Nothing's wrong. Just keep moving. Don't look at the camera. Just keep going, like you're fighting...
Until real leaders ascend to positions of influence, the slow inexorable wheel will continue to grind. Don't get in its way without a backup plan, or you'll get a career owiee.

My backup plan is working well, thank you.

Do I miss not working at MS anymore?
Uhm, yeah, I miss it like I'd miss barbed-wire boxer shorts.

Should I feel bad for leaving when it got tough?
Oh yeah, real bad. Ohh the guilt.

Lessee how life stacks up post MS 1) I make more money now.(More than enough to compensate for the difference in benefits, and I don't think I'll need that gender-bender benefit anyway)
2) I work far fewer hours. (Still not 40hrs/wk, but does that even exist anymore outside of union ruined shops?)
3) My kids actually don't have to be re-introduced to me each wknd.
4) I don't look like something out of a George Romero movie anymore.
5) I remembered how to smile again. (My wife was the first to notice that. )
6) Did I mention I make more money? ( For shame, I'm such a materialist. I should be back there in the trenches making life better for ...
Uhh, help me out here...C'mon guys, there's someone out there who's life will be better when Vista-to-be-repackaged-or-renamed eventually gets pushed out the door...C'mon, someone? Buehhler?
Oh yeah, that's right, I DO make life better for some people; they're called patients. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the healthcare industry is happy with Unix, and other working, stable Windows platforms and has no plans whatsoever to ever bother with Longwait/Vista/4th-and-long.

Would I ever come back? Uhm yeah. In a minute.
Hey! What are you doing with that net? Hey! That's not my jacket!! These sleeves are way too long. No, thanks, but I've had my shots. Gee that's a big needle......


Anonymous said...

Hmm ... very interesting Blog. Interesting, though not completely surprising, to hear that there's so much trouble within Microsoft.

I haven't been following Vista real close until recently but it's beginning to look like XP will be around for some time yet. That's fine with me - XP has turned out to be a solid, competent platform as far as I'm concerned.

Some of you guys at M$ complaining about the test environment and sizing down the test group. I hear ya. At our company we have the same kind of problem though not on nearly as large a product as Windows. It's pretty obvious from some of the reading I've been doing (not just here) that the whole software industry is under great stress. Sometimes I wonder when the house-of-cards will collapse. Seems like a correction of some kind is way overdue.

Will "Vista" ever ship? Yeah, probably ... but if most are like me I haven't seen anything compelling enough in the writeups about it to suggest that it would offer me anything I need - at all. I've been so pleased with XP, quite honestly, it would take something monumental to get me to want to replace it. Why rock the boat ... it works too well!

I've been in this since the late 70's. I was developing device-driver code for DOS 2.x (that's how old I am). I don't think I've seen a situation quite like this before - where it simply looks like upgrading will stop for awhile. Works for me ... I don't use the full capabilities of what we already have. I suspect that most don't.

Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how many of you noticed, but it has now been confirmed that Sniofsky will take over Windows.

Here's his title on the executives bio page:

Steven Sinofsky
Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering


Anonymous said...

One poosible solution, since just getting a Mac is impractical, is for MS to sell its self to Apple. End of problem :)

Cheopys said...

Delete your Windows!!

Get ready for the real OS!

Get Linux now!!

sophomoric stylistics aside, Windows is extremely vulnerable to Linux right now. And this slippage could arouse some new interest. No, not enough to make Windows extinct but enough to take away its profitable edge.

The only thing standing in the way of Linux adoption by more people is obscurity. ONE good exposure would get millions on board because the fact of the matter is that it is as easy to install and use as XP, unless you choose some outlying distro whose developers are still battling Microsoft instead of writing something anyone can use.

Xandros Linux does better hardware detection that Windows and does Workgroups (preferred over domains by home users) MUCH better than Windows ever has.

Mandriva Linux has an installer as easy to use as Windows', you can hit Enter a bunch of times and get a working system on a huge variety of hardware.

You can install any one of dozens of user-friendly distros on a laptop and everything will work, and that includes built-in WiFi NICs.

Linux is no longer for hackers and developers exclusively, many mature distros are easy as hell to use and install.

Only Linux' obscurity is hindering its acceptance. I run a half-dozen different distros on a variety of hardware and I have never had to "recompile the kernel."

Anonymous said...

Looks like they did a restructuring!

Microsoft Announces Major Restructuring to Compete Against Google

Bjorn said...

Don't get all upset, the next release of Ubuntu was delayed too. Well, six weeks, not two years. Guess we'll miss all those April s/sales/downloads/.

Anonymous said...

I hope in this restructuring that Larry Cohen and Tom Pilla are on the list to be fired.

Anonymous said...

"As such, they exhibit a level of distain for this Microsoft that can be described as nothing less than hatred. "

Good point. I often wonder if people in MS appreciate the incredible public hatred of their company. I've worked in IT for almost fifteen years, most of it with MS technology, and I can tell you one thing - I utterly loathe MS, and basically want it to collapse as quickly as possible. I'm delighted to see Vista late, and hope it never comes out. I don't know a single person who doesn't hate Microsoft. The chances of me ever actually paying a cent out of my pocket for any MS product, no matter how good, are zero. Irrational? Sure it is.

People choose MS because they have no other choice, or think they don't. The instant they feel like they do, MS is going down.

You may think I'm a fanboy or a zealot, but I'm not really, honest. I rarely feel this way about a corporation - the only one I can think of might be SCO, but that's fairly recently. But after all the shit over the last 15 years, I just want MS gone, and I think MS employees would be amazed if they realised how prevalent that sentiment actually is. So please, take your sweet time with Vista. No-one I know could care less.

Anonymous said...

"It's very simple... the quickest way to get something out the door is to build a proprietary windows desktop ON TOP OF a BSD/GNU underbelly... with your own custom win32 compatibility libraries to run existing wincode on... come on guys... you know it makes sense..."

It certainly seems like a logical step on the surface. In fact, I've looked all over for a whitepaper from someone (anyone?) at MS stating why this doesn't make sense. So far, nothing. Anyone from MS have any relevant insight?

Anonymous said...

Just heard on the radio that Microsoft is doing a major re-org of their Windows Division. Hmmm, bad moral, a major re-org. Let's see, I predict two more major re-orgs, before the Windows Division get's spun out as a seperate company.

Anonymous said...

I can see why they want to tap Sinofsky to run Windows since Office has built a track record of shipping on schedule.

But my big question is who is going to run Office with Sinofsky leaving? It still has some time before it ships.

Anonymous said...

Re-arranging a few deck chairs on the Titanic is not a 'major re-org'

Most of the ineffectual middle mgmt suckups - dude, that was hilarious, thanks - will still be in place, and the big jar of vaseline will still be needed. Little will change for the rank and file, other than many more want to leave but they won't be allowed to interview with other internal groups. Go ask someone in one of those groups that just had another RIF. They were working 14 hr days before their team was halved. Now what? Surprise, surprise, surprise, it's now a VERY good time to be a recruiter for other companies in the area.

Anonymous said...

I've been running Mac OS X since 10.0 and various versions of Linux as my desktops, and have only recently built an XP partition (last version of Windows I had was NT4) to play games with. What I've noticed with XP:

* More stable than 95/98 (I've had to do family Windows support until I migrated them to OS X)
* Still has weird, indecipherable error dialogs as well as strange interaction with peripherals
* Making BSODs reboot by default was a bit of a copout
* Dealing with software is tedious, OS X drag-n-drop into the applications folder is much nicer
* OS X comes with _great_ free tools, all really well-integrated. iCal is much nicer than anything that comes with XP out of the box, and is better than Outlook XP for what I need it for.

A few other observations from the sidelines:

* Perhaps XP at the OS level is as secure as, say, Linux or OS X. However, the whole scripting "virus" thing is a _massive_, _self-inflicted_ wound caused by aggressive late-term featuritis. I remember when the "email virus" was a hoax!
* XP is definitely easier to live with day-to-day than even the best Linux desktop. However, this is more a problem of Linux developer iconoclasm and distro politics (try playing MP3s in Ubuntu!) and if the Linux horde could get their act together (say, KDE + Ubuntu's installer and device support + Gentoo's package management and lack of politics) things could change quickly
* OpenOffice is as good as Office97, and Office97 is as much as most people need.
* All Apple need do IMHO is release a DirectX porting framework and sell PCIe 1x 'dongles' to let people build their own OS X clones to start seriously encroaching on XP/Vista.

Druidictus said...

Vista will sell to public, but personally I can't see much potential in the business market straight off. It wont fail as a product in the long run and that's what counts for the stayers.

Just consider MS has no real competition. So have a bit of faith. Bugs will be ironed out. People will upgrade their systems in time, as well.

I agree that MS needs restructuring after it defines what are the new essentials for the company's R&D and other sectors.

Anonymous said...

Apple has a record of shipping their stuff on or ahead of time. They promised the next version of their OS in this same window of time. Given that Vista is now out of the running for Christmas 2006, all Apple has to do is ship OS X 10.5 in time for Christmas and they will become a very tempting purchase for Christmas, effectively switching people over to OS X over Christmas.

Uh, Apple hasn't released OS X widescale to developers yet, and they typically do this at WWDC, which this year is in early August.

Every OS release Apple's made has meant work for developers. It's the nature of the beast. Point products, QFE, bug fixes, whatever. Stuff Will Get Broken, because software engineering is a complex science. You're huffing Steve Jobs Kool-Aid if you think otherwise.

10.4 was announced and handed to developers as a beta in June of 2004 at THAT WWDC, and RTM'd in March 2005. That's 9 months. August 2006 to Christmas 2006 isn't 9 months (keep in mind that to have available at sale for Xmas season = late November at retail = CDs have to be burned some weeks before, so you're really talking about 2-3 months), and realistically it's not enough time to:

a: get developer/beta tester feedback on the quality of your OS and make necessary changes (because they WILL be necessary, it will shock you to hear this, but Apple doesn't write bug-free code any more than MS does),
b: integrate any changes you need to make as a result of your own testing,
c: get adequate final testing of a golden master that incorporates things you did in a and b.
d: manufacture cds, stuff them in packaging, and all the minutiae you have to do to ship an OS release.

So...all the Apple zealots here, please put down your Kool-Aid and realize the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field can do a lot of things, but it ain't gonna give you Leopard before early 2007 (say...March/April).

As to why Vista's a trainwreck? I think it's API and Feature-itis. The alphabet soup of hardware requirements + reluctance to ditch things (why is PS/2 still on mobos, really?) + the mess of RPC/MAPI/COM/OLE/OLEDB/VB/VB.NET/.NET 1.0/.NET 1.1/DTC/COM+/WPF/WPF-E/Windows Forms/etc. 86 different technologies to do the Exact. Same. Thing., all of which become their own unique source of bugs and security holes, making matrices completely impossible to test adequately (and add to that the insistence that the Magical Automation Fairy, immense gates that stop code checkins and burden people with process, and outsourcing to India and Beijing will solve all our testing problems).

The bottom line is there needs to be some clean breaks with the past at some point- more emphasis on making Windows more modular/less interdependent, more agile (hint: quality IS a feature, and letting bugs back up until beta is part of the problem). That, and widespread sackings of managers responsible for the trainwreck wouldn't hurt either (at Steve Jobs put it: "What did you use to do here?"). The goal should be that MS should be able to produce a release every 18-24 months that's high quality, with some compelling features, and there should be a reasonable expectation that the daily builds are completely usable for everyday work (yes, there will be occasional exceptions...which should be LIMITED). Processes that get in the way of that need to go.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an employee just the technical lead at an ISP. The news Vista is slipping is fantastic news to us. We don't want people running out and buying Vista for gifts in November. Because what happens is the recipients load it on their 3-5 year old Windows 2K systems and then when it goes spla and smears their Internet connection they call us ISP's for free tech support, not Microsoft. What
we want is for people to go buy brand new machines with Vista preloaded. Now, what will happen is all the morons who want to give their geeks in the family some kind of technology present, will run out and buy them gift certificates, not boxed Vista. And the geeks will hopefully take their gift certificates to the store in Jan. and buy brand new hardware. I'd be jumping for joy if Microsoft never shipped another new product in the months of Sept.-Dec. ever again.

@ said...

I read this blog regularly and find it very informative. It has a genuine feel to it, and its a good learning experience. My friend uses a Mac while i use a p4 running XP pro. She always makes a comment or two about my machine from time to time, and I tell her that it would be fixed when Vista comes out.

The real reason is that I cannot shift to anything else from Windows. Im locked in and tied down. I need to use Autocad and a few other packages regularly and a machine that doesnt run them is useless for me. The other option is to use two machines but I aint that rich.

I started in college with DOS then 95 etc running autocad and now XP works fine for me. Everytime I boot up my machine, I press Ctrl-Alt-Del and then kill a bunch of apps that are running. Then i clean out the temp folders and run the spyware detector and virus detector. After this my machine is good to go, and I run it for a few days, when it starts to show signs of fatigue, and I shut if off for a few hours. I run Staroffice, Thunderbird, Firefox on this. I try to avoid as many MS apps as I can.

After doing all this, my laptop works fine and I can safely work without nagging worries. I do agree, that XP is a major improvement (I used 95/98/2000 earlier) but still I wish it didnt require so much housecleaning on my part. From what I read, Vista would be worse. Its a sad comedown from the college days when we felt that computers would change the world, make things more logical and efficient. Now I am just happy if things work without crashing.

The worst part is the feeling that I dont have a choice. It also gives me a sinking feeling to know that I cant get my parents a computer of their own since they live in a remote part of India. Giving them a mac would exclude them from the majority of users and probably not run their applications. (Dad is a doctor and he would like his laptop to run the Electro CardioGram software which his hospital uses)and giving them Windows machines would mean, teaching them to boot up, press Ctrl-Alt-Del and go through the entire process each time.

Its not just a business screw up here, the entire computing revolution has been derailed because of this Microsoft monopoly. I also agree, that the initial days, when u could assemble a computer and run a copy of DOS or windows, lead to this revolution and put a PC everywhere. Thanks MS for being part of that, but look at what you are doing now.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what everyone is whining about. The new Fedora Core 5 just shipped with new eye candy. That should hold you over til Fedora Core 7 ships next year. :)

All I can say is thank you Microsoft for being your own worst enemy. It's always funny to watch a bunch of millionaires vying for position of who gets to move the arms of the 800 pound Gorilla while forgetting why they wanted to move the arm in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"You may think I'm a fanboy or a zealot, but I'm not really, honest. I rarely feel this way about a corporation - the only one I can think of might be SCO, but that's fairly recently."

Right. Mini, your filter doesn't seem to be catching the ABM/OSS trash and it's detracting from the overall discussion. To all the ABMers, OSS zealots and MAC fanboys: go back to your YHOO message boards or Slashdot and leave this site to people who actually want to see MSFT improve.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Here's a comment from someone from the outside:

To the point of why buy Vista, I add the following: why buy anything from Microsoft? I generally am disappointed by Microsoft products, but I am locked in by the qwerty phenomenon.
How do I get out? I wish you all would give me a reason to love Microsoft, but I am continually disappointed. Vista is pure chrome. and by that I mean b.s.

all the best!

Phil said...

What the heck does the Iraq war have to do with Vista slipping?

Mini - if that isn't off topic, then I don't know what is. Please delete it!

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous that I dissed 100+ posts ago (if you're still reading): Sorry, I assumed that you had moved into management. Kudos for recognizing that you didn't have it in that area, and staying out. I wish more people did the same (and not just at Microsoft).

The remarks about arrogance still apply, though...

To the guy (of either gender) who was interviewing a potential hire and was asked about this blog: Why are you reading it? No, seriously, why are you? (I'm going to assume that you didn't come here just because of the interviewee's question.) The reason you come here is what you have to either a) discuss with the interviewee or b) avoid at all costs discussing with the interviewee, depending on how honest you want to be.

Finally, I have to agree with the suggestion that Mini start moderating again. Strong opinions are fine in my book (I've got a few of my own that I have shared), but this slashdot-style trolling contributes no signal, just noise.

Anonymous said...

Question: What coporate moron would actual buy VISTA in November knowing that MS has already declare not ready for the masses ??

There are lots of coporate morons just that stupid. It's the olde "Who ever got fired for buying $MAJOR_COMPANY?" syndrome.

Anonymous said...

I installed Linux to revive my desktop pc and must say, it's not yet ready for the average user.
It's much easier than a few years ago, but still not usefull, if you are not willing to invest a lot (!) of time.

I bought a Mac over a year ago and two dozen other people around me did that too. I didn't really believe, i wouldn't need Windows XP anymore. But the Mac does more than Windows ever did. And it's so much easier. No matter what device you plug in. It just works. And it's beautiful. Especially compared to XP or Vista.

I'm really glad the masses of people are considering macs as an alternative here in germany. For a few months now Macs are sold in every bigger electronics store here in germany. They have iMacs, Macbooks and MacMinis on Display and people are crowding around these, wondering why they didn't hear anything of this miracle of an OS of the 21. century before, still struggling with XP.

Anonymous said...


If I'm not mistaken, MS has a program whereby corporate customers can also have some sort of a reduced employee retail purchase program (and no it's not our own MS employees I'm talking about).

I think it would be in the best interests of everyone who works at a company that deploys Vista can purchase the retail version at a much cheaper price.

This scenario is much better than risking a 40% loss to Apple (which I think is a pretty wild estimate in any case).

BTW, I'm part of the Windows Live team. Once Beta testing is finished, and the new services are rolled out, software as a service will become a reality and everyone will forget this Vista slip up.

So have faith, and be positive! Things WILL work out!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree: you don't have a problem. There's no need to fire anyone. It may be frustrating; it may take another five years, but the people at the very top know this simple truth: In financial terms, it doesn't matter. That it won't be more secure? Doesn't matter. That it will be slow? Bloated? Will crash at the slightest hiccup? Doesn't matter.

What matters is this: your customers, the ones at home or the ones buying for a corporation - not your fellow MS, Linux or Mac geeks, but normal people - don't have a clue. They've been left behind, they can barely turn the computer on and check their e-mail. What does WINFS mean to them? Nothing. Less than zero.

People will keep buying your products because they still have no choice and don't know any better: Linux is for hard-core no-life slashdot-reading geeks only; Macs are for people willing to pay thousands of dollars for the trhill of turning their computer on, who bleat on and on about their "fabulous design" while working with their illegally downloaded MS Office...

So shouldn't you relax, comrade? Shouldn't you just let the Socialist Republic of Micro Soft keep on rolling god awful products at exhorbitant profits? Can't you see your politburo has it all under control?

If what's left of your spine itches, here's a sure way of relieving the pain: just rub it with your big fat paycheck.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, lovely. Some people still think Macs are expensive. Well, i don't know what it's like in the us, but in Germany, a Mac costs as much as a comparable pc.

Mattie said...

Macs are no more expensive then a comparable PC (they just don't make crap macs to compete with the very cheep, crap PC's), also Mac users are Statistically Much less likely to Illegally download Anything as compared to PC users.

Anonymous said...

There were:
a) Windows XP SP2 push taking a lot of developers.
b) Itanium thing and MS have to put resources to make windows working for this dead CPU.
Even taking in account old Alpha roots in WinNT - I don't think it was easy task to do.
c) AMD64 thing and MS again have to put resources on it.
d) Windows Server 2003 R2

Everything above made it hard to add new features. MS have to spend their time simply to make things work. Do not blame them for this. Management is not only about making promises happen - but making money from them.

There are problem with Windows in future - Virtualization technologies. Then VMWare come up with their idea on running OS inside another OS - I was thinking about them as crazy.
Now with hardware support from Intel and AMD - OS war will be over (for a while).
Users will be able to start several of them in same time - and all the backward compatibility Microsoft has invested in the past - will have little or no value.
This will allow third-parties to create their own OSes / middleware and MSFT will be no longer monopoly. There is no need to invest so many resources as result. Better to spend them on frameworks and all the business solutions toys.

BTW, nobody mentioned Software Assurance here – Microsoft is making money without releasing any products ;-)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes:
> Re: Office 12 – who will buy? All those people frustrated with the 32 toolbars in Office 2003.

I think that you miss the point; most companies have avoided Office 2003 like the plague. So in effect the sell for Office 12 is: "it's as good as the version you're using now!". Great.

Cheopys said...

Agreed on restoring moderation, this comment section is filling up with Mac enthusiasts and it's tiresome. I posted about Linux but I tried to make it germane, my apologies if I failed in that, but the Mac posts mostly aren;t even trying.

BTW I've bought three of them over the years, have never been able to enjoy using them. What I disliked about OSX pretty much matches what I dislike about Vista. In both cases the eye candy makes me feel like I'm running a Playskool product.

And the goofy posts here ... please, no more

Anonymous said...

An outside view:

Man...what a bunch of whiners!

Work there and support decisions or go elsewhere. No guns are being held to heads.


The company is not just a reflection of management...it's a reflection of all of you too.

Anonymous said...

On another message board:

"Feb 15th:

"We are heads down to ship this year, and all of our partners, the retailers, our hardware vendors, will tell you if we're not in stores before Thanksgiving, in the U.S., anyway, that's not a good thing," Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said in an interview at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Which by last Thursday became:

[Ballmer - with apparently some selective amnesia] "I think we've said we would finish Vista during this calendar year. We have a step coming up here in the not-too-distant future of a very large-scale beta release, and we're heads down working on those things."

Which by Tuesday this week (after the markets closed and hours after the "good news" Xbox supply press release just happened to go out) became oops we missed the ship date, are delayed until next year but it's no big deal."

Yikes, doesn't say much for the value we supposedly place on honesty does it?

Anonymous said...

Is this accurate?:

60% Of Windows Vista Code To Be Rewritten

If so, Ballmer should resign.

Anonymous said...

Is this accurate?:

60% of VISTA need to be rewritten...

Not sure but seems a bit much. I am sure things need to be tweaked but 60% seems a bit high. But I did like th article commenting about pulling programmers from the "highly successful XBOX" unit. Now that was a laugh.

Anonymous said...

The vulnerability was confirmed on a fully patched system with IE 6.0 and Microsoft Windows XP SP2. It has also been confirmed in IE 7 Beta 2 Preview, Secunia said.


Yes, everything is ok and everything is mroe secure....

Anonymous said...

MS WORD with an injection of AJAX

Check it out:



Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Abram said...

Apple could make history right now. Lisense OS X Panther to Dell, leave Tiger for the Macs. Have Dell sell Panther boxes, advertising that Panther is still better than XP and even more secure than Vista would have been. Offer a dual-boot option for running legacy Windows apps and games on these boxes. There is no way Microsoft would stop selling Windows to Dell because Dell is such an important customer. Dell would also have a "Mac" section with either links to the Apple Store or rebadged Macs, "Mac Mini + Dell", similar to the way HP sold iPods.

Anonymous said...


OS X is relevant to a discussion of Vista.

I'm sure mid-nineties Lexus engineers spent a lot of time discussing BMW and Mercedes, and I'm sure the creators of The Sopranos spent some time re-watching Goodfellas. Regardless of your personal views on the subject, the fact remains that Windows in its totality has a great deal to do with work done in Cupertino over the years, and the customer features that Apple benefits from are more than coincidentally related to the features Microsoft wants for Vista.

The "incidental" fact that you don't like Macs and "have never been able to enjoy using them" is your affair, but it makes you unusual, and you should have the temerity to acknowledge that this ideosyncracy effectively disqualifies you from judging which OS should be talked about in relation to Vista.

Cheopys said...

OS X is relevant to a discussion of Vista.

I'm sure mid-nineties Lexus engineers spent a lot of time discussing BMW and Mercedes, and I'm sure the creators of The Sopranos spent some time re-watching Goodfellas. Regardless of your personal views on the subject, the fact remains that Windows in its totality has a great deal to do with work done in Cupertino over the years, and the customer features that Apple benefits from are more than coincidentally related to the features Microsoft wants for Vista.

While I'm sure there is some truth to this I've read enough of these boring Mac afficionado debates to not really care too much. I've seen Macistas try to claim rectangular overlapping windows as their own, and while some of the eye candy may be common to both, I don't like eye candy at all and I don't like animation. Windows that go "whoosh!" as they expand are just annoying.

The "incidental" fact that you don't like Macs and "have never been able to enjoy using them" is your affair, but it makes you unusual, and you should have the temerity to acknowledge that this ideosyncracy effectively disqualifies you from judging which OS should be talked about in relation to Vista.

And that, folks, is a personal attack masquerading as a stupid remark.

I'm a computer user, and if I'm an "unusual" one it's because I use computers to work, not as glitz or entertainment. And my opinion is as valid as yours, moreso I would say since you are clearly carrying an axe to grind.

I've given Macs a good, solid try. I've spent thousands of dollars "giving them a chance." How many non-Mac users can say that? And I know that I just. Don't. Like. Them.

That "disqualifies" me?

You're a fanatic.

Fish said...

I hear the anger about the slipping of XP (I am angry too) but I don't think firing people is the answer. In fact, I think it's ironic we want to scrap the bell curve but it's okay to fire people for slipping? These are the same things: a punishment culture, based on making individuals fear. We don't want a company based on fear management, we want to FIX THE PROBLEMS!! Firing people doesn't fix any problems we have.

None of this really matters, I suspect, because the bigger question might be, "Is Vista be Microsoft's late flagship failure, after which there was no future version of Windows?" If you consider that XP reigns between 2001 and 2007, do we really imagine that Vista can be THE platform for 7 years from 2007? The pace of change is increasing, and we have demonstrated we can't produce software quickly enough. Another way of saying this is, we can't respond. I hear a faint death knell. Perhaps Live.com is good for us precisely because it makes us deliver software functionality to a daily or weekly content schedule.

I worry that we are missing the point about competitive substitutability. How much further ahead will Google and their Web2.0 friends be in Jan 2007? Consumers don't WANT Windows, specifically, they want to be able to do things with photos, music, and communication. And they will pay for it, online.

Anonymous said...


Re-reading the post I realize I came off far more caustically than I intended. I'm not a fanatic and it's not a personal attack. I admit it's badly phrased, and for that, I apologize.

What I meant to say was this:

Customer satisfaction is relevant. A lot of people like the Mac OS, and Microsoft takes this seriously enough (and the underlying elements of the OS seriously enough) to attempt to model a lot of Vista on Mac OS's template.

The value of the Mac OS X experience is not confined to the glitzy surface, but I understand that the glitzy surface is the part you don't like. Again, that's your prerogative, and I know others who agree. The point is that those people are in the minority.

Most people want cup holders in their cars. I personally can't stand having cup holders in my car, but, if I were a car designer I would put them in, because it would be my job to acquiese to the customers' tastes. Similarly, if you don't like photorealistic application icons, that's fine, but if you're working on creating an OS, you shouldn't depreciate those elements just because you PERSONALLY don't like them.

Again, I'm not a fanatic. I just object to your one-two-punch of "this doesn't matter" followed by "and incidentally I've never liked it" as if the two are or should be directly related. Rather, you should say, "I personally don't like this, but most people do, so I understand why it's relevant even though I can do without it."

Fair enough?

Anonymous said...

Whew....what mayhem.

Trying to get back on track...Vista slip, quality, etc.

Can anybody give the clear and compelling:
- positioning of Vista vs a vis XP?
- the value proposition of Vista re XP?
- 3 compelling reasons to buy?


Anonymous said...

Gosh - I just realized that I need to find a new job before Vista ships, before the rush starts. Because there won't be a successful successor based on the already-creaking NT kernel. And you know what? I think we've had our money's worth, don't you?

I wonder how Mr. Sinofsky plans to keep a quorum of employees in Windows to ship Vista, or ship anything thereafter? Currently, they are kept by "force" (i.e. not allowed to interview internally) where necessary. Or they quit, again, where necessary.

Were I a cycnic, My guess would be that temporary retention is what the LisaB concerned-nodding-of-the-head-and-yes-you're-right-it-sucks listening tour is all about:

- "Yay! Stack ranking's going away!"
- "Ooh, perhaps there WILL be an above-inflation raise this year... perhaps I'll wait and see!"
- "Maybe my moron manager WILL be forced to get a clue!"

I'm sure that there WILL be some surprises for employees post-Vista completion and I'm also betting that they're going to be a cruel shock for many.

I really hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

"Can anybody give the clear and compelling:
- positioning of Vista vs a vis XP?
- the value proposition of Vista re XP?
- 3 compelling reasons to buy?"

'Cos its a super-excited pipeline of bullishness. Steve'll tell you.


- LUA (it'll be a love-it-or-hate-it), but hopefully, it'll make the spreading of viruses less prevalent (unless everyone turns it off...)
- Um... oh yes! Nice cardboard box you can keep pencils in
- Small plastic action figure depicting Steve throwing chairs at employees

Anonymous said...

Is this accurate?:

60% Of Windows Vista Code To Be Rewritten

If so, Ballmer should resign.

Here's an excerpt from the email that Kevin sent out - he only sent it out to PSD and his exec team so the rest of you devs in other divisions will obviously not have it. As you can see below, he asks that you email your questions to execqa. There is a meeting led by kevinjo and his boys tomorrow at 10AM in B33. Make sure you don't use your internal email alias to email the questions! You'll probably be blacklisted as a troublemaker!

"I hope everyone else will watch the webcast, which will be streamed live on the intranet and archived there for later viewing. Whether you attend in person or via the Net, you can submit your questions to execqa@microsoft.com before the meeting begins. Thank you for your contribution and your continued focus on innovation and our customers.


Silicon Valley Product Manager said...

It's the Soviet model first, then maybe French!

There are three possible scenarios a re-org can take:

1. French - from the French Revolution - a slaughter or massacre by the quilliotine; control is achieved by mass extinctions.

2. Argentine - individuals 'just disapper' (their photos appearing on milk cartons); control achieved by fear and uncertainty.

2. Soviet - people(s) fall out of power are shipped off to the Gulag and are rubbed-out of the annual Red Square Politburo photos; control achieved by selective swaps.

Microsoft has clearly chosen the Soviet model: some have been shipped off to the Gulags (e.g. "market expansion group"--yeah new markets in Siberia; other execs will "remain abroad till Vista ships" -- yeah so they cant be subpoenaed in the yet to come class action shareholder suits...lost about $10B in value the other day).

Now a new leader is picked from crowd of Politburo members...his job will be re-org Windows into a discplined code-writing product-shipping org; come hell or high water...or the long cold (and wet) winters.

The question is what model(s) will he use?

Silicon Valley Product Manager

Anonymous said...

And now Office get's delayed to 2007 too? Perfect. So much for all that innovation coming to market this year. I guess Steve will say he meant fiscal year not calendar?

Can Microsoft Make the Trains Run on Time?

Let me take a guess at the one thing that won't slip this year - executive bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd love it if, as some people have suggested, Apple had a gigantic advertising push for OS X x86 and the various Linux concerns did the same for Linux. It would get them a negligible increase in marketshare, drain them of money (advertising and catch-up engineering), silence the various civil and government anti-trust lawsuits forever, and if you think BSOD's are bad, wait till the same monkeys at the various IHVs are writing drivers for the other OSes too.

Sun Tzu notes "Those who were skilled in conflict put themselves beyond defeat and awaited their opponent’s reach for triumph." So, go ahead, punks, make Bill's day. Yee-haw!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes:
I think that you miss the point; most companies have avoided Office 2003 like the plague. So in effect the sell for Office 12 is: "it's as good as the version you're using now!". Great.

If only that was true, Office will make its dates by being date driven. Think about what that means.... (This is the real meaning of conversation 37 which he'll happily deliver to you one day.)

Sinofski (sp) [said]:
"If you have to slip, dont slip by a few days. It will not help. Bite the bullet, slip by a few months and then stick to your schedule"

It makes no sense that Sinofsky didn't have input into this decision. These execs moves are long in the planning, so it would have been known that he was coming over. Thus, he would have had input into this adjustment.

I wonder if this move means he'll no longer be accountable for how Office 2007 is received -- whatever happens with that was set-up during his watch -- it is too close to its release date to make any real changes in anything.

former office refuge, and former sotie (and non Sinofsky fan)

Anonymous said...

The main attraction of Vista, to me, is the fact that I can escape the Fisher-Price Look & Feel of XP. That alone is worth the upgrade price. Vista does not look even remotely as polished as Mac OS X though. iWork Pages is way nicer than MS Word. Plus, Mac OS X has these awesome apps like GarageBand that Windows will never have.

Fortunately I can afford two laptops. I have had a Mac laptop since OS X first came out, but I have only occassionally used it. But now I am going to get one of them MacBook Pros, and it will be my main machine.

Anonymous said...

to the guy who said… ‘If so, Ballmer should resign.’

ballmer has to resign anyway. or eventually get fired.

under his leadership, we did not foreseen the major evolution waves that happened during these last years: modular os, virtualization, portable audio/media, search. in all fields, we either lost, or suffered significant challenges.
and he never listened to people talking about security, until the platform got in real trouble. and that was an awful lot of money to recover.
and to top it all, he can't make sure his managers deliver our os, which is by the way, our core business.

this is more than enough. i have had more than enough of his stupid smile and incompetence. he must leave. he's a ceo, he's unable to read the market, and he’s unable to execute as well. we don't need him. we will be better without him. see you, steve. GET OUT!

Anonymous said...

Life is too short to be spent in frustration and negative thoughts. Use the precious time wisely doing what you want to do (e.g. minimal stress, joy, etc...)

Where is this train of thought leading?

In the past, I've owned many PCs and avoided Macs. After too many unnecessary headaches, I've finally purchased my first Mac a couple of years ago. (Thank goodness it was OS X as opposed to "classic").
Consequently, I haven't looked back and have enjoyed my computing experience (As background, I'm a bit of a power user (developer & tester experience) with a creative streak.)

Instead of "fighting the machine" (that's what I get paid for at work), my little Mac has allowed me to stop worrying and concentrating on doing the things I really want to do in life.

In the process, I've created new creative videos, images, and audio tracks that have impressed my friends and schoolmates.

Truthfully, it's really been one of the most satisfying investments I've made in a long long time.

I find myself looking forward to purchasing the next generation of Intel PowerMac (or whatever the new name will be) and Leopard OS.

Although I've felt enthusiastic about some of my earlier PCs in the past, it hasn't been to this level of excitement and joy with respect to Apple's products.

Enjoy life in the present!
Make it what you want to be - it's far too short.

Anonymous said...

To the people who think talking about OS X is not relevant in this thread:
It is! You can't have any serious discussion about Vista without Linux and OS X.

Want some info from the inside? Apple is preparing a big attack against Vista with Leopard. They are preparing this for over 3 years now. Tigers under-the-hood improvements make it possible to keep any significant feature secret until a month or two before shipping. Some of these features will be far ahead of anything billg could ever dream of.
Leopard is on track to ship in fall (early again!!!)

Don't missunderstand me, but do you really tell me our fellow Redmond colleagues management didn't have a clue about that? Did they really think they would compete with Tiger? Stupid management!

And now I go back, before I get sued ...

Anonymous said...

Don't know if this is true, but ZDNet is reporting that Office 2007 is delayed. "Some" business customers will get it in December, and then they'll ship to everyone else in January. To paraphrase Adam Sandler in "The Wedding Singer," ... "this would have been good information to have TUESDAY." The two big products, both slipping another half a year (if there are no further delays) -- I'm guessing some heads will have to roll. BTW, what kind of machine is Sinofsky actually? ;-)

Microsoft announces Office 2007 delay
Fresh on the heels of a delay in broad availability of Windows Vista, Microsoft confirmed late Thursday that it is also pushing the mainstream launch of Office 2007 to next year.
As with Vista, Microsoft hopes to finish the code for Office 2007 this year and make it available to some large businesses by the end of December.
"We have, however, decided to coordinate with Windows Vista to hit retail store shelves in January 2007," a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail to CNET News.com. "We believe this will provide an easier experience for consumers and retailers alike."

Anonymous said...

Discussion in Apple about OS development. "It's crap, change it." "Okay boss."

Actually, it's more like:

Developer: "Boss, this is crap. I want to fix it".
Boss: "Can you get it in by 10.4.4, or should we push it back to 10.4.5?"
Developer: "I can fix it by the next release"
Developer: (writes the bug report, adds it to his queue, fixes it, submits it to B&I, sets bug status to "verify")
B&I: "accepted for the 10.4.4 build train"
QA: "Tested, it's fixed. Updating bug status to closed."
Boss:"Nice work."

Jens T. said...

Just a note to my fellow Mac users in this thread:

Please don't bother the people here with tales about how much better our OS may be. This is a discussion within MS about MS and I for one find it very informative and enlightening and would prefer to read more about the issues at stake than watching yet another MAC vs. PC shootout.

It's fine to chime in when somebody says something factualy wrong about OS X or the history of Apple or whatever and correct them so that this discussion can continue but comments like "Throw your OS away and use XYZ instead" will only piss off people needlessly without actually solving anything.

So let's keep our personal preferences out of this. I know why I use a Mac, but I don't need to tell the whole world about it, and certainly not the developers at Microsoft - that's like raving about your favourite brand of condoms inside the Vatican: it serves no purpose and only annoys everybody.

Anonymous said...

Remember "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracey Kidder? Rather like the story of development of a new processor by an "embedded" journalist.

I hope there is a Kidder-like techno-historian inside the Vista project to document what is REALLY happening --- so that techno-disasters like Vista are deferred. You'll never eliminate them, just delay them.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that could possibly force me to upgrade to Vista is 3rd party manufacturers ceasing support for XP and possibly DirectX 10.

There's nothing else from a consumer/enthusiast perspective that excites me. Personally I would have stuck with NT4 if there was better support (USB DX etc) for it.
Why? Because it was lean, it was simple - especially by current standards and it got the job done.
The only real reasons I decided I liked XP over 2k were; it was quite stable during the beta, it had better looking icons and a network graph.
2k I never really found to be stable, so XP was a quite easy sell.

XP in my opinion, has a few issues, but overall it's a pretty solid package.
It's not rediculously bloated, though it could easily be a lot better(nlite anyone?).
It's VERY stable by comparison to all other NT versions.
It's got fair support tools for repairing it when it's screwed.
Most of the bloat can be turned off. etc etc.
There's a lot to like about it.
I personally think it's the best OS MS has ever made.
If it was afforded the 6 service packs NT4 got, I imagine it would improve a whole lot more. But for now, it does what most people want it to with minimal hassle.

Perhaps that's why Vista is so troubled? It's sure got one hell of a tough act to follow.

Daniel_Hedblom said...

Cant wait for Vista though, .NET roxx!

Anonymous said...

The tremendous advantage of OS X over XP isn't the eye candy. It's the basic idea that you can always GUESS RIGHT about how things are going to work, because the same keystrokes and logic carry over from one environment to the next. Option-click selects all like objects every time; Command-R gives you a ruler every time; Spacebar is start/stop media every time.

This is true of Adobe apps as well (even though they had to re-do all the Photoshop commands and menu shortcuts circa Photoshop 7 in order to accomplish this, creating a temporarily steep learning curve for those of us used to the old way).

You are encouraged to GUESS how to do what you want to do, because the underlying platform-wide logical structure is cohesive and consistent.

In Windows my guesses are never rewarded and I don't even try. I still hit command-R in Word to get the ruler and end up with my text flush right about once a session. I still hit the spacebar in WMP and that's wrong too.

It's not just that the MS stuff isn't internally consistent; it's that it ignores industry-wide conventions.

It's not just the pretty icons that make people actually enjoy using OS X.

jpstanley said...

Looooonghorn development has been a fountain of amusement. I kinda hope it slips until 2010. We ought to see a bunch of broken chairs, end tables, who knows? Maybe a sofa.

I just find it hard to get excited about an OS that sucks down the thick end of a gigabyte of RAM with no applications running and will most likely cost even more than the already astronomically-priced XP (which even in OEM versions is the most expensive single component of a budget PC by far).

Cheopys said...

I just find it hard to get excited about an OS that sucks down the thick end of a gigabyte of RAM with no applications running and will most likely cost even more than the already astronomically-priced XP (which even in OEM versions is the most expensive single component of a budget PC by far).

This isn't really a fair criticism. The NT kernel caches just about everything so using up all available RAM isn't a bad thing.

What is a bad thing is that Vista will barely boot in 512MB and needs a GB just to run an app or two. People using RAM-intensive apps are going to need several GB. OK, RAM isn't that expensive anymore and most new machines come with 512 or more already, but it doesn't speak well to require so much just for the operating system. XP will creak along in 256MB as well as Vista in four times that.

A fourfold increase in RAM requirements between major releases is not a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Two questions:

Not taking into consideration the OS the quality of hardware and related drivers has gone downhill over the years. Call it a case of vendors not being able to sell quality to a public that has no clue and can only decide on price, so products are made with little or no actual engineering to cut costs. I'm talking about brand new USB 2 hubs so poorly made they physically disconnect if a fly passes nearby, making poor old Windows crash when it can't find a file on an external drive, for example: not your fault, Microsofties, but it does make for a very poor experience indeed.

The first question is: has this been relevant in the Vista delay? Or is that an additional issue that will come later? Is it the hardware and software "Windows certification" non existent or broken? Does MS need to reign in all those hardware and software vendors, or is this a cost they are unwilling to undertake?

There seems to be a continuum from Gulag Mac (we control everything in our three square mile island... Worship us or be banished) to OpenSource (we do whatever the hell we want, and don't care if anyone else but our geeky buddies ever finds out), and poor MS seems stuck somewhere in the swampy middle...

So the second question is: is the problem a lack of direction, that MS can't decide where it wants to be in that continuum? Is it even aware of where it stands now?


Anonymous said...

After wasting a few decades of my own in IBM OS development, I KNOW what some of the problems are in MS - looking from the outside in, they're obvious. I've found the addage that "Too many cooks spoil the broth" is so true in software development that it would be understandable if someone thought it came from the computer industry. MS, like IBM before it, forgot what made them successful to begin with. This cycle always starts with some major success, which was created in an environment of high originality and stress, fueling the ability to hire more people - people who's job it is to watch other people - and leading to an environment so bound up in itself that it literally cannot do once again what it just did before all the success started. Then some upstart comes along, like Google, to start the process all over again by simply not knowing that they cannot succeed - but they do.

The comment above, pertaining to the lack of good candidates for hire, is really priceless. I've applied several times in the last 10 years and the fact that I was an architect and technical manager for IBM's 2nd largest OS probably should have at least generated a response - but it didn't. As a consultant, I can confidently say that there are many MS certified folks out there that are as good or better than folks inside MS. There are PMI certified PMs that are top-notch. So I for one don't get that comment.

Anonymous said...

Is there really any fundamental reason why operating systems should continue to evolve (other than Microsoft profits)? Now we are at 64-bits, maybe the operating system could stay the same for 10 or 20 years!

Vista is most famous for DRM - how are you going to sell that to customers!

Franklin Mint said...

It's a freakin' operating system! The apps you run today would run the same on Xp as it would on it! You don't care, really! (Unless Solitaire a la Vista kicks, then maybe you should!) Apps that are being made for this freakin' operating system are being made now, and will still be released eventually, and probably not even close to whenever Vista is generally available.

It's the slashdot-mob mind: b*tch for no reason other than, the other guy is.

Anonymous said...

The upper half of this thread was pretty cool. Sure every company has internal bickering and problems.

Also the non-ms people need to fucking lurk. There's a BIG difference between some joe blow 'paid to sit and post on Slashdot' and anyone from MS.

Greetz to dot-net-rocks listeners and ACM@UIUC Microsofties.

Anonymous said...

"...we cannot ship our OS. this is not a joke. if we don't take some radical decisions, the company is over."

This is true. But it's more than just day2day management of technical production. We have to make better business decisions. Some of the TPA crap, DRM, is just not good enough for the legitimate rights of content consumers. We should be able to to do better on designing breakthrough features that deliver the content and experience that users want, without crippling interoperability with content players and devices.

And don't let me get started on .net. We all know which parts are advantageous, and which are bloat and garbage. We'd have done better to stay with a more native model, less of the managed stuff in the runtime - drive the protection farther down.

Anonymous said...

Most people want cup holders in their cars. I personally can't stand having cup holders in my car, but, if I were a car designer I would put them in, because it would be my job to acquiese to the customers' tastes. Similarly, if you don't like photorealistic application icons, that's fine, but if you're working on creating an OS, you shouldn't depreciate those elements just because you PERSONALLY don't like them.

This is _exactly_ why the Linux desktop is such a nonstarter. Adherence to documented RFCs is one thing, GUI aesthetics/usability are quite another.

Anonymous said...

This may be a duplicate post, apologies if so; blogger complained about my word verification entry.

Here's the thing.

(Background; 90s Borgie, Workgroup Applications (remember that?), Systems, then Applications.)

Microsoft's management is terrible. But it's always been terrible. It was terrible in 1991 - ask anyone who suffered under, I dunno, gregcr - and it was terrible when I left. It's terrible now. But the groups, at least, were usually small enough that non-management could, to one degree or another, push management around, could do the push-back that would save products.

It was small enough that if, say, you grabbed your boss's boss in the hallway and chewed him out for signing off on something that you knew didn't and wouldn't work, that, well, you'd probably be okay in the end. (And, if you were right, you might get to set the performance metrics for the next release...)

But this corrective force did not make the management any better, and that approach stops working when things get above a certain scale.

minimsft's historic solution to this systemic problem has been "get a lot smaller." I'm not even convinced that'd work that well; I'm pretty sure you'd lose more good than you'd keep, and I'm very sure you wouldn't get Microsoft 1995 back. You'd probably get, I dunno, Borland 1994 or early-90s Novell. Believe me, you don't want those.

It's not even that Microsoft didn't try to address management of scale as it got bigger. But it didn't know how to do it, which left it open to the sort of Dilbertian empire-building that leads to ruin. And that's been catching up with the company. People have already said it here, but Vista really, really has been sounding a lot like Copeland (and Symphony) for a long time now.

Larger organisations that Microsoft have learned how to manage massive projects before this. It can be done. But Microsoft did not learn from those lessons, and now there're too many vested interests in too much of the chain for internal reform. It's going to take some sort of systemic shock to make change happen at this point, and I do think that things probably will have to go all the way up to the top to make it happen. In fewer words, I think that a top-level leadership change is necessary. Even then, it's going to be a long, hard, 5-year project for someone.

Microsoft is too large and has too many assets (and is not so broken as GM has been) to fail any time soon, but that also means that it can spend a long time rotting internally before so many wheels come off that it has to pull over. And once Vista finally does get shoved out the door, most people will go, "See? We just had to crack the whip a lot more and everything went out fine eventually."

I honestly wonder if the best thing that could happen to Microsoft is the complete failure of the Vista project. A collapse that total couldn't be turned into an excuse for anybody, and might be the kind of high-pain medicine that Microsoft needs in the long run.

TheKhalif said...

Very good C++ coders able to optimize with in-line assembly are getting really rare, indeed. .NET is even worse than writing code in Visual Basic, it's sloppy, its memory usage is insane that you can call it a memory leak anyway.

I'm sorry, but I don't agree with your evaluation of .Net. I use C# religiously and I have gotten code to run so fast it was shocking. And I'm talking about processes that cover several large classes with 1000s of lines of code.

.Net is something, in my opinion, that MS has done right. In some ways VS2005 is EVEN faster tha VS2003.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is all you guys slacked off for the last 4.5 years and now that release time is coming up your working a minimum of 12 hour shifts.

Simply, you are NOT going to be productive working more than 8 hours. And of that maybe 5 hours of actual work should be done and relax the other 3 (lunch, breaks, etc...) so you aren't sitting there, staring at that same piece of crappy code trying to figure out WTF is wrong with it.

There just comes a breaking point in the day when you need to stop and do something else. There comes a breaking point in the day when you need to freaking leave work, go home to family, or go out to the local pub with your friends and/or co-workers and have a beer.
Go to bed, get 8 hours of sleep, and do it all over again the next day.

This is exactly why Windows has quirks. You all litterally WASTE 3/4ths of the development time of the product and then scramble the last 1/4 together working much longer than you should be and not getting nearly as much of the daily R&R that you need to be fresh.

This is all despite the fact that you have too much management.

Let me rephrase that. You have too much management doing nothing but telling other people what to do.
You need a few, VERY few, people organizing the different groups together, telling them what needs to be done, setting goals, etc....

Then you need leaders in these groups. These leaders should be right there with you coding away, hammering out bugs, testing, etc... They should not be telling you what needs to be done, how to do it, etc... These are the people that the managers talk to, directly. These guys spend most of their time working on that same bit of code that everyone else in the team is working on, and then, say, at the end of the day, they make a plan of how get from point A (where we left off today) to point B (where we want/need to be by the end of tomorrow).

NO ONE should be working longer than an 8 hour shift. If you were part of my company, I would NOT even allow it. If you didn't finish what you should have been finished with by the end of the day, tough luck. You need to either stop slacking or tell your leader the goals are unrealistic.

You can not expect to, though, spend 3/4 of the development time wasting away saying "Oh, we've got plenty of time, we can finish that tomorrow, plus we will be working 16 hour shifts come time for RCs, so we'll be fine".

If you aren't committed enough to do the work that needs to be done early on, and not procrastinate everything, you better find yourself a new job, because that is completely outrageous.

The whole process there needs to be streamlined.

You guys (all the way from that intern making your PMs cup of coffee up to Balmer) need some serious help.

Anonymous said...

on OS X:

OS X is relevant to Vista (and this discussion) in one way: OS X shows that sizable commercial OS projects can be managed. Apple here has figured out something that Microsoft has not.

It's not just "it ships on time!" and all the noise that the partisans have dropped in. What really tells me that OS X is well managed is that the operating system itself shows a consistent focus on the user experience. And I want to be really careful to explain what I mean by that: The OS X experience is really about not experiencing the operating system at all. It's about getting the hell out of the way.

On the whole, interface design teams at Microsoft have never shown that they really understood that.

The goal of an OS should be as much transparency as possible. It's really difficult to achieve, but to a far better degree than Microsoft, Apple does it. The goal should not be to make people go, "oh look at this cool operating system I'm using." Sure, a bit of that up front is fine, but after that, you want the tool just to work, and get out of the way. OS X achieves this in a myriad of ways - and it's not just consistent keybindings, tho' that doesn't hurt.

Success in achieving this requires a focus and discipline that can really only be brought about with an excellent management group. (As a former dev, I will also take this moment to say that all the design in the world won't save crap code. ^_^ But we're talking about quality of management right now.) This doesn't necessarily mean a large management group, but it does mean a good one, one that can succeed in getting all the groups working on an OS project actually and actively working together on a particular set of common goals.

Windows, in contrast, feels like it was amalgamated together via an armistice following a decade of war, and oh, jeez, watch out for the land mines, we didn't finish cleaning those up yet. And even if all the little bits are perfectly good ideas, the combination is less than the sum of the parts, because it makes you have to care. It gets in the way.

Just like the management process which spawned it.

(To put aside one counter-argument that's always raised: this has nothing to do with hardware compatibility; yes, the device-engineering side of OS X is made much easier by the proprietary hardware. But that mostly provides protection against things like driver issues and aids stability; it doesn't affect the design goal of, say, how you move files around, or how you launch applications or connect to servers. If the emphasis on design and the apparent management focus on keeping everyone onboard with that design wasn't there, that proprietary-hardware advantage wouldn't matter at all.)

Anonymous said...

I am not an MS employee, and still using W2K, because the problems I found in it have not been fixed WITHIN Windows 2000. Until MS fixes the broken tools that come as part of W2K, I will NOT upgrade to ANY newer MS OS. I feel these are primary level bugs, and I should not have to pay for an entirely new OS just to see if MAYBE they have been fixed. My next OS will be Linux, unless my next employer provides me with a free PC pre-loaded with MS Windows. The things that are broken in my W2K include the Search function in Windows Explorer, which occasionally simply stops working - the only fix is to re-boot the PC. Also, the Sort function in Windows Explorer seems to handle only about the first 5 characters in the filename. After that, it loses track, and the file list is no longer sorted accurately. I also detest the default action of "replace the marked section with the first character/keystroke". The Insert/Delete toggle function has been turned off in Windows, and REPLACING the marked section with my next keystroke is annoying in the extreme. Let ME decide what to do with a marked section. MOVE, DELETE, CHANGE CASE, INDENT are all valid choices. REPLACE is a nuclear winter choice for a default.

t2k said...

As somebody pointed out very well, I can't think of *ANY REASON* to buy Vista. When WinFS was taken out, it was the last straw that broke the camel's back - I've decided we won't upgrade any of our machines (hundreds range) to Vista before WinFS.
Vista simply doesn't have anything interesting anymore for us - it's just a lame facelift attempt, nothing else.
And even so it's delayed... comedy at its best... I concur: at the very least Chris Jones, Brian Valentine, Ballmer and Allchin SHOULD GO.

Scott Allen said...

From the individual user's perspective, I imagine most of us would much rather have the date slip and have a stable product. If I wanted to beta test products I'd sign up for the beta. Instead I grumble about Microsoft's idea that "public beta" means "gold release".

But in the enterprise, it's a whole different matter. When Windows slips, everything slips - hardware purchases, other major software purchases, internal development schedules, etc. The whole ecosystem slips. What does this do to a small software company? Microsoft may be in a financial position to weather a few months slippage, but everyone else isn't.

As a solo professional, I can wait, but I understand why others are pissed.

Anonymous said...

Doomsayers should all take a chill pill. We've delivered the impossible before, and we will do so again. Microsoft is not like other companies, we have the smarts and the skill to deliver.

Anonymous said...

I've got an idea, we're all very talented and if put to it, could whip up a fresh, secure, stable OS from scratch within a year, so, lets get 50 of us and start our own software company!
Now, what should we name it?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Microsoft might go the way of Norton Anti Virus, realeasing a product that is so bogged down with CRAP that the software is little more than a piece of SHIT.

Who da'Punk said...

Well, okay then. I think this posting certainly wins for most comments and most incoming links. Thanks for adding to the signal in the conversation.

I've had a delightful Friday evening moderating and scrubbing the comments : the offensive, the off-topic, and the strangely goofy. I might have missed on or two reading through the current 330+ comments here.

Some zeal remains from the Anything But Microsoft crowd. I think that's fine.


Turk said...

The ship is heavy, hard to steer and will keep going, when it stops it will turn around or may be it will go down, maybe it will be for the better, who knows.

Be the rats to jump off the ship, except that ship ain't sinking, because it's too big.

At over 100 feet longer than the Mauritania, this ship truly is unsinkable. All these unnecessary lifeboats taking up space on the decks...

Talk around the vending machines in legal is that the delay has nothing to do with coding, slipped schedules or anything else. That's why very few heads will actually roll and most will simply shuffle positions. Actual reasons have to do with no product, NONE, shipping until after the mess with the EU is cleaned up. From what I've heard so far, if there are further major delays with EU that can't be solved by set-asides and scholarships, then expect another major delay beyond what has already been announced. At 25-40% annual compounded growth rates for Linux servers, the last thing that's going to happen is for the EU to be able to do what US-Justice failed to do, which is force disclosure of MS server protocols so competitors can copy MS's IP and gain market share in the market segment on MS's dime. Samba has never been 100% compatible and that's the way its going to stay, come hell or high water. Regardless of how much time/delay it takes, Samba and Vista will never be as interoperable as Samba is with PDC, AD, AS currently. If it takes another 6 month delay, another 9 months, whatever. Eventually EU will capitulate whether Commerce and the WTO has to step in or not. Server space market share has either reached a tipping point, or already passed a tipping point depending on which internal study you read. Whichever study you read/believe, make sure its one of the ones that takes into account free installs of their versions of AS/ES, such as Cent/OS. According to those studies, the server space has already passed the tipping point, that's why we're seeing what's happening with Mass/ODF/XML, and some of the large desktop migrations that have been documented internally. And remember, any large migrations you get a whiff of, you know where to report them, get details and do it. A single 6 digit desktop migration has repercussions far and wide on many other customers and partners (and media), and we are staring at over a dozen of them and have been unsuccessful in turning any of them around so far.

So unless anything settles with the EU in the coming months, expect further delays regardless of what they are blamed on.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you people something. Microsoft is a huge frigging bureaucratic mess. Don't tell me you actually take that "Core Competencies" crap seriously. Ballmer, Allchin, Valentine -- they should all get 2.5 review scores this year. THEY DID NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS. But they won't. They'll get raises. It's all just b.s. and politics. Bill Gates nees to wake up to the fact that Microsoft is full of incompetant assholes who have figured out how to pass the buck.

Anonymous said...

As a shareholder and a fan of technology, I hope that Microsoft gets its act together. I personally use a Mac at home but have no problems with using WIN XP Home, Pro and WIN 2K3.

My hope is Microsoft uses this event to lay the foundation to scrap backword compatibility and do like Apple and build an O/S from scratch. You own Virtual PC for god's sake!

Anonymous said...

Not many people here gets the truth. Vista is a job security for 12000+ people. As long as it does not ship, their jobs are secure including mangements'. We will keep delaying and nobody outside of Microsoft will be missing it.

I gave up dogfooding Vista because it is so lame. It looks cool for 10 minutes but then you get used to it and then realized it is not better than XP because you use APPLICATIONS, not an OS when you use a PC. Who cares about an OS or a desktop? I can just use Windows Blind to make my desktop look as cool without slowing down performance, taking up more HDD space and without breaking things that are working today with my XP.

Then again, Microsoft never understood that it's all about content. Look at X Box 360. They never understood that gaming is about contents. Polishing crappy contents with amzaing graphics will not make gaming experience better and Aero and all the glass crap will not make the PC experience (which will be worsened by bloated slow Vista) better.

So, plesae, if you are from Windows organization, stop whining and start embracing the delay as it is a blessing. As long as we do not ship Vista, public will never know how inept, unimaginative, incompetent and stupid we are and how lamne Vista truly is. Anyone wanting to ship Vista in Windows organization is either insance or a masochist. Let's all admit, the dealy, the endless delay, is good for us and nobody out there will really care.

Anonymous said...

anonymous posted this link:


which I thought I'd try. As a Firefox user, I was wryly amused that I was then presented with a suggestion that I should download IE6 - free software, no less!! - in order to view the clip.

Very likely. Not.

Anonymous said...

Turk said: Actual reasons have to do with no product, NONE, shipping until after the mess with the EU is cleaned up.

So you mean all this is about samba or SMB technology/protocol which have changed in Vista so other than MS implementations has incompatibility problems with Vista?

Why haven't the OSS friendly companies like IBM, Novell come up with a open network file system so we can scrap smb?

Seems that the computerindustry is no longer about techical innovation but war over intulecctual properties, patents, power, monopoly and aim to limit the choise and freedom of the end user.

All this sounds sounds a bit like the end of the Commodore era. Allthough nothing new to cite the Unix Haters Handbook:

It might be the case that every once in a while these companies allow a programmer to fix a bug rather than apply for a patent,

Pendragon said...

From a User...

I would call myself a computer hobbyist, someone that has been using computers for 25 years as a hobby.

I love and hate windows, all at the same time! I have used every MS OS since MSDOS 6 (IBM DOS since 4) I have now been using Linux for everything except gaming for some time now.

the longer Vista takes the more people will switch! Apple is a irrelevant, just Pc's in shinny boxes that are far too expensive.

I love that I can get the software I want, and it runs out of the box...
I hate Spyware, virus, trojans, defraging, regcleaning... the list is long
I hate friends and family asking What's happened to... I didn't do anything but now it doesnt work! Where is the mouse pointer gone? Why is my computer so slow! What's with all of these pop-ups? My favorites are all messed up? Why is media player crashing?

I would like an OS I don't have to reinstall every year!

Just need to get my games to run properly http://www.ubuntu.com/

Anonymous said...

All large orgs have some bureaucracy. It's like barnacles. It is correct to assume that reducing bureaucracy is the exclusive domain of senior management, because lower levels do not have the political clout to do so on a mass scale.

Managers that do not perform as expected should be removed, using the same measurements as for front-line employees with no direct reports. Uniformity and fairness.

On another note, it should be understood that the primary job of a manager is not managing project plans, attending meetings, conference calls, status reports, reviews, measurements, or using their blackberry. On the grand pie-chart of importance, 95% of managing is _hiring_ and decisions. If the hiring is flawed or the decisions are flawed, the business outcome will naturally reflect these flaws.

If you are a good coder, and deliver ing what you honestly believe is what is to be expected, then the problem is the management needs to be replaced. The scope or level of replacement is something of debate though. Senior management in an org of this size is only capable of strategic action, and only through hiring. All the money in the world cannot fix a problem like this, only hiring decisions.

Good news is though, it is far easier to create an open seat on the bus than to hire a mid-level or front-line manager that can produce the desired business outcome. So it is realistic to expect the change you want, but will it produce the desired end result?

Anonymous said...

The problem IMHO is that Vista is supposed to support too many (and sometimes reducdant) technologies:

What's the point to add 15 years old technologies that no developpers still use in a OS like Vista?

I know that legacy compatibility was the key for MS success. But it looks like it is strictly unmanageable now.

If end-users still uses 15 years old softwares, just let them use OSes like Windows 2000 and others.

The real problem end users have right now is security. (Sypware, Virus, etc.). These things mainly take advantages of this embarassing legacy.

Anonymous said...

To those who think that a one-month slip is going to make the difference between shipping crap and shipping gold: Who's got the magic wand?

Anonymous said...

Why not cool it and consider how this might be good news for everyone:

a) corporate IT pros, the folks who actually recommend and approve the purchase of 100-10,000 copies of Windows/Office/CALs etc. at a time, will be able to get more day-to-day IT work done than keep up on endless re-packaging/re-versioning of the same core products. When your new stuff is really ready, the 100-10,000 corporate users will appreciate *not* being your "market testers" for a change. Someone should do a little math.

b) the mindless US consumer family will keep plugging in new I-Pods and USB devices, play new games on the WinME - WinXP machines, forward jokes & chain mail using Outlook 2003 and watch the latest action flicks on brand new HDTV sets from Circuit City. When Vista (what should have been NT5.3Pro before "marketers" rebranded it) finally releases, the party loyal will form bigger lines for the Best Buy midnight sale; demand will be greater and folks can get excited about something other than Cheney's latest gun acident.

c) the students going back to school or expecting daddy to buy them the newest package of Windows might get a breather to read a book or study a little more or develop their minds away from their LCD screens. Heck, maybe they'll go exercise an extra day instead of slurping one more can of Dew while reading blogs and picking up chatroom sex partners.

d) Microsoft competitors will have more time to penetrate the market with a few more worthy goods that will help shift attention away from the company's internal chaos and perhaps your employees will cease the infighting long enough to realize that you'd better work together to remain profitable.

Microsoft needs a couple of killer rivals from Germany, India and China to eat into its market share enough that Big Bill will finally see the need to rid himself of his paper-pushing and culturally correct upper & middle managers. Working for a living never hurt anyone and is partly what led Microsoft to their dominant position in the first place. It's time to thin the herd.

The way to clean up Microsoft is to stop marketing so much and start making improvements to the core products. Your products were once appealing for their value and quality and people came to you in droves with their money. It may surprise you how few of us wait with baited breath for your latest shrink wrapped toy anymore.

Ghosx said...

I really don't understand what you guys are crying about. With the beastly requirements Vista has, what percentage of people who buy a computer today is seriously even going to be capable of running Vista without heavy upgrades?

I work as a service agent at Best Buy's Geek Squad. Now and then a customer asks me if the computer they're buying will support the next generation operating system. Because of Vista's huge requirements, I've been telling them "probably not without massive upgrades."

The system requirements I'm hearing for Vista are ridiculous. 2+ GIGABYTES OF MEMORY in order to have a gaming experience on par with 512mb on XP. HIGH END 3D ACCELERATOR required in order to have all the nifty new look and feel that Vista has, so you can count out the majority of laptops that only come equipped with those pitiful on-board i845, i915, and S3 chipsets, or name brand PCs built without AGP or PCIe slots.

Thus, I'm glad that Vista's release date misses the Back-to-School and Christmas rushes. I'm glad that less people will be buying the boxed versions hoping to install it on their older computers.

It means less customers will leave my precinct pissed off because I had to tell them that the copy of Vista they bought (and are unable to return) won't work on anything less than a top-end PC bought in winter 2005, or a top end laptop bought in summer 2006.

Hopefully some of these slips are because someone realized that their software is too much of a resources pig.

Anonymous said...

""Imagine if Vista (Longhorn, Longerhorn...) had actually been designed from the start by sitting down with real users of XP in different segments (home, professional, enterprise) and really exploring what they wanted out of their OS, then kept those very professional in the process to make priority decisions as the development cycle unfolded. You wouldn't have half the features because they have no value to the customer. It would have shipped by now. It would actually solve problems.

WinFS is a great example of a file system designed by lunatic engineers and inbred GPM teams (led by a totally lunatic DirPM) without a clue as to what a real customer even looks like. Complexity in the design for complexity sake is the kiss of death. Complexity without a clear, or even muddy, picture of the problem you are actually trying to solve for the actual customer is the kiss of death. Not having customers involved at every step of the design and development process is just arrogance. Believing you know better than the customer is just stupid.""

As a user, I think the above comment is spot-on.

The world prays that you crazies at Microsoft adopt a "Keep it simple stupid" approach... and until Microsoft figures out it needs to write it's OS as an OS...and not as a wizz-bang application.. the bloated code, security problems,legal problems and release problems and the need for endless security updates will continue until perhaps... as someone suggested.. a few of you guys break away and write a solid, secure, no-nonesense, user-friendly OS with a consistent UI. Linux is already most of that... Apple already has all of that.

I want an OS that is solid, secure, efficent, dependable and MANAGEABLE.

Windows had the advantage of being ubiquitious..and it is user friendly in a way... yet the OS has, in all of its flavors, been the monster under the bed that terrorized really useful apps like Autocad and Photoshop with its crashes, memory leaks and security flaws.

Save the Fluffy new UI's, "bullet point new features" and other bloat for your consumer apps...for God's sake is "just a solid OS" too much to ask for from you guys???

Anonymous said...

As a long suffering Microsoft consumer, let me add some thoughts. In the mid 1980s thought MultiPlan was light years ahead of Lotus. Then there were problems linking spreadsheets - a feature of MP. Tech support said "Mail us the disks - we hadn't really intended people to link the files." ?!? Why put the feature there?

In 1989 starting using an Apple Mac II - and used Excel, thinking it would be beyond the MP problems. Found out that the only "supported" font was Courier - MSFT would not guarantee that any other font would appear on paper as on the screen! A support person told me on the phone they had not intended for the spreadsheets to be used for presentation purposes.

Meanwhile, I noticed Apple had several user friendly options not available in MSFT products. For instance, the OS would copy file larger than one disk, prompt you when to change, and automatically name and internally label them. And there was an OS function, available in all applications, that would "Print Screen" without the "Print Screen" button and pasting rigamarole.

It seems that every new version of any Microsoft product is dependent upon advancement in the physical product to overcome the more bloated sometimes buggy product. Take Lotus - I prefer it to Excel because it is much faster, and takes up less disk space (although, to be fair, whoever in Excel came up with the ability to format numbers in the Social Security format - thank you!).

And it continues to this day. WordPerfect has two features Word does not. One is the ability to put footnotes at the bottom of the page - the US Courts mandate WordPerfect, as footnotes in judicial decisions MUST be at the bottom of the page, and Word cannot do that. The other is the "Reveal Codes" function - to be fair to MFST programming staff, I realize there is a patent on that feature.

Whose fault is this? Management - the non-management MFST employees I have dealt with over 20 years have ALWAYS impressed me.

To conclude, MFST products are produced by hardworking employees with some great ideas who, unfortunately, are led by a bunch of managers who seemingly could not organize a Little League parade.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, Vista is just not ready for prime time. It's big, bloated and buggy. It's slow, doesn't have great hardware support yet and has huge app compat problems. So get real and quit whining. Rather than firing the folks who are delying this, perhaps you should fire the folks who are not delivering?

Anonymous said...

Microsoft Research, here's your chance... release Singularity. Failing that, get WinFS back in.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem? If you have to reschedule your vacation with Vista release, get a life.

Don said...

I'm "just" a consumer--the one who buys products.

I have been eagerly waiting for Vista and my friends told me weeks ago me that was a big mistake, to forget it.

Now I see they were probably right.

Anonymous said...

I am far, far away from the world of the MicroSoft developers, testers, marketeers, and salespeople. And out here where I live, no one gives a rip about Vista. Sorry, but it's true. Every few year, MS comes out with a new OS that's supposedly the Next Great New Thing, and it almost invariably ends up being buggy, bloated, slow, expensive, and a general pain-in-the-tuckus And we're expected to be excited over the next one?

I am sorry for all the toilers in the trenches, the cubical warriors who have put so much sweat and blood into Vista. But honestly, when has a MS product shipped on time? When has release 1.0 of a MS product been worth having? When has it not made more sense to wait until the first half-dozen patches have come out and the OS has acheived some degree of stability before you get it? Why would anyone expect Vista to be any different.

Sorry to be such a cynical wet-blanket, but that's how it looks to me out here.

Anonymous said...

Google Desktop? Really, why not?

Anonymous said...

And it continues to this day. WordPerfect has two features Word does not. One is the ability to put footnotes at the bottom of the page - the US Courts mandate WordPerfect, as footnotes in judicial decisions MUST be at the bottom of the page, and Word cannot do that.

Anonymous, how long has it been since you last looked at Word? My copy of Word 2003 can put footnotes at the bottom of the page.

Anonymous said...

And at the same time Ballmer is threatening to use patents against Linux. If you can't beat them, sue them!

Jonathan Jeffus said...

The article here is quite interesting but seriously, where do all the quacks come from? There's enough fruit and nuts on this page to justify a new cereal. I came here from the Slashdot article, I use linux, but honestly where do these people come from? Microsoft should BUY OS X? That's the funniest thing I've ever read. The level of insanity that kind of thinking betrays is the kind that they lock you up for. As far as Microsoft having a "monopoly", all that translates into is having market dominance. Something which they have entirely earned. In the end it's good business that gives you success, not good technology. Let Longhorn be delayed, we don't need it yet (XP is OK for now) and it'd be really nice to use a fantastic version of Windows. Imagine a version of windows that doesn't require auto-update to be turned on! Imagine a version that's safe for the ordinary person to use. That would make me upgrade. Hell, throw away the NT codebase and run old code in a virtual machine. Include a version of XP with every Vista copy. Fix the core system. Require native code to be signed if it's not running on the VM. Include robust DRM for software developers, trusted computing indeed. Make it so it's impossible for someone to steal your software unless they modify the hardware itself. It would be fully backward compatible, you'd include XP with the system (and hell maybe even 98 and DOS). If VMWare can make this work, surely Microsoft can. Give people a real reason to upgrade.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal? I can see this from a shareholder perspective, but as a consumer and a user, I would MUCH prefer an OS that was finished to one that was on time.

Anonymous said...

Very enlighting. I was at DEC in the 80's-early 90's. You guys are gonners. This is exactly what happened to Digital. Good luck on your next careers.

Anonymous said...

MS is a place of managers and ass kissers today. They should have a Kiss-It award every RTM and Butt Kissing miles on their Amex corp cards.

If you want to get far you have to kiss ass and be a Yes man these days. Especially in their NON REDMOND business units.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note the kind of development drive underway at the moment in the world of linux to give users a clean and consistent GUI, refine the GUI and applications to make them more responsive, plug in new technologies wherever they make sense and compete with msft and apple on eyecandy and special effects, this delay gives us even more incentive to support the developers and encourage them to continue their work.

A thought for those temporary Linux users who complain that its not as easy to use as windows, please go out and pay money for your distribution, you never know, that might land you with something a little more idiot proof.

The other side of recent improvements in linux user experience is that l33t geeks who only used it because it was obscure, and dual booted windows to use mIRC anyway!, will now feel compelled to abandon the platform for one of the BSDs or the 'challenge' of running OSX on their PC hardware.

Anonymous said...

rightly said. why is it that people at the top aren't accountable ? hold them responsible for debacles! although firing them might not solve the problem (he might be replaced by a bigger idiot). the question sure pops up - why not them ? why is it that its the lower downs that suffer and not the higher ups. fire 'em! good, you have fired up the imagination of a thousand ...hmmm make that a million - but all of them are not going to voice thier opinion here!!!

L. Jason Godsey said...

I can't stand "you should" people. We recently purchased a home that needed major repairs. There are lots of "you should" people. "You should paint this room red"
I'm fairly laid back, but I'd like to counter with a you should of my own !!STFU!!
Everyone expects great things from Microsoft, and I'm sure they'll deliver it when it's ready.
Your Microsoft managers must be disapointed to see employees posting anonymously contributing to the problem, not solution.
Of course I know the real problem, I applied for a position in 1996 and never heard back.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I did propose a way around this impasse a few years ago, before it was visible as an impasse, in an open letter to Bill & Steve. Release the MS Win9x and the MS WinNT 4.x source trees under an open source license, and let the greybeards play with it!

Then see which team - the MS WinLongHorn or the FOSS greybeards - came up with a working product first. With the rider that Microsoft could not use the FOSS greybeards' code until the end of the competition, but afterwards, if the greybeards had won, Microsoft could use whatever had been developed. But they could not prevent anyone else from using the same source tree/s.

Predictably neither of those luminaries replied.

Now I'm wondering, does VistaBetion make one blind?

Anonymous said...

Two part answer:

How fast does hardware turnover in business in the United States?
The standard where I work (huge organization, over 15K desktops throughout the organization) is 3 years but this can extend out to 5 or more depending on a number of factors.

Will business ask that an older version of the operating system be installed when they buy new hardware?
Not just yes but Hell Yes. Until we decide to perform a full migration (note migration, not upgrade) of the fleet, we will and do order desktops and laptops with the previous version of software. As an example, the migration to XP was made about 18 months ago.

And, if the collective heads of M$ are not removed from where the sun does not shine, the next migration will be to Linux. And please do not get into the cost to operate argument. Our IT folks top to bottom are very familiar with the Linux environment, our migration from Word is sped up by the fact our default text file type is Rich Text, and quite frankly if the IT department had it's way the XP migration would have been to Linux.

Anonymous said...

I'm of two minds here...
There's a fine line between voicing very real, very legitimate frustrations with the Aristocracy -- er, management -- and just sounding like a crybaby, Sure, slipping release dates can cause some investors to pause or sell a stock, but what hurts more is whiny grumbling about stuff you can change. And don't give me BS about how entrenched the bureaucracy is; believe me, I've worked with governments that make Microsoft look like a Ferrari.

There are lots of developers who could give a rat's a$$ about the stock price. They just want to do things right. They're not islands. They know that the perceptions people have about the Helsinki OS. Some of them compete on a matter of pride, some do it because they have families to feed, some don't care.

So how about this... instead of whining about it, suggest ways to do things better. Explain why eyeballs are better than automation and use some real examples and statistics to back it up. Make a technical presentation about the benefits of a subsystem. I mean, come on, if you don't really KNOW what's happening in the code then you can only go on your gut reaction, your perceptions. That may work for rescuing the Princess in some Hollywood movie but that's not the way to write code.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, when I look at where Microsoft is, I'm really disgusted at the state of the computer industry.

Let's assume for a moment that there was no illegal monopoly, that the lies and FUD from Microsoft didn't exist, that everyone actually had at least and inkling of a fair chance to compete with this monster.

Would people really be interested in Vista then? Who would upgrade?

Average users? No. They can't run Aero Waxpaper, their computers aren't powerful enough. And they wouldn't want to. Everyone I've talked to thinks it's ugly. What's in Vista for them? Live preview? 3d slanted windows? A silly sidebar that wastes more real estate than anything imaginable?
No one needs or cares about things. Frankly, they are useless.

Gamers? In an ideal world games would be written for most OSs. And would a gamer want waxpaper effects wasting his graphics power while playing the newest graphics-heavy game? They would want an OS that can be as minimalistic as possible. (Oh, hi there Linux, how are you doing today?)

Everyone would have left for the competition already.

Ease of use?
Macs are VERY easy to use.
So is Linux actually. It's just sometimes masked by the worse hardware support which wouldn't be there in an ideal world. (And the hardware support's getting better and better. These days I have no problem running my hardware to its fullest) I have one Linux computer and several Windows computers. Guess which one people all fight over. :)

Windows doesn't have it. UNIX-based OSs do. Is UNIX perfect? No, but it's tons closer to perfection than Windows can dream of being.

Accelerated desktop and stuff?
OS X has had this for ages and I'm sure Leopard will improve upon it.
Linux has it available for people to play with as well. By the time Vista ships, XGL will be quite stable.

Apple - check
Linux - check

Also, Linux has package managers which are unbelievably useful. I really love explaining to people how these work, after which they're all in awe. (Of course, I have to explain it twice because most people are in a Windows world and don't know that OSs can actually be done right.)

Windows' upgrades are turning into more and more of a burden for users. When I hear conversations about upgrades, it's not about how they love the new features they bought the upgrade for, it's
"UGH! I had to upgrade Office so I could open the file my frined sent me. I don't see anything new. What a ripoff!"
"I had to get XP because my school's programs didn't run on win2k. I hate it. It's slower than any other computer I've used."

Compare that to other upgrades...
I've got a friend who uses a Mac. When Tiger came out, he immediately started talking about all the new features Tiger had.
And with Linux, my siblings are constantly exclaiming to me that this software or that has gotten better. Or that the computer feels faster than it ever was. (I upgrade behind their backs.)

In short... Microsoft, you people are just disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

I think ms is going to be fine. it has great products c# and .net are very cool office is very good. I just think UNIX and unix lookalikes and the unix way of designing an os are going to overtake windows like they did mac os but ms is going to survive just fine.

A mac user

Anonymous said...

From an external customer point of view we so no reason to run Vista, it runs fat and we do not upgrade our machines unless we have to, IE they are dead. From what I can see Vista's GUI is nothing more then Sun's Looking Glass that seems to have been out for years. Good to see Microsoft could "innovate".

Heck we are just now converting to XP, and not by choice. So I figure we might consider Vista in the next 5-6 years.

We do reimage all of our systems with our OS load regardless of what is on them from the vendor. And I would be willing to bet most companies do the same.

But, I can say the Vista slips have made MS' image worse as it falls on the heals of all the security issues.

Anonymous said...

I am the average consumer, so please listen to me and listen well. Right now you could not give VISTA to me and this is due to everything that I have heard, seen and read in the last few days. It will be Christmas 2007 before I even consider upgrading to it. After all Windows xp is finally becoming a professional product. Give us SP3 instead. By the way "You never wash your dirty laundry in public".

Anonymous said...

hmm. I feel so sorry for those windows users that are stuck in the 'AOL-like' grip of windows OS :( 'keep em coz they don't know any better, scare em so they won't know any better' .. hehe good luck :)

.. I would be screaming blue murder if I was a windows person that needed the features.

I use windows for some of my gaming, and I see no reason to update to a later version .. why? It only costs more money, and there's nothing in a newer version that the old doesn't do fine atm .. and more and more of my games I am able to port across just with some easily followed methods for install ...

.. my actual real computer tho is Ubuntu linux and gets updated every 6 months on the dot with a stable release. I have never had a crash or issue, ever. It was free. It will only get better, and regularly.

Good luck folks, sounds as tho you need it :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, this reminds me of Apple back in the dark ages of 1994 to 1997, before the iMac came out. It also reminds me of Apple's dropping of Rhapsody (The OSX ancestor that was meant to run on both x86 and ppc) in order to refocus on OSX and the Aqua PDF based gui. That left Apple without a new gen OS from 1998 all the way to the first dev previews and the public beta in late 2000. Granted, it wasn't 6 years, and Microsoft was busy fucking up mightily with the Win2000 delays back then as well.

In short I ddon't think it's such a biggy. All OS's have huge delays (It's a bit more complex than slapping together a website) and the only special fuckup with Vista is that it'll be 6 years late instead of 5 or 4.

I'm a Mac user and I think Vista has basically copied just about all it can from OSX (i.e gadgets, geez, how patetic), but it's looking ok and I'm sure it'll run ok, once it's finally out. MS might have no more employees left with brains and talent by then, but I'm sure it'll serve perfectly well to keep the MS monopoly running.

In fact, my tin foil hat conspiracy theory is that MS is delaying Vista because they're panicking about what Apple is going to release for 10.5 Leopard and want to have time to copy that too.

scalefree said...

The fundamental root cause of Microsoft's problems is that it has the wrong social network topology. Any top-down heirarchy, top-heavy & vertically stovepiped is doomed in the long run to fail against a self-organized, distributed network-based social network topology. Microsoft is doing what it can by introducing blogs & breaking up some of the stovepipes, but it's just not anywhere near enough to make a difference. It's just math - self-organized networks are more efficient, innovative, can reconfigure themselves according to changes in the environment & requirements. In the long run Microsoft cannot compete. It's just math.

Vicki said...

hey what happened to another thing these people at Microsoft made and supported in the Windows Media Player, called the WMA file format? Do people use that now?

Anonymous said...

Someone said that XP was a time-bomb. Maybe so. I still run Windows 2000 Pro. Why? It's faster, easier and extremely stable. As long as MS keeps putting out updates and patches, I'll probably keep running it.

It is the programs that I run. I don't really run the OS. What am I missing by not having XP? Nothing. What will I miss by not running Vista? I don't know but, I seriously doubt that it will offer something of "value" that is "worth" what they want -- especially considering I'd need a new PC to run it.

XP prevented many of our programs from running so I stayed with 2000. If Vista does the same thing, I'll continue to run 2000.

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts here:

MS needs to implement Agile software development -- constant prioritization, close knit dev /test teams, and shippable code pieces all along the way-- when in doubt ship the less priority items as a service pack update.

OSX based on FreeBSD
NT/XP/Vista NOT -- guess that micro-kernel thing isn't working out as well as expected

My constant rant -- every year MS and application vendors find ways to make new PCs run just as slow as they did the prior year.

You ever load DOS on a pc with > 1Ghz processor speed -- man that's fast isn't it. When we had 640kb people tended to care about optimization -- now we need to have 640kb textures in the OS to make it "pretty".

Anonymous said...

I'm a consumer, developer, and consultant. I don't play games. What is Vista to me?

From what I can tell, it offers me less control over my own workstation, locking down configuration and low level functionality behind endless layers of hackery.

From what I can tell, it forces ever more restrictive DRM down my throat so that now I will have to replace my expensive monitors if I'm to watch high end video.

From what I can tell it will require ever more power and ram to do...well...nothing. Its an operating system. By itself it has no value. It is a place in which applications run.

I've moved 90% of my server functionality to Linux but find that the desktop is still not a place Linux plays well.

Vista is my #1 reason for looking at what I can do to make Linux a more workable solution on the desktop.

WINFS was promising -- it would have actually made for new kinds of functionality. Failure.

The next rev of Office gets the message. That team is producing something really new in terms of a more useable interface. Of course, what pushed them to do it was Open Office. The new Office has a UI that will be exceedingly (and purposely) hard to duplicate with Java.

Sorry guys -- Microsoft grows increasingly desperate to suck upgrade after upgrade dollar from consumers and businesses to sustain a management wealth heavy organization which has great ideas but programs by hiring masses of coders by gross weight rather than spending their money on solid architecture and a few top minds with the freedom to innovate the grass roots level.

Anonymous said...

are people still reading this?
i mean... come on.

well, if so, perhaps a fresh perspective?

being a young and hungry coder myself, i perceive myself to be on the bleeding edge, lerning the ways of the binary at a top 10 university and trying to stay privy to industry ebb and flow. an artist first though, and coder second, the aesthetic and workflow pleasantries of apple (tiger) (and non MS apps in general) have always struck the eye well and made good first impressions.

however, despite whatever inside beuracracy may be going on, or whatever sweatshop code house MS really is, let it be known it delivers a product that even a hot headed, firefox loving, google drooler, open source apple junky can even appreciate. xp gets the job done admirably, and while me and my buddies get together, have a few cold ones, nerd out and hack it on weekends it is still very much an industry standard.

apple and microsoft are kind of like a ferrari and a bmw. the ferrari is faster, sportier and flashier, but youre going to get more miles out of the beamer, not to mention you can put the kids and skiis in the back as well.

so all in all, i am loving mini and all the comments, and heres hoping to some heads rolling post-launch. but i would like to emphasis post launch... even in a world of coder pain and overly complex corporate hierarchy you guys deliver a product i know and love.


Amanda said...

Chances are slim they will

Rationalist said...

top management is unimputable. They are gods and can do whatever they like without ever being asked to justify their failures because they are not their fault. Failures are always the responsability of bad implementations of their visions by people lower in the hierarchy.

Successes are the result only of their great vision and genius. No one else contributed for it so only they deserve to be royally rewarded.

When It's to late to keep playing "allice in wonderland", stock holders usually give them the boot and they just permute places with other people in other companies with the same problems.

In particular Microsoft is not that different. They just are too large and too powerfull to collapse overnight over bad management. One would have to do it almost on purpose and even so.

To top that, most of those people hold huge amounts of shares, meaning they won't likely get booted.

On a personal account I can only rejoice at the stupidity of managers at Microsoft and hope their demise comes as soon as possible. But it won't, it will take several years more of errors far worse than these for it to succumb to it's own stupidity.

Meanwhile I'll be watching and wainting...

Anonymous said...

Man you guys are pathetic to be posting this crap on a public blog.

Sounds like a typical huge company I used to work at. Sure, there are many of you who are really smart. But the smart ones are surrounded by too much imcompetence, including the management.

It is the way the world works without viable competitors (think big animals on a tropical island...think Google as an invasive species).

Fortunately your monopoly will bail you out for awhile until the PC (and Office) is irrelevant. But as soon as a competitor comes around, you guys are finished and will die a slow death like General Motors. If it weren't for Office, it would happen much quicker. The world is starting to accept web applications...Netscape was ahead of the game. MSFT had no problem killing off Netscape/Java because it was ahead of its time.

I can still remember PMs running around with their heads cut off in my train-wreck. All the best devs left the company and the mediocrity stayed put. I ran away to acadamia to weather the dot-com bust. Surprisingly the company is doing better these days...so maybe there is hope for MSFT.

If the codebase really is a train-wreck that many of you claim, then MSFT needs to branch out and explore paths in parallel. Get a crack team of devs to embrace Singularity and see if you can turn it into a product.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure Firing the Management or leader ship is the fix to MS Vista

Everyone should be accountable CEO's, Top Management, Middle Managment and Programers

A lot of people are going away from Windows XP and trying out Windows 2000 PRO and Windows 2003

Also a lot of people using Windows now create a custome Nlite copy of their OS disc to remove the const bloat that windows gets .

Everyone seems to love Nlite and how fast and secure Windows is after a Nlite

Remove the dozens of unwanted services, replace crapy OS built in drivers with updated internet drivers from the manafactor , remove IE , remove WMP , Remove Messager, Remove Outlook Express (basicly all the things that get exploited )

Portable software is gaining ground As are Freeware and Opensource programs.

Networking sharing in XP and Vista so needs to be adress'ed

Simple File sharing is the biggest peice of crap in my view

Windows started off with a great system to share files in Windows 95 , 98 then Win2k was harder for a lot of ppl .

Windows XP Home is a joke , so many ppl buy it since its cheaper but theirs so many things annoying with it , primary is you cant turn off Simple file sharing mode .

Most users now have ditched Windows file sharing and use DC++

I managed to look at that Beta 1 copy of Vista (which everyone was calling the 1st beta when it was serval down the track) I wasnt impressed at all .

Idealy Windows Vista needs to go back to basics and a decent attempt of security .

Few features of upcoming Windows I and a lot of people would like to see :

* Windows File Sharing - DONT SHARE FILES via Administrator account

Idealy share all files by default as Guest with Read Only access

Use a dialog box like Windows 95/98 to share files


Remove the share admin drives ( C$ D$ ) Home users dont need that

Actually theirs a BLOAT LOAD of server features in Windows that doesnt need to be in a Home / Office OS .

Telnet server service - REMOVE IT

The amount of services is stupidy high aswell in Windows XP and Vista

For example, windows should detect if a printer or fax is connected , then turn on the service , not leave every single server know to man on by default .

Network Workgroup name, please go back to WORKGROUP and Stop using MSHOME

If an IP cant be auto assigned dont swap to the private 169.x.x.x class range , this is an anooying feature of windows that needs to be fixed in Windows 2000 , XP and 2003 and Vista

If an IP cant be given by the DHCP server then popup a message and ask the user to retry or ask the user to manualy enter in a IP

ICS , its about time this was removed . Yet another server function that is a in an Desktop OS

Most people use a Network 10/100 , Network Gigabit card or Wireless to connect to the internet

I mean the Vista by the sounds of it , ideal needs 3 gig processor and 1 gig of ram , lets ditch the old crap out of windows

Dialup support , remove it , if youre using a P4/AMD64 with a high end cpu and 1 gig of ram , its about time you updated the connection aswell.

Ahh tip People don't want DRM in any software either

It will be interesting to see how Windows Vista turns out and if australia gets it at the same time or another 4 month delay and double the price

I cant wait till Nlite and XPY programs support Vista

Ahh IE so needs to Disable Cookies by default , ActiveX needs to be disabled by DEFAULT aswell .

Use a simular approach like Firefox , were the user can enter in an accepted list of domians allowed for cookies

PC techs make a buckload of cash from the const flow of IE users with cookies turned on and activex turned on ...

I could probly point out dozens of more Windows bits that need to get fixed , but that will do


Anonymous said...

People will get Vista because the music and movie industries will make all that DRM garbage mandatory.

Anonymous said...

Programmed on windows platforms for years, that is until I found linux. I now have a real hatred for the company not because of the riches but because of the manipulation I withstood for years. Take for instance the whole IE deal, it was pushed into every singe product especially visual studio to attempt the widest distribution, not because it was a smart thing but because somebody wanted IE to win so they manipulated the developers.

As long as Linux is around I will never be manipulated for someone else's gains again. More importantly nobody will ever tell me what I can and cannot do with my machine.

Anonymous said...

Hey all, this is my first post here. :)

Just finished reading through ALL the posts, and I didn't see a single one in regards to the ability to run windows xp natively on Intel Macs.

I know that this post is about Vista [and now Office] delays, apparently because of outstanding EU issues related to samba or whatever, but I just wanted to know what you guys thought about this recent dual-boot capability.

I did see a few posts on here from people saying that Apple should license Mac OS X to pc OEM's, but then Apple would lose it's seamless integration between it's OS and it's hardware configurations. So, what if it happens the other way around and people can just install windows xp on a Mac natively without taking a performance hit because of emulation? I would say that Apple could even do both, sell Mac OS X to other OEM's and not stand in the way of users who want to install windows on their Macs, which Apple has already stated that they will not obstruct this activity in anyway. If the people who buy a copy of Mac OS X run into hardware/OS problems [driver issues, etc.], then they might figure out that it is because they sacrificed quality control by not using a Mac which, again, provides that seamless integration to begin with.

As far as I know, the only outstanding issues with running windows xp on [all] the Intel Macs right now seems to be the lack of video card drivers. Additionally, the Intel Core Duo MacBook Pro notebooks also seem to have an issue with fan control for heat dissipation, but I imagine that both those issues will be resolved shortly.

The reason I ask, is because there is now an overwhelming interest on behalf of pc users to buy a Mac [more than usual, as I already witness 2-4 Mac sales a day, 5 times a week, and have done so for the past 4 years]. More often than not, those customers are "switchers" looking to replace a dead or "frustrating" pc, and now as the knowledge becomes more public that they can install windows xp directly on a Mac's hard drive [partitioned of course] I am wondering if there is a downside that I am not seeing here that might anger those new customers if that ability was a reason for them buying a Mac in the first place. In other words, I'm just trying to avoid a customer service disaster here.

This interest is even expressed by self admitted "non-computer savvy" users that like the option of being to install windows if they absolutely have to at a later date, although most say they only care about Office, and since that's available for Mac [and even if it wasn't, there's the $79 Apple iWork suite that includes "Pages"/ms word replacement and "Keynote"/ms powerpoint replacement]. The feedback I've overheard from customers is that both of those applications are very easy to use, but also unexpectedly high end for their intended purposes, which the customers say they weren't expecting.

Here's the site that contains the free [because Mac OS X uses the FreeBSD Unix kernal and therefore is Open Source] "EFI Boot Loader" which allows windows to be loaded on non-BIOS hardware [I hope I got that right, I'm new to this whole thing]:

It seems that with this recent development, that there is now discussion in regards to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard including Intel's "Virtualization Software":

"Apple's implementation of the Intel processors, of course, include the possibility of launching multiple operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, alongside Mac OS X. Alternatively, Leopard's Fast User Switching could be expanded to provide completely independent environments."

Anyways, any thoughts and/or comments would be graetly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Still, there's good news behind the bad. It really doesn't matter when Vista ships, or even whether it ships at all, because no-one I know gives a damn.

DOS to Windows 3.1 was a big improvenment for users, Windows 3.1 to 95/98 was vast, 98 to XP was beneficial but not major. XP to Vista? Why would I want to do that? 3D menu bars? Intrusive DRM? Dog-slow performance on anything but the fastest PC? Yeah, well worth the money.

And if I can't see a reason to upgrade, having been a PC user since DOS 3, why the heck would Joe Sixpack do so when their Win98 machine already does most things they want to do? What actual, real customer need does Vista fill?

Some people have said that Mac discussions don't belong here, but I think that's a major mistake. Vista, to me, just looks like an attempt by Microsoft to play catch-up with Apple, which hasn't been the case for many years: if it wasn't for the fact that much of the software I run is Windows-only I'd say there would be a very good chance that my next computer would be a Mac.

For Microsoft to have dropped behind Apple, even if it may only be in our perception rather than reality, is a huge failure of corporate management. One that I think will be far more important in the long run than a delay in shipping Vista.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Karma wonderful?

Bill? If you reading this...remember Gary Kildall?

Maybe you should start over with your own code this time.

jasonlaronde said...

Not to tout the riches of the Mac domain, but I'm about to tout the riches of the Mac domain!!!
Steve Jobs when announcing and demoing the amazing new features of their latest operating system last year poked fun at the organizational skills and inefficentcies of Microsoft and their development teams... Pather having many (if not more) of the very same features that Microsoft is touting as vista breaking through the boundries of desktop computing, a aqua interface, transparent windows and icons, 3D UI, and a graphis system supported by... duh... the graphics card... It's all been done before Bill... by a team of very talented Californians who have been doing it for years. Now with yet another operating system slated for release this summer, they will have rebuilt and developed not one, but two (2) of the most inovative (and not to mention visual stimulating, pleasing, stable and easy to navigate operating systems in... well... forever... meanwhile you wite, rewrite, rerelease, reannounce, recant all these false promices for the next wave of GUI... when its already been done. Thanks what you get by mismanaging the multi-thousand member teams responsible for developing one of the most important pieces of software on the planet... I hope you like your fancy house on the hill because while you're sipping your $6 cup of coffee, your staff are squandering your profits and throwing the biggest buying seasons out the window all behind your back!

Anonymous said...

You know you are really in trouble when your answer to failure is to fire people.

This leads to coverups, blame games, and backstabbing.

A responsible company handles a project's failure by identifying the causes, via a postmortem effort, and working to fix them for the next project cycle.

An honest postmortem analysis of a failed project simply can't happen when folks are running around saying 'off with his head'!

That way leads to a maelstrom of emotion and you can't identify root causes and solutions in such a corporate culture.

My 0.2
Michael Penney

Anonymous said...

I use MS Windows at home and at work. I also use Unix at work and GNU/Linux at home.

I like all of these different OSs in different ways. Out of all MS OSs I like 2000 and XP the most, they are quite stable and can be used securily if the user bothers. But I never buy MS OS in a box, I always get it preinstalled with a new machine. I will not buy Vista, if it comes preinstalled, it comes preinstalled. It doesn't matter to me when or even if Vista ever comes out, XP seems to be good enough.

There is a huge discussion here on the merits of management and development strategies within MS, for me these things don't matter much, what I would like to see is support for Win2K and WinXP not being discontinued, and that is about it.

Peter in Japan said...

I am a longtime Mac user who has built a successful business relying on Macs (the old OS 8-9 machines and now OS X, of course). I have to say, it's quite enjoyable to be a Mac user these days. Do you guys see how totally Rhapsody-like this all is? The problems, the delays, the denials? In the end, Rhapsody had to be jettisoned with the dead (the dirty Socialator). I doubt this will happen as Microsoft is the company that it is, but it's all very alarming at best.

Do you know one of the coolest things about OS X? It's one single platform that supports all languages, period. You buy OS X in Dubai and it's the same version as the one sold in Japan or America or France, except that the manual might be different. OS X is totally multilingual, and you can set your language and everything just works (well, if BBEdit doesn't support Arabic, it will work in English by default, of course). I *know* that, on top of all this Vista felgercarb, you're going to have delay issues with the 140+ other versions that need to make their way to the other parts of the world. When System 7 came out, those of us who had to use Japanese had to go through 18 months of hellish delays waiting for the "Kanjitalk" version to come out. There were hacks that used some resources from System 6 to get System 7 to work in japanese (wow, that brings me back). All of this went away when Apple showed real vision to make any copy of OS X be exactly the same no matter what country you were in, just change the language and go. I am *sure* this kind of vision won't be forthcoming from Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

My next PC, and many of my friends' next PC, will be an Apple. A Vista or XP headache is not something I welcome. Everybody knows that hardware (processors, video and audio cards, etc.) fully capable of running Vista won't be out for 6-12 months after Vista is released. I'm sure that AMD, Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA love this delay because some people will upgrade even more during the next 2 or 3 year period, but me and my friends won't.

Anonymous said...

This is not a Mac vs. PC comment. Just a question. The fundamental aspects of OS X that make it a success are:

1. Easy to develop for due to revolutionary NextStep/OpenStep/Cocoa system (no, .NET does not compare).

2. Optimized micro-kernel running an evolved and stable Core OS (Mach running BSD Unix) which developers already knew how to develop for (and for which lots of apps were already available).

3. Robust selection of integrated applications to handle vast majority of user-oriented tasks without having to buy extra applications.

All of these things existed back when OS X was still called NextOS, well over a decade ago. The truly important parts of OS X are not new nor innovative. Even though all of these features were basically incomplete when Next was still around and even when OS X 10.0 was released, it was still enough to bring Apple back from the brink and make the Mac successful again.

So knowing that these features, even when still incomplete are enough to sell computers, why in the hell has it taken so long for MSFT (or anyone else for that matter) to catch up? The real problem is that MSFT should've started rewriting the OS a lot sooner (just like Apple should've started Copland 5 years sooner than it did). Apple was able to buy Next to save themselves. What will MSFT do? Palm already bought Be.

You think MSFT could make a usable version of Windows out of Irix? I hear SGI is up for sale.

Anonymous said...

About Photoshop, it's been added to the original code base for years using Metroworks. With Apple's switch to Intel and X-Code for universal binairies, Adobe has to rewrite the entire Photoshop code. A engineer on the project says they don't the same type of brilliant people who first developed it. Photoshop for IntelMacs is going to be long in coming, especially since everyone is waiting for those 64 bit dual cores from Intel in November.

About Microsoft, they have a lock on the buisness space, Apple doesn't even want to play there. So MS in all it's fumbling, will still remain buisnesses favorite.

Second, Microsoft's answer to personal computing is the X-Box, think about it. For years Microsoft could have done something to make Windows more user friendly, more secure etc. But they didn't because exploits gives IT a job which reinforces their hand in buisness and has the opposite effect of discouraging consumers in favor of a set top box which is completely controled by Microsoft.

My advice to disgruntled Microsoft employees. I have been where your at, your not happy obviously, you feel pressured.

This moment in time will pass, just chill and save your money and plan for a eventual leaving of the company. It's good to have options, if you got a few hundred grand in the bank, then start looking around at something you'll know that will make you happy. Your health is more important than anything, and a stressful job will kill you quicker than Ballmer can throw a chair.

In the meanwhile leave a few holes here and there so you can have the satisfaction you regained your respect from those morons who made your life so miserable, wage slaves.

Anonymous said...

An answer to this mess is to have a massive (millions) FREE open beta for people to download. Nothing tests a OS like a few million idiots churning away on it.

Fire all your testers and give the public (& Wallstreet) a reason to smile. It's a brilliant PR move and MS gets a wealth of info outta it to make the OS better for it's Q1 launch.


Anonymous said...

"Re: Delay in Vista. The reality is that software development is a non-predictable and non-repeatable process."

I hope this isn't how Microsoft views development. I don't think I want to trust anything to an OS that was created by some magical process that couldn't be repeated if desired.

Anonymous said...

"Start again and just run a compatibility layer on top. [...] We need to START AGAIN PEOPLE."

This is what confuses me: if MSFT is starting with the presumption that (most) end-users will have to upgrade their entire system to run Vista, why bother supporting the old hardware to begin with?

* - Yes, their entire system. At the current stage of development, an upgrade in any single component basically requires upgrading the entire system. New video cards are PCI-Express. RAM is DDR. SATA has supplanted IDE. This is the grim reality for anyone currently running a 3-4 year old system. If your customers are ditching the old hardware, maybe you should, too.

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