Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Vista 2007. Fire the leadership now!

2007.

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

Slip!

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.


605 comments:

1 – 200 of 605   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

ballmer: fired!
allchin: fired!
valentine: fired!
jones: fired!
partners at windows division: fired!

windows does need a clean start. it's a no brainer at this point!
and if the company doesn’t have what it takes to send you out without a job, you should be seriously thinking about leaving your chair to smarter, more motivated people.
we cannot ship our OS. this is not a joke. if we don't take some radical decisions, the company is over.

Anonymous said...

I think you should add Rob Bennett to the list of people to be fired.

Anonymous said...

I think you should rob Bennett to that list of people to be fired.

jamie said...

please add the channel 9 discussion of this:

http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=174087

(over 1000 views) to your list mini

Anonymous said...

Only 24 hours to go. Your wish is coming true in many ways....

Anonymous said...

Bill, get rid of the Windows mafia, or be ready to lose your good employees. This is just unacceptable. It can’t be happening. It can’t be real. This is not Microsoft. I need to see people getting fired. I have to see people being kicked out of the door. I don’t know where the motivation is going to come from, if some justice is not applied.

THEY HAVE TO LEAVE.

Anonymous said...

Fer cripes sake, just get a Mac already.

Anonymous said...

The culture isn't accountable. Clamoring for a bunch of people getting fired is a waste of time. It’s OUR fault that this company is a disaster. You know who is responsible for our mess, US. It’s your fault. Take responsibility and stop being a bunch of front line victims. It’s pathetic.

Being a 10+ year vet I feel ashamed and sad. This company is a mess on so many levels.

James Roden said...

Most of the technical types I know(and I am talking about people who generally like MS stuff) can't think of a good reason to buy Vista.

Heck, I do 3d graphic design in my spare time, and all I can think about is what a bloated hunk of code I am gonna have to strip down to run my applications at their fastest.

The problem is that after WINFS and a number of other "promised features" were gutted, we honestly can't think of a reason to justify actually spending the money on Vista. XP works, we like it a lot...and we don't see any reason (especially in a corporate environment) to change.

You want to know the truth? To us techie types outside of Microsoft who are in the IT industry...Vista is a joke. Our nickname for it is "Windows Vista Vaporware", or "Longwait".

At this stage, until I see a confirmed release date on Amazon, or I walk into Circuit City and see it on the shelf...Vista is as much Vaporware as Duke Nukem Forever.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it's time for a shareholder revolt. Vista is the biggest software development failure of all time, outside of the federal government. IBM's office vision was the previous record holder, with $900M spent.

What's the cost of Vista to date? Five, six billion in direct costs, and maybe another hundred in opportunity costs?

MSFT shareholders need to start rolling some heads, starting with the monkey-boy.

Anonymous said...

Windows Leadership - Where does accountability fit on your review criteria?!

I just submitted my resignation from Microsoft today - not because of this news, it just happened that I found a great opportunity outside of msft and got tired of salary compression and review system.

So now I am speaking just as a shareholder - please change the management in Windows division. Promote some people that are hungry for success and are not 'resting and vesting'!!!!

Anonymous said...

"January has emerged as almost a second Christmas, with gift cards, sales, etc. It's a new trend,"

Taken from one of the linked articles.
This is just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Jones should resign if he has any shame. So should Khaki and every partner PM.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've pondered for years what MS would do in this situation, when it became clear that the OS was a complete train wreck.

Apple was able to buy NeXT, but MS has killed off all of their viable replacements. OS/2, BeOS, PenPoint? All strangled by MS's anti-competitive (and illegal) tactics.

So, here's the way out: MS should swallow real hard, ante up half of what they blew on Longwind, and buy an OS X license from Apple. That would be about $10B up-front, and a hefty royalty. MS would have to assume the burden of making it run on all the crapbox PCs out there, which have had all the quality squeezed out of them, due to MS's having sucked up the lion's share of the profit from all PCs for the last 20 years or so.

The benefit is that MS could finally ship a securable OS, and the users wouldn't have to lose countless hours trying to work around the malware. Meanwhile, the only semi-competent part of the company, the Mac Business Unit, would take the lead in Apps development.

Anonymous said...

Ballmer was in New York last week pitching MSFT to Wall Street. He did an interview on CNBC which you can watch here:

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=bde48829-fe74-4834-9497-94ee5a4b021d&t=&f=15/64&p=

It's pretty painful anytime you have to watch Ballmer do an interview or give a speech, so save yourself some of the agony and fast forward to about 2:05 into the video. He is asked point blank about Vista being delayed.

Anonymous said...

The culture isn't accountable. Clamoring for a bunch of people getting fired is a waste of time. It’s OUR fault that this company is a disaster. You know who is responsible for our mess, US. It’s your fault. Take responsibility and stop being a bunch of front line victims. It’s pathetic.

Being a 10+ year vet I feel ashamed and sad. This company is a mess on so many levels.


In the sense that you are supporting management's dysfunction by continuing to work at Microsoft, you are correct; you are partially responsible for the mess.

So, clean it up and quit.

Management certainly is not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Well, whoever you are, Mini, you just proved you don't work in Windows.

If you had spent the last 5 years of your life grinding away to get this thing out the door, you would have realized the only thing worse than slipping the date, would have been to lay a turd in August. Those of us in the trenches (front-line L61 PM here, on a real feature set, not one of those useless COSD bureaucrats) see exactly what bugs are between us and shipping.

And did you actually read the PR piece in detail before spouting off? "with business availability in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007". This means SPECIFICALLY getting the OS out in time to be able to sell to business before end of the calendar year (which many companies align with the fiscal year) and then January (so that all the post-holiday sales will have Vista loaded on them.

I certainly agree that lots of mistakes were made, all the way up and down the chain. And that Allchin should have booted out the door right at the LH reset. But we'll be living with the Vista codebase for a long, long time. This is the right thing to do for the product. There will be short-term $ pain, short-term stockholder and stock price pain, and if there's any justice, some heads will roll. But in the longer view, 2, 3, 5 years from now... this will have been the right call.

Put it to you this way. At the end of this year, do you want Vista? Or do you want XP SP2 ME? 'Cause it's goddamned impossible to deliver Vista by August... but we sure as heck can give ya XP SP2 ME any time.

Anonymous said...

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

You will see the accountability this August when reviews are handed out to junior employees.

If you think things are bad; wait and see.

Jonathan Ellis said...

Sure, it's embarassing to slip, but seriously, who really cares when you have a monopoly? Instead of the OEM paying $50 or whatever for a copy of Vista for each machine sold, they're paying $50 per copy of XP. Boo hoo.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that after WINFS and a number of other "promised features" were gutted, we honestly can't think of a reason to justify actually spending the money on Vista. XP works, we like it a lot...and we don't see any reason (especially in a corporate environment) to change.

The migration to Vista will be a passive one, as someone else previously mentioned; appearing on new computers bought by companies.

The same for home users; a lot of people do not know enough to figure out what hardware upgrades they need ; so again, it will appear on new computers.

How fast does hardware turnover in business in the United States? Will business ask that an older version of the operating system be installed when they buy new hardware?

Anonymous said...

To the L61 PM who posted earlier, you have GOT to be kidding me. We're releasing in November to enterprise customers. Why not to consumers and OEMs (for consumers then)? Because on a 5 year dev cycle someone actually thinks they can make a last minute impact in the last 6-7 weeks pushing into January? That reeks of schedule and PM failure starting at the top all the way down to you...sorry, it just does. If there is something you guys are saving until December, you SUCK. Did you see our stock after the bell? That's YOUR FAULT!!!!! I am dreading to see the shares tomorrow. My only consolation, that the Q1 ESPP purchase will be a little lower. SON OF A BITCH BALLMER, WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU TO RECYCLE YOUR EXECS?????

Anonymous said...

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

You will see the accountability this August when reviews are handed out to junior employees.

If you think things are bad; wait and see.


They do have a lot more applicants than positions but you also hear the complaints that there are few good applicants that they want to hire.

So, punishing junior employees for management's mistakes is another bonehead move on management's part.

One more reason to quit and not waste your life working for those who can't possibly admit they might have something to do with the current problems.

Anonymous said...

Say there "front-line L61 PM",

It may or may not surprise you to know that there are still people who insist that Apple could have shipped Copland. As an Apple shareholder, I'm very happy that nearly all of them left Apple in a huff by mid-1998, but there are still a few of them in the company. Thank goodness not a one of them will ever be promoted again.

Vista is a disaster. The "reset" you mention is nothing less than a FAILURE to SHIP. What you're working on now isn't Longhorn, it's SP4. Don't kid yourself.

If you want to salvage your career, flee to Office, or better yet, get the heck out of the company before it all collapses.

Anonymous said...

When we fail, it is directly because of low level employees. We reward success and failure. We do reward failure but only for partners. We hold low level people directly accountable for sustained failure that has directly affected this company, its future, and its stock price. Low level employees will not receive any incentives this year. You will be fired in large numbers once vista ships. Many partners will get golden parachutes.

Anonymous said...

I dont know what the big deal is here. You get your Vista bits 6 months later, it is not the end of the world like you know.

It is a giant company, and frankly I am impressed that they will deliver despite sloppy management up and down the chain. Oh yeah sloppy, rich and arrogant.

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.

Anonymous said...

Ballmer cracks me up. The emperor has no undies. Ballmer is incompetent. The interview mentioned previously is terrible. Ballmer has presided over the fall of Microsoft. He sucks. When are internal folks going to stop falling for this mythological aristocracy? He and Bill are just weak men who aren’t in control. They desire power and no longer care about software.

“Best and brightest” my back-side. He has morons on search. The product sucks! Market share is falling daily. Innovation is minimal. The new Live is like giving msn the paddles while the lips are turning blue.

“We are doing a great job innovating.” Bull! You copy and use your monopoly power to leverage others our of markets that they created. A polite way of saying it is that you are a “fast follower.”

Ballmer’s days are numbered.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal? IIRC Windows 2000 was 3 years late too.

Anonymous said...

There has never been a better illustration of the Peter Principle than Steve Ballmer. If he hadn't been a buddy of Bill's, he wouldn't have even made it into management in any Fortune-500 company.

Microsoft is depriving some village of its idiot. Send him home.

Anonymous said...

The migration to Vista will be a passive one, as someone else previously mentioned; appearing on new computers bought by companies.

The same for home users; a lot of people do not know enough to figure out what hardware upgrades they need ; so again, it will appear on new computers.


Is this what Windows has become? An upgrade no one wants, forced upon them because the new hardware they're buying doesn't support anything less?

Compare this to OS X, where people fall all over themselves trying to get the newest version running on their old hardware because there's actual value in the new features.

So Vista has its guts ripped out, slips, and we wait another 5 years for a potentially insipring version of Windows, meanwhile Apple ships another 3 updates to OS X.

I hope to God Office 12 steps up and kicks some ass.

Anonymous said...

Ok let's take a look back at the great mgmt decisions in one Windows test org: Not an important group; just appcompat. (It's not like anyone really cares about appcompat - who cares if customers' 3rd party apps (and especially MS apps) really don't work that well on this new fustercluck.

In the last 18 months this org:
1) Cut the number of testers (several times) from approx 50 to now much less than a dozen. Of course, many top performers also left MS entirely because of middle mgmt in this org.
2) Hired more PMs
3) Cut the scope of testing (anyone done any real code coverage testing lately?)
4) Cut the number of promotions in the test orgs - nothing like a little 'de-incentivization' to increase 'bad attrition'
5) Dictate that everything can and should be automated. (Ignore that eyeballs catch more in less time...) way to go Darren. Of course, you were probably lied to by your underlings, so it's not entirely your fault. Uhh, yes it is - you made the call.
6) Hire only a small handful of devs to write automation code. Oh, and don't forget to swamp them with added process and have embittered leads review their code...
7) Hire more PMs
8) Outsource all testing to non-accountable and barely trained CSG firms overseas (Ever try to translate/clarify a bug written not by a tester, but by their lead based on notes? )
9) Limit the number of heads the abovementioned overseas firms can use. > Fewer testers, less experienced, with little training, a much (ahem) 'slower' approach to testing.


Results: Client appcompat % hovering at <40% (GASP - INTERNAL INFO... better moderate this one out!!!!)

Here's an anomaly for PM's to 'splain away. If automation is such a great tool, why is it not finding more bugs than a small handful of testers in a lab on the other side of the planet?

Mgmt Response:
(CRICKETS chirping)

Prediction:
In an amazingly fortuitous time frame (say, just before some upper mgmt BOTL really is), a new and more insightful way of looking at the raw numbers will reveal that the appcompat % is actually >75%. No, wait, did I say 75? I meant 85. At RTM it will be 95.6, or whatever other arbitrary happy-happy number they came up with like last time. In reality, last go-around, the appcompat % was quite high, despite the PM lies, just not as high as they claimed.

What? You're going to dispute the numbers that some lower functionaries spun up through the labyrinthine PM food chain? At each 'filter' point one gets to improve his own rep by making his ownership area look better. What's a few % points between bureaucrats?


While I'm in rant mode, why exactly IS MCE so bad? Didn't anyone test this puppy before kicking it out the door and having another PM party?
A brand new Dell with full OEM installed load and almost nothing works in the expected 'just plug it in Dad and it works'.
Sure is great he has a son who works at MS. Oh, no he doesn't. His son left.

Vista - I wouldn't buy it with someone else's money. Then again What do I know, I've only been testing the dog for the last 2-3 yrs...

Political Refugee from Windows said...

My bet: No one over level 68 gets fired. Allchin leaves at the end of the year as expected. Jawad continues to be the poster child for why there's no accountability in management. BrianV may or may not leave. I hope to dog I'm wrong and Kevin cleans house, but I'm not holding my breath.

The slip is a good thing for product quality, because although mr. level 61 PM strikes me as a jerk, he's right in that you can always get ME, but you can't always get XP or Server 2k3. Even with this slip of the launch dates (notice the RTM date isn't mentioned?) Vista is coming in hot and it remains to be seen if they can get things shaped up fast enough.

On the "Why should I buy Vista?" topic, those EXACT same arguments were made against XP back in 2001. Nobody gave a shit that it had memory protection, real pre-emptive multitasking, NTFS, etc. etc. Yes, in hindsight it's SOOOOO much better than WinME or Win98 that the purchase is a no brainer, but back then it was a hard sell to most people. In a stunning (NOT) display of incompetence, the management of Windows marketing was more worried about leaks of the UI (which "everyone" hated) than they were about explaining the benefits and value of the product.

Folks, the only difference between Vista and prior releases (back to at least NT4/Windows 2000) is the size of the fuck up. It's been business as usual with resets, lack of planning, disdain for project management techniques used outside MS, and deathmarches throughout. The only thing that will REALLY cause lasting change is a significant (>10%) in the market share of Windows. A down quarter or two would do more to affect real change than all the EE in the world.

On the internecine warfare topic, all three disciplines are important and necessary to deliver complex software products. Calling each other idiots doesn't solve anything, and doesn't ship anything either. Fix it, stop bitching about it.

God, we look like DEC more and more every day.

Anonymous said...

Dance monkey boy!

Cheopys said...

Want to see Vista ship?

Get rid of 90% of the Process that goes between writing the code and getting it checked in.


Get rid of the developer-hosted test boxes, get rid of prefast and quality gates, get rid of the process that has people working at 3AM on Sunday morning NOT to fix bugs, NOT to write features, NOT to make the product more stable, but only to move marbles from one coffee can to another coffee can... er, uh, I mean, for FIs and RIs.

Because that's where all the time is going, and that's why people working on Vista are closing their doors and literally weeping in frustration at their desks.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of 90% of the Process that goes between writing the code and getting it checked in

amen.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think delaying it more is good. There's nothing more shitty for a dev to check in poorly tested code to meet some arbitrary date.

Productivity hampering processes that suck life out of everyone in Windows and ultra-bad planning are another thing entirely. Heads should roll for those.

But as a dev, I would really appreciate if our management here had balls to push the schedule out by a week or two so that I have time to at least integrate with other pieces properly without locking myself up in the office and working 16 hour days towards the end of the milestone.

Anonymous said...

We could and should have shipped sooner with 20% of the current feature set. Seriously, what makes people think that anyone cares about all of these other features beyond the bullet points that will sell the product.

Anonymous said...

This slippage is flat out appalling. It’s only March and these weasels are pushing back. Next, it’ll be the fabled Q1!

Frankly, I’d like to hear a lot less of the “innovating” buzzword being bandied about and a lot more of the word “delivering.” Yes, we will deliver on what we say. Yes, we will deliver on our commitments. This is outrageous!

Anonymous said...

"We could and should have shipped sooner with 20% of the current feature set. Seriously, what makes people think that anyone cares about all of these other features beyond the bullet points that will sell the product"

EXACTLY... It's about time we face the fact that the OS is nothing more than a hosting platform for REAL apps. Just like IE is for cool websites. We don't need apps on there done by us...calc and notepad are it. Let someone else "skin" Windows, let someone else write the stupid solitaire and let's do the security, kernel and move on. You honestly think anyone sits there wondering at the marvel that is Windows Explorer? No, they go in long enough to open an app or a file. Who gives a f--k what the folders look like, stop pretending that is important and requires a date slip.

Oh, and how about we mitigate our plummeting stock price tomorrow with some VERY PUBLIC firings of some execs to show that the market cap our partners are losing MATTERS TO US....This slip and lack of accountability is a clear violation of the company values.

Anonymous said...

Is there a hidden meaning from the fact that KevinJo sends out a division-wide mail in Comic Sans font?

Anonymous said...

I just heard that the slip will be blamed on WTT?

Anonymous said...

Dictate that everything can and should be automated. (Ignore that eyeballs catch more in less time...) way to go Darren.

Be fair, now. Darren HAS built a successful career for himself and some other folks in the TLT with the Save The World With Automation campaign. (And we are told that its our responsibility to advance oue own careers). Just don't sneak up behind him and yell "THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!" - he doesn't find it funny.

Anonymous said...

Interesting news, IF true.

"The delay comes as Microsoft this week is expected to name Steve Sinofsky, a senior vice president, as head of the division that oversees Windows, according to people familiar with the matter."

Read more at http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB114298146031604537-lMyQjAxMDE2NDIyMjkyODIxWj.html

Anonymous said...

What is with Kevin Johnson's mail? Does anyone know what is the speculation about personnel that he was referring to? Thanks.

Skeptic said...

Why all the shock and righteous indignation? Anyone who thought it would ship earlier was just kidding themselves. I even wonder about the end of the year. Is 6 months of widespread beta really enough for a new system?

Anonymous said...

Sinofsky coming in. I don't know. I thought Valentine was going to shake things up five years ago when he came in, but Moshe was the only one to go. All the rest - especially Jawad (hello all you Jawad fans) - stayed put. And Longhorn is an even bigger fustercluck than Whistler.

If Allchin is this cycle's Moshe, and the rest of the *cough*cough* Windows leadership remains, Sinofsky will fail too.

My barometer will be whether 10 or 15 VPs and GMs are somewhere else by Memorial Day.

I aint counting on it, but it makes a purdy picture.

give us real security said...

Everyone in Microsoft should be keenly aware now that all of the security consulting groups are going to be scrutinizing vista with a fine toothed comb to find the first security bugs as soon as possible. I am sure they are already scrutinizing the betas.

Any bets on how long it will take for the first announcement?
Weeks?
Days?
Hours?


Each one of these says "Microsoft claimed that this was the most secure version of Windows, but it still sucks."


Jim Alchin, Brian Valentine, Partners in Windows, please show the world that you trust Vista's security...put your social security number, personal bank account numbers, and personal credit card numbers a on a Vista machine configured by Dell with a publically accessible and un-firewalled IP address and announce that IP address to the world.


Anyone with brains doesn't trust you anymore. Show us. The world isn't drinking your kool-aid.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for the past few months and I must say that I really appreciate its existance mainly because I know that there are other employees who feel the same frustration that I do.

My comments will echo those of other people but for the record, I have been at MSFT for almost 8 years and have played lots of roles, tester, dev, PM and my observations are as follows:

Things in the late 90's were much more entrepreneurial, people really seemed to love their jobs and if you went out of your way to develop a new test harness or enhance a feature it wasn't frowned upon. People also willingly helped out other groups when in need. At that time I was in Windows and I can remember BrianV standing up to give his weekly world news report with the nice buffet of food on Friday afternoons. Ahh those were the days.. Fast forward to 2006 and things in my world are completely different. Speaking of morale, my old manager left our group and we all had to pay our own way for a goodbye lunch because there was no morale budget (there was just 6 of us). It almost feels like the cement of bureaucracy has set in at all levels. Its unbelievable how much of a pain in the butt it is to get anything done. If you need a bug fixed and its in you team you usually have a small fight to put up, but God help you if that bug is in another team and you are dependant on the fix. Forget about usability, or doing whats best for the user experience, its all about doing less work and managing perception to the upper brass. Thank you for letting me vent.

In regards to the Vista issue, if the upper management is changed, they will not be fired rather they will be "reassigned" take a look at Gord Magione (I think that was his name) of SQL Server, that product took 5 years to ship and did they fire him? Hell no, he "took on a different challenge", once you are a 67+ you are part of the good old boys network.

In closing I must the say, the best thing about MSFT as an employee is its health benefit. I know the time will come when they will hack this away as well and when they do I really have no other incentive to hang around. I want to leave you with a comment by my professor in one of my MBA classes, "Everytime a company changes its benefits plan, it is almost always a detriment to the employee" Think about this the next time you read the subject line, "Benefits Change" in your inbox.

I really hope MSFT turns itself around, I hope for the best but realize that I have absolutely lost faith in all the levels of upper management. This Vista issue is just icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is a disaster in the long view -- it's not like all those companies are going to switch to Linux in those few weeks or something -- but from a PR POV, this is going to be as bad as it can get short of canceling Vista altogether. I took part in a computer trade show early this month in Germany, and Microsoft was showing Vista, and the Microsoft fans were saying it looks like OS X (Apple wasn't there). Apple is on a roll, and we've just given them enough time to get the next version of OS X out the door (whatever animal name it is going to be). And we can guess right now what their marketing push will be: Stop waiting for those guys who can't even copy our old stuff in time. Get the original from us -- we ship on time, we're shipping right now.

The PR is going to be really, really bad. And it's going to stay with Microsoft for quite a long time. The only good news I have is that Office is really looking like a rear-kicker. But then, Office runs on OS X, too. That doesn't really help.

I agree that some head should roll for this. Amazing that the shareholders have kept still this long anyway.

IQ said...

It’s not that easy to judge things from Europe, but it seems to me that something has went totally wrong in Redmond over past 5-6 years. MS is a big company and its getting ever bigger. Computer and software industry have to be quick and adaptable otherwise the inner bureaucratic mechanism will destroy the machine from inside. The managers are sitting in their ebony towers and deny the fact that there is a problem. That SteveB interview was nonsense, there were a lot of words, but no content (as usual with him I think). There is no innovation. Period. There is a process drived desperate attempts to ship something. The focus lies on process itself, because management (from low- to upper level) does not produce anything, simply put: the cannot code. There’s no focus on customers, that’s plain and simple, And they are holding onto their seats, we all have mortgages etc, so that’s understandable. Interesting, MS has almost the same top management as in 2000. Am I wrong? That self defending bunch of incompetent guys must go. Especially that SteveB boy. Its funny, all this reminds me Apple before Steve Jobs rejoined the company. And the Apple’s Copland story. Vista is somewhat similar to Copland. There is hardly anything new under the Sun …

Anonymous said...

This is simply another example that the top-down "quality" process put into place during Vista development was a hideous mistake.

Quality has gone down, not up, since the emphasis was changed from individual developer accountability to heavy-handed process initatives that allow little time for real work on improving quality.

It doesn't help that many test teams were decimated by an ill-considered "automation uber alles" ideology, either.

It's sad - BrianV was a hero of mine for good reason after he took over Windows development, but somehow after XP he let it all slip away...

Anonymous said...

To those who are wanting to "vent" - If you guys are so frustrated with the situation at Microsoft, why don't you get the hell out and get a real job somewhere else. That company needs people who will survive the "tough times". And tought times are times any organization goes through. Be the rats to jump off the ship, except that ship ain't sinking, because it's too big.

Anonymous said...

You guys had me worried about the slip for a minute or two. Just checked by spreadsheet and things are looking good!

All us partners were awarded our humungous SPSA grants 8/2003. They vest this August. For some reason I thought they were going to vest a little later, closer to the november original date.

For me, I collect 68,000 shares on 8/29 so I hope the slip hype blows over quickly. I'll take my $1.8m this August, then get pumped and help push this bad boy out the door!

November would have been pushing it for me anyway cause my house in tuscany is supposed to be done late october and we were planning on spending a month there once its ready.

-a distinguished partner

p.s. - go ask your vp if you think I am being a bs/troll. this is real. the spsa program is huge awards tied to company performance, BUT does anyone honestly think that bill/steve have the balls to say that since our performance has been shit that the multiplier is 0? See ya in tuscany!

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think the company wants the stock to stay flat. Whenever it looks like it's on the way up, they announce something that'll bring it down. The company has more to lose if it goes up - more will cash out, retire and leave. Really, what is the few weeks going to buy, and what does MS have to lose? So it slips a few weeks, big deal the money still comes in. As someone else posted, tf it's ready for business then why not the consumer? Maybe there's a bigger slip coming and pushing it to January will ease things just enough to keep the stock flat. BTW, we did just reach that first underwater stock grant period didn't we? All those options expired. When enough of them expire and MS feels safe with new blood unable to retire off of the new awards, I bet the price will go up. Think about it. Comp and awards are low because MS doesn't want it's key talent retiring on them when things turn for the upside. They lost a LOT of key talent because of this in the past. I heard Ballmer stated that giving out options was one of the worst things they did.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many employees at PC hardware companies are wishing they had some way to call up Apple and license OS X for Intel. They could have 10.4 "Tiger" on PC hardware in a matter of weeks.

Sure, it's no drop-in XP replacement, but at what point do you ask "huh, maybe it would be nice if there was actually OS competition in the marketplace again".

Anyone else remember the first IBM PC's and the choice of three OS's to run on them? I do.

Anonymous said...

After three weeks of 9-to-9 plus an occasional weekend, today I've been informed it was too late for me to catch the would-be-last RI for B2. It was gut-wrenching, unbelievably frustrating and I felt dejected.

Not an hour later, Brian V sent his email and I found out there would be slippage and more RIs.

You know what? That felt right. It's just not ready - just as my stuff isn't ready, shell isn't ready, the drivers, the perf.. The screw up did not occur now, not one year ago but way before that. Making Xmas with what we have now would be disastruous, moreso than being late. If you're late, you miss a few hundred millions in sales - maybe. If the crap that I self-host now, which blinks my screen with such ferocity that my head aches, can't find audio/nic drivers, loses windows messages and sends emails without me wanting to - if this would ship, it would cost a lot more to fix, besides showing the world we're incompetent.

We can get it right, and believe you me the management team isn't as casual on the inside as they appear to be in the press.

Why, you ask, wasn't my stuff ready on time? Because everybody works the same way, only intensifying their efforts around milestones. Tests weren't run, bugs were laying dormant, people were allocated to side, pet projects and vendors only pay attention to pri 0 bugs older than 2 weeks (if not longer). It all shows up now, and it's all important. Yes, it's my fault for not screaming earlier, but there must be at least two of us, 'cause I didn't write Vista by me onesy. It's also the manager's fault, for he didn't take steps to streamline my work. It's his manager's fault, too, 'cause he didn't infer from the greater picture that things are not moving progressively. See where I'm going? It's all of us, and the higher the rung we're clinging to, the greater the responsibility.

Punt bugs to Wien, punt to RC1 but at some point you're punting stuff that needs to be fixed. So the delay was necessary.

Firing a number of people now won't do the least bit of good. As far as I see, everyone is serious, concerned and focused. They might have made mistakes in the past, but now we don't have time for this. Now we fix the crap, ship it and only then behead those who slept on the job. A massive re-org would create even more unease in the audience (press, schmanalysts), would introduce more distractions in the ranks and is downright risky. Where do you find the "good" leader? He might come with different ideas, processes, he might have a hidden agenda or he might be just as (or more) incompetent than those before him. We know what we have to do, and we're pretty much in fire drill mode now - we don't need new management to tell us that. What we need is time, and unfortunately for our reputation, we got it today.

When Vista is done, by all means, find those behind alphaLH and fire them in the worst way possible. Publicly ridicule them. Never mention whatever good they've done in the past, it's all negated by their ulterior screw-ups. Regardless of how rich they might be, they'll still have to look in the mirror and see a persona non grata for the rest of their lives. Can't see more appropriate punishment.

My naive wish is that we don't let up the rhythm, now that we've got an extension. I hope we get angry, finish the job and beat the new RTM date. That'll be a first and who knows, maybe one of the haters will say "not bad, MS.." Doesn't that motivate you?

Anonymous said...

Boy, this is pretty bad news. I wonder how big (if any) the shake-up will be, but bottom line is, nobody wins. The stock was looking good, at over $28, the Xbox 360 news were positive, we just got some good word from Rick Sherlund, and then BAM! Vista delayed again.

Oh well, I guess once the stock goes to about $25, I can get some more ESPP shares at the end of March. :\

Anonymous said...

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114298146031604537-RGHR7E3hLWieTP504Xy25cZLJ0U_20060421.html?mod=tff_article

Anonymous said...

hi there, nice blog. Today's announcement is of course no surprise to anyone inside MS. The only surprise is that it was such a short delay announced.

Basically we do not believe Vista will make January 2007 or even March 2007. Anyone with any access knows what a frankenstein's monster NT is on the inside. At some point there is a law of diminishing returns trying to do anything to it at all, it seems like that limit is being reached today. The release is pushed back because of bugs but fixing those bugs will create more bugs. It is just godawful to be honest. And the process gets in the way at every step.

At some point we will have to do something and i know at least some in my team privately agree with me. We will have to throw out everything and start again. This is what Apple did with OSX, and sure it was painful, but it worked and now they're kicking our asses. We should have done that in 2000. Now it is even more obvious we should do it. Start again and just run a compatibility layer on top. Apple did it with classic why can't we???

IF we manage to ship vista at ALL then it is a miracle and the absolute last rev we can possible do working like this. It is insane the manhours wasted rearranging a house of cards. We need to START AGAIN PEOPLE.

After vista if we don't do this i am outta here. For every step forward there is a step back. After 5 years who can be proud of the actual distance forward they have come??

I didn't sign up for this BS. And you know the rumors that apple has a full DBFS for 10.5. I want to be working on that, i need to feel like i'm creating something good, not fighting 10 years old cruft every step of the way. I know i am not the only person who feels this way!!

And BTW mini PLEASE enable https on your comments page. You would have to be nuts to post here from inside the network via plain http. Anyone else wants to do it, do what i do, email the comment (encrypted) to a friend and get him to post it. Anyone who thinks SMG doesn't have a filter looking at anything to or from minimsft is kidding themselves.

OH and "PM61" give me a break. No-one is personally criticising you or saying you are a bad person. I don't hate my colleagues and we are all in the same boat. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture after 5 years but just try to zoom out and look at the outcome, no-one should be proud of this. Just imagine what we all could have done if we were truly free to code our hearts out and create the next generation. Just imagine what you would have achieved in five years working for Apple. I don't hate MS but everything is so tangled up now. We need to change because eventually we will be so tangled up we can't do anything at all, and that's the end of that. I honestly do not believe we can ship another OS in this way. Either we do an OSX or Vista is the end of the line, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE!!!

Anonymous said...

it's the media center and digital media teams fault for the slip

just askt them why ....further why they could not ship the "crap" causing the delay OOB..

thanks JoeB

Anonymous said...

Here's a freebie from a former softie about reasons for schedule delays:
What I saw in MS was PM's pushing hard for features:
* even if it meant that the test combinations would be very large, so the product couldn't not be tested properly.
* even if it couldn't be done properly in the time allocated. After all an estimate of time was made, now all of those features mus go in the product evne if things are taking longer than expected.
* even if the product was falling apart at the seems b/c every other pm was doing the same thing.
In fact, people often played schedule chicken. It didn't matter if you were running late by the metric of the day as long as another group was running later. (Apply this to any metric at almost any level. For example: metric = bugs, group = single dev, or dev lead with a few reports, or dev mgr or GM comparing against other dev mgrs or GM).

There is lip service to work/life balance in teams, but it is quickly counter acted with how we need to push harder and how we need to do more (get features done faster, fix more bugs, etc. than before).

Dev leads with easier areas would look good as their dev could fix bug more quickly and then bargain to make their devs look good at review tiem by graciously taking on other simple bugs from more loaded groups. It was always begruding and always made to seem like this huge thing -- no team spirit or comradery.

When I hear the folks above talk about buckling down and working hard, they sound like suckers. In a few months (maybe even 8 months), they will look back and realize that they got hoodwinked. Why? Well, what did it accomplish. At best, they got promoted and got 10K more/year. Not that much considering the many 80 (or more) hr weeks that they put in. Not that much considering the fellow down the hall who managed to isolate himself better and still within a few percent on all awards and who still gets to revel in shipping the product. Not that much considering the vp's and partners who got huger stock awards for getting for poor person to work so hard for so little, dangling some small carrot in front of them. So sad. So true.

Now get back to work. Vista and Office have to ship asap. I sitll have some msft stock that I would like to make some profit on one day.

If you want to get some insight into Sinofsky, just read his blog (google for tech talk), to let his record speak for him. Don't bother leaving a comment there that refers to this blog. It won't be left there. He will not allow any comments that somehow refer to this blog -- even comments that refer to blogs which refer to this blog! He blames it on the anonymous nature of the blog (google "ad hominem").

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between OS X and Vista?

Microsoft employees are excited about OS X...

Anonymous said...

I hope to God Office 12 steps up and kicks some ass.

Office 12 adoption is also more likely to happen when hardware turns over.

Microsoft looks to partners to force Office upgrades

While Microsoft claims 600 million Office users analysts estimate 30% are still running Office 1997, having skipped Office 2000 and Office XP.

The prime reason is Office 97 is "good enough" for these users' needs.

That's a worrying fact for Microsoft which is now working on the successor to Office 2003, codenamed Office 12, which is due in the second half of 2006.


Management Update: Enterprisewide Open-Source Office Adoption Will Be Difficult

But with Office 2000 supported by Microsoft into 2009, most companies don't need to be in a hurry to migrate to anything, if their primary goal is to remain in a supported state.

Anonymous said...

Put Scott Guthrie in charge, he's the only one who consistantly ships great stufff (ASP, now Atlas) ahead of time and with features ahead of the competition

Anonymous said...

I want to leave you with a comment by my professor in one of my MBA classes, "Everytime a company changes its benefits plan, it is almost always a detriment to the employee" Think about this the next time you read the subject line, "Benefits Change" in your inbox.

Watch Office Space again. The staplers were some of the first office supplies to disappear.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go to http://research.microsoft.com/users/amitabhs/ and see what he has accomplished relative to these other VPs?

There are a lot of accomplished people at Microsoft.

Personality cults and fads occur more frequently in homogeneous populations.

Calculated attempts to start one in a heterogenous population fall on deaf ears for the most part.

For your particular kind of manipulation, I suggest looking at the traits of the key decision makers at Microsoft and adjusting your marketing plan accordingly.

However, anyone who has worked at Microsoft for any length of time can spot these transparent attempts at marketing someone. Frankly, it is boring.

Example Marketing Plan

Japan is a high-context culture with relatively homogeneous population, compared to the United States which is a low-context, heterogeneous culture. Pepcid AC has proven to be successful in the United States. Takada and Jain's research suggests that the product's diffusion processes are likely to be much faster in Japan based on a homogeneous population, culture, and communication patterns.

Anonymous said...

p.s. - go ask your vp if you think I am being a bs/troll. this is real. the spsa program is huge awards tied to company performance, BUT does anyone honestly think that bill/steve have the balls to say that since our performance has been shit that the multiplier is 0? See ya in tuscany!

Visit the Island of Giglio while you are there.

'Giglio' is from the greek 'Aegilion' (goat).

It too has a history of being infested with pirates.

Someone mentioned in a previous post that, despite "stock buybacks", the actual number of Microsoft shares has not really decreased by much. The proceeds are mostly going to executive compensation.

Anonymous said...

Make that Windows(tm) Yonder(tm).

Anonymous said...

And did you actually read the PR piece in detail before spouting off? "with business availability in November 2006 and broad consumer availability in January 2007". This means SPECIFICALLY getting the OS out in time to be able to sell to business before end of the calendar year (which many companies align with the fiscal year) ...

As a software purchaser in a Fortune 50 compnay, no way in hell are we putting Vista on ANY worker's desktop if it isn't good enough for consumer use. They know that no business is going to buy more than evaluation copies.

This is a ghost launch.

Anonymous said...


What's the difference between OS X and Vista?

Microsoft employees are excited about OS X...

HA! I love this...I know its how I feel.
After reading all this, what can an IC do? Where's that employee survey when we need it?
At what point can people "on the ground" communicate the fact that Microsoft is losing it? We should be focusing on getting our products out to education systems, emerging markets (ASPAC), and working together nicely with other software systems.
The bet on our customers running a be homogenous software environment implies it has to be all Microsoft. Wake up! People want choice, and as consumers and companies mature and understand how/why the internet works, they'll find out loosely coupled heterogenous systems have way more advantages than a monolithic top-to-bottom, one vendor solution.
That will be a painful day at Microsoft. (Almost as painful as the next slip announcement for Vista.)

Anonymous said...

Question: If there is enough of a "security and quality" issue with VISTA to delay it, will delaying a few weeks really solve things? And can I ask, will it be renamed so that Ballmer can claim the MS OS was not delayed?

On a side note, i just saw an article where BillyG was mocking MIT and others in trying to build a $100 laptop for the developing worlds. Should he really be doing that ? My question to everyone what is more comical, MIT building a $100 laptop or Microsoft doing the same thing, call it Origami and charging over $500 for it. Yes, BillyG can laugh about MIT's laptop but at least it will work and not crash, can he really say the same thing about Origami ?

It is funny how in the last few week MS execs have been going around promoting and saying that exciting things will be coming out of MS soon, but knowing full well that your MAJOR and MOST IMPORTANT release will be pushed back.

Another Question: How come no one is being fired ? Do you think this would happen at Apple ? MS has been constantly promising new features, new releases, new improvements, new ship dates but has not delivered on any of it. Will features in VISTA (insert new name of OS when SteveB renames it so he can claim it shipped on time) be scaled back again to meet the JAN 2007 release? Releasing it in VERY late 2006 was pretty bad, but another delay come on.

Anonymous said...

This will fix everything...
From the WSJ..
---------------------
Tapping Mr. Sinofsky, 40 years old, adds an executive from Microsoft's Office group to the Windows division. Mr. Sinofsky, who joined Microsoft in 1989 and served as a technical assistant to Chairman Bill Gates, has earned a reputation in his current role as head of the Office product group as a no-nonsense manager willing to push back against engineers, according to people familiar with the executive.

--------------------
Those darn engineers are the cause of all these problems.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad since its been so obvious since last spring. No one here wants to see reality any more.

Anonymous said...

VISTA is secure, it's new, it's improved, it has more features, it's innovative.... blah, blah, blah.

All you need to know and all people know is that: IT IS LATE AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN

50+ million lines of code: Goodness, are you guys building an OS or preparing to setup shop on MARS

Anonymous said...

Here is some food for thought: Adobe Photoshop CS2 is considered by many to be the most complex application ever written. The user permutations are infinite and deep.

How is it that Adobe can ship this product, fully tested, to a wide user base of extremely technical and demanding people who, in many cases, base their very careers on the application ON TIME AND SOLID?

My point is that it can be done, just not by Microsoft. Shipping very complex software is possible.

And for those of you who will respond that Vista is WAY more complex than Photoshop, you have clearly never used the product.

Anonymous said...

As a lowly "in front of customers all day" sales rep, I just have to say this is a huge, huge, huge embarrassment and disappointment.
What will happen is that our customers will (quite reasonably imho)delay renewing agreements based on this and we as the sales force will get slapped (and worse) for missing our numbers. Ballmer will do the slapping.

Anonymous said...

To the guy who posted about Photoshop being more complex...

The real miracle is that Adobe can actually get it to work on XP. Now that is a marvel in itself.

Anonymous said...

It too has a history of being infested with pirates.

You are implying that I am a pirate? i worked my ass off at Microsoft making it BILLIONS along the way. I am being paid fairly for my work and intend to enjoy it.

Whats sad is that those who have followed in my footsteps can't seem to stomach the hard work of developing an operating system. What a bunch of cry babies!

Vista is late mainly because you devs, that think you walk on water can't seem to produce quality functional code any more. Pathetic!

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.

I was hoping to bring a Vista tablet, and use media center to power my 60" runco plasma, but for the first time in my career, I am seriously contemplating powering my life and home with Apple products. I don't see their engineers crying about how hard it is to keep their strings in the allocated buffer, or how hard it is making a system that looks nice and can run a laptop for more than 90min. They just buckle down and execute!

Anonymous said...

To the guy who posted about Photoshop being more complex...

The real miracle is that Adobe can actually get it to work on XP. Now that is a marvel in itself.


Yeah really. If willyg were running things, he would have claimed that to move the system forward you would need to first invent:

- a new file system (winfs)
- a new rendering platform (avalon)
- port to a new oo runtime (.net)

Wonder how they managed to get a complicated app running without first inventing this key infrastructure for this monumental release?

Bill is a geek infatuated with cool sounding technology. He thinks he is an engineer/architect, but has not touched a debugger or text editor in decades. What kind of company promotes someone so out of touch with reality into a role as their "Chief Software Architect"?

I expect an architect to be able to code, debug, build, solve problems not just blow hot air and pontificate on technical strategey.

Bill is the one that f***ed this release. He set the original high level direction wasting man years of effort. It is because of him that we have had to dig out, and even in digging out he is f***ing the system. He is "Chief Figurehead" and should accept this role. He should stay far away from architecture and technical strategey.

Mike Drips said...

I am in 100% agreement that Microsoft needs new management, clear down to the product team leadership level.

This continuing slippage and lengthy product update lifecycles just opens the door to other companies to sell their products to the enterprise.

I've already been blogging on this subject for quite some time.

Just as one example, it has taken FIVE YEARS to "update" Internet Explorer. Look at the number of incremental upgrades Opera has done over the same period. You could even throw Foxfire into the mix.

Microsoft needs quality, innovation and the ability to rapidly respond to the market.

These long product cycles and now the slippage of Windows Vista hurt everyone.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Photoshop CS2 is considered by many to be the most complex application ever written.

Perhaps by the ignorant but no one else.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Photoshop CS2 is considered by many to be the most complex application ever written.

Perhaps by the ignorant but no one else.


You must be a democrat.

Care to enlighten us? Ignorant of what?

Anonymous said...

Just saw this comment on scoble's blog


Steveb said that he is planning to jump on sony’s ps3 slip and try to pump xbox 360.

I wonder what the other steve is planning? How about this, mobilize his forces to make sure that dell, hp, etc. can run OSX on their PC’s in time for back-to-school 2006? Why not. Apple has already done most of the hard work, AND all the PC vendors are having to adjust their componetry a little to account for Vista demands. Why not align with Apple on 20% of their lines? This will wake up Microsoft, and Apples stock will double on the rumor alone.


Lets just hope that this idea doesn't pan out. If it does, I see a stock price of $19 in our future.

Anonymous said...

You are implying that I am a pirate? i worked my ass off at Microsoft making it BILLIONS along the way. I am being paid fairly for my work and intend to enjoy it.

Don't feed the trolls, kids. Parent poster is most likely a peon with access to a little too much knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Photoshop CS2 is considered by many to be the most complex application ever written.

>>>>>Perhaps by the ignorant but no one else.

At least they can ship their products in a timely manner and do not promise features that they cannot deliver.

When was the last time MS did that ????

Anonymous said...

Thinking about the difference between working here ten years ago and now, I just came up with the following theory:

The reason behind the current slips is that as an organization, we work with less and less spare time. Back when I started, I had at least 8 hours every week that were used to slack off, play golf in the hallways, talk to colleagues or add a great but unplanned feature. Today, I spend 10 hours every day of the week just to keep up.

When problems surface there is no time that can be used to face them, and we have no choice but to slip.

Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Microsoft is falling apart. All I can say is my decision to leave just over a year ago was the best I ever made. I now work for a company that is walking their talk, and I feel good about what I'm doing. Couldn't say that anymore at MS. And to see what the incompetent MS partners are making, well there's just no excuse - that's poor executive management on an Enron like scale.

Anonymous said...

Parent poster is most likely a peon with access to a little too much knowledge.

Grandparent poster could just as easily be a senior level microsoft executive that recently left the company.

The 68k spsa number is a reasonable number, and the vesting date of 8/29 is accurate. Trust me, I am a senior partner (L80). The numbers are in line with reality and the award amount is based on company performance metric goals established 3 years ago. I also agree with the poster that its unlikely that the award multiplier will be 0, BUT I also don't expect it to be 150% (the allowable max).

The sad truth is that comp plans like spsa are designed for the long term and are designed to reward people at the time they are granted. Its hard to look forward and its impossible to recall a previously granted award.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Photoshop CS2 is considered by many to be the most complex application ever written...

This gave me a chuckle. Take a look at this open source .NET application, written as a college senior project. 3 devs. 100,000 lines:
http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/

It works beautifully and it's got a nice 80-85% of Photoshop functionality.

Sure the last 20% is where most of the work is, but still, the original poster **may** be a bit off the mark. Perhaps he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.

Larry Borsato said...

There must be more to this story. I've managed a number of software products, and I'd be surprised that anyone could predict a slip of a few weeks this early on. Either there is a particular reason for the slip (i.e. Best Buy doesn't want to deal with a new OS for the holidays) or there are more slips on the way.

Anonymous said...

I am sure this comment has been posted a million times but I wanted to say it anyways...

These slips (Office & Windows) are a result of the malaise you see at this company.

After the past few years of zero - very little compensation, most people here have an attitude of - well, its only a job. I can't even count the number of folks I have watched start other ventures while still working here. (Only for the security mind you) Once their new venture begins to pay off, they are gone.

Ask your self this, how many goodbye mails have you seen where people say - I am leaving for personal reasons and because I am super passionate about (insert something other than MSFT) and it’s the right time in my life to pursue this.

Firing people will not solve this, motivating them will, and yes we are passionate about technology but we are still motivated by money. MSFT people are demoralized but they are still many good people. In times like these, the best ones are the one that usually leave first.

Anonymous said...

These two comments are related:
Thinking about the difference between working here ten years ago and now...
The reason behind the current slips is that as an organization, we work with less and less spare time. ... Today, I spend 10 hours every day of the week just to keep up. ...



Mr. Sinofsky...has earned a reputation in his current role as head of the Office product group as a no-nonsense manager willing to push back against engineers...

Fundamentally, Microsoft no longer trusts its engineerings to do the right thing. Everything is measured as much as possible and (partly as a result of mgr looking at the measurements and trying to figure out how to get more done) the engineers' time is packed as full as possible. In the end, engineers are not trusted to manage their own time or to do things that they think need to be done.

For example, look at BillG's comment on the 20% time in the 10 crazy ideas paper or just read between the lines when the exec's talk about some form of 20% time. In the end, all of these things comes down to one thing: trusting your engineers. And from what I've seen this has been on the decline for the last 5 years.

oth, there is a careful balance to be struck because there are certain things that need to be coordinated at a grander scale, but the pendulum has swung very far from allowing engineers some freedom and trust to management wanting to be much more in control of every thing that they can be in control of. The fact that there are useless quality gates (some are worthwhile and others not) is another symptom of this deeper issue.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read all the Microsofties post comments here on how truly dysfunctional the beast really is.

However as a customer, techie and developer this whole thing is a big yawn as no one really cared if you shipped Vista before Christmas anyway because no one ever believed it would ship in 2006 anyway.

Back at the PDC2005 you just had to take one look at the Longhorn build to realize that the light at the end of the tunnel was actually an exploding dwarf star in a far away galaxy. No one in October 2005 believed it would ship in 2006. No one. By some miracle if you all did pull it out of the fire and manage it, you would have been slayed in the press for something less than stunning and perfect.

It better actually be perfect when you do ship it on 2007 or the comment posts on this blog calling for dismissals will be twice as long.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... what does this slip mean for Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation time :(

Anonymous said...

Remember, the Mac Mini is only $599. That's a pretty low cost of entry to try out OS X.

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

Boy, this is depressing.

I just applied for a few positions at MS. You're making me rethink the whole thing. Granted, those positions aren't in the Windows product arena, but still...

C.R. Eckardt said...

Well it seems it's time for Ballmer to do some heavy duty shouting and chair tossing...

I agree, Microsoft as a whole needs mayor overhauling, a lot of heads need to roll for this one, but let us not forget that for the Windows division missing a deadline is a long honored tradition going back to Windows 95 so lets us not be to hard on them.

I wouldn't be surprised if Vista didn't ship at all, so for know I guess we'll have to settle with those crappy CPT's they put out from time to time and lets all just enjoy this soap opera on XP shall we?

Anonymous said...

It works beautifully and it's got a nice 80-85% of Photoshop functionality.

Sure the last 20% is where most of the work is, but still, the original poster **may** be a bit off the mark. Perhaps he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about.


Not sure where to start on this one...

Being the original poster, and a professional photographer, I suspect I know more about the complexity of Photoshop than most. Being a professional developer for 20+ years, I suspect I know more about what is complex and what isn't than most.

Being a 5-year vet of Microsoft as a partner (no longer there), I know a bit more about how the Microsoft machine works than most. That's why I left.

Yes, it is true that if you are willing to live with 'good enough', you never have to do the final 20% that contains 80% of the complexity. It is that last 20% in Photoshop that makes it dramatically different from the rest of the photo manipulation software out there, and that adds to the complexity that I speak of.

Ever use the LAB space in Photoshop? How about paths? I don't even have to ask about the channels.

The fact is, software is created to solve a problem. The balance is that the easier it is for the user to accomplish a complex task, the more complex the underlying software has to be. The original Windows was a great example of this. It took on the task of managing the resources in the system and presented the user with an easy-to-use interface that removed the complexity of the underlying computer.

Windows today, as with most Microsoft software, has gone back to surfacing the complexity for the user to deal with, making the underlying software easier to write and test. CRM 3.0 has been mentioned here as an example. It would have taken longer and more complex code to make that product something usable out of the box. Instead, Microsoft took the path of surfacing the complexity and making it the users problem, which made the software easier to write and test.

I use Photoshop here as an example of a company that is able to go the other way and still ship solid software on a very reasonable schedule. Photoshop hides the underlying complexity of dealing with color space translation, leaving the user to focus on the image. This requires very complex technology under the hood, and is the reason Photoshop stands alone. Yes, there are a lot of 80% solutions out there for a fraction of the price. None will ever be as successful as Photoshop because Adobe is willing to go the extra mile. The customer is king in their eyes.

Adobe's products are not designed by inbred PMs that have never seen a customer. They are designed by Adobe customers. Photoshop and the rest of the CS suite are designed by professional illustrators and professional photographers, the ultimate users of the final product. Adobe creates very significant user teams as part of the design and development process. Compare this to the Microsoft process.

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.

Microsoft is, as a corporation, in love with overly complex software because internally, the people that make 'big bets' are rewarded, even when they are unable to actually ship anything.

Back to basics Microsoft! How about developing software and systems that solve actual problems for actual customers? Stop rewarding lunacy in design and start rewarding elegance and simplicity. Of course, this means getting rid of the inbred program drivers and bringing in people that actually know something about how to do this. I guess it also means dogs sleeping with cats, water flowing uphill and the rest of it...

The Nog said...

I actually expected this delay to early 2007 over 12 months ago, but I was still shocked when it was actually announced.

I couldn't help think to myself, what if there had been some major Windows competitor released in the past five years? For instance, what if Steve Jobs had come to his senses and released OS X for generic PCs back in, say, 2003 (or if you don't like OS X, replace it with some imaginary Linux distro that actually didn't suck)? The years-long dev cycle for Vista would have allowed OS X to gobble up to half of Windows marketshare by now, in my opinion. Windows would no longer be #1. It would just be another platform, not the dominant one. Seriously, imagine the headlines for that, and what computing world we'd be in right now.

Microsoft is extremely, extremely lucky nothing out there has taken hold in the past five years. And they'd better pray these business beta testers in November (face it, that's what's really happening here) don't find major show-stoppers in Vista that force another consumer delay.

Amigoboomer said...

This is priceless!

I can almost imagine the rats up top scattering over the last few weeks trying to deflect blame on each other and their reports...

This is just plain incompetence on the part of everyone involved in planning and scheduling - and having the top dogs (Gates, Ballmer and Alchin) declare just a few short months ago that Vista will be released in 2006 only to have this happen - well I dont even think that withholding incentives or stocks/bonuses is enough. If you dont fire the whole lot, publish their names and have them comment as to why and how they could have dropped the ball so badly.

I left in January - in retrospect having left the Digital Media Division and knowing that some key components were already in danger of non-shipping back then with upper management and Biz-Dev twiddling their thumbs in getting contracts negotiated and agreements signed we were already saying it would slip past the end of year.

For all those shareholders who put their faith in the words of MSFT's fearless leaders - they should also be demanding accountability and require Ballmer and Alchin to submit their resignation plans immediately. But first force them to stick around, ship and be accountable for what will definitely be one of the most overblown service packs in Microsoft history.

Anonymous said...

Whats sad is that those who have followed in my footsteps can't seem to stomach the hard work of developing an operating system. What a bunch of cry babies!

Vista is late mainly because you devs, that think you walk on water can't seem to produce quality functional code any more. Pathetic!


Anthropomorphizing a constantly changing group of people and calling them "pathetic" is juvenile.

(1) It may be that Microsoft no longer attracts the best developers.

HR must be having a difficult time convincing people to accept mediocre offers (curve and work environment included) in an improving job climate.

(2) It could also be that the size of the projects Microsoft undertakes have increased beyond the ability of Microsoft's processes to manage them. Allchin already admitted this in several press stories about Vista. The process choke you see now is Microsoft management struggling to come up with something that works for software projects that are much larger than were undertaken by Microsoft in the past. Your rant suggests that they are not going to solve the problem any time soon.

Anonymous said...

This is an outgrowth of the current windows dev process - one that accumulates a lot of bugs.

As of January, all features were done (purportedly...) But there were lots of bugs.

To fix the bugs that you need to fix to get to a specific level of quality takes x days. But because:

1) Bugfix time is hard to estimate
2) Regressions cost you time
3) etc.

There's no good way to estimate what x really is.

Now, you *can* pull out features, but:

1) It doesn't buy you much in the way of reduced bug counts
2) Other people depend on features
3) It's really destabilizing on test, UE, etc., which slows you down more.

What it comes down to is that if you have a process where lots of bugs accumulate, that backlog sets the ship date, and you don't know what it is.

Until windows switches to a more agile approach - where you do small chunks of functionality and don't move on until they're *ship* quality - this sort of thing will happen.

So, August was only ever a guess. November is only a guess too, but it's been stated as a firm date. Which means...

Vista is now date-driven rather than quality-driven.

Which is disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has read The Tipping Point or Blink understands that small things can have an incredible impact.

If somebody intelligent were in charge of Windows, they could ship a new version of XP in 1 year that would have people lining up around the block at Best Buy. And nobody would have to work overtime. Actually, you could probably do it with 1/10th of the current development staff.

Just pick some key pain points in XP and come up with simple, straightforward fixes. You'll have time left over to fix some persistent bugs and work on some cool pet projects. Ship and collect money.

I know this strategy works because it's what Apple does and customers pay to beta test new versions of OSX.

Let's see, who's responsible for the Microsoft strategy? And why are they still employed when something better is biting them in the ass?

solomonrex said...

MS isn't going to be hurt by this. They're going to help their Xbox 360 sales this way - Vista was going to include a big Windows games push, a big media push, but that's all on hold. This will help the X360 - since it competes for many of the same hardcore gamers. And the consumer isn't as important now that the mp3 player is planned. Pretty soon, 'Plays For Sure' will be abandoned for XLive services entirely, look at yesterday's press release.

Anonymous said...

"stomach the hard work of developing an operating system".

I love this. Priceless. What a bunch of southern output of a northern-bound bull is this. I busted my chops on testing ( and then developing for ) the cast off offspring of Steve Woods, Neil Konzen, Ben Slivka and Darren Messina ( my apologies to the other folks who's names I've either forgotten, or CHOSEN to forget along the way ). OS/2. I also remember seeing the first output builds of OS/2 3.0 ( excuse me ! Windows New Technology ). Seeing the work of Dave Cutler and Steve Woods in the Kernel ( And asking Dave "What the F_CK are Mutant Objects for, Dave ?" back in 1992. I remember creating performance testing suites for it, back then, and thinking to myself. Well, it's not as fast as OS/2 is, but this could work.

This, of course, was before things like WinFS, WPF, INDIGO, Workflow foundation ( why does this have to be part of the OS again ? ) weren't necessary for a user to run applications, or developers like myself produce enterprise solutions. Now as for having made BILLIONS for MS. Are you Dave Cutler, no he's retired. Are you Steve Wood, no, he's CEO of some company who's name escapes me. Are you David Weise ? No ?

Well, it would seem to me that if you're not among this throng of luminaries ( and I'll brandish that phrase around lightly ), you should quit puffing yourself up like some peacock. Don't talk to me about hours spent crafting code like a madman. People got engaged, married and then divorced BECAUSE of Windows NT during it's development.

So go back into whatever hole you crawled out of. Keep thinking to yourself that you made BillG all that money, and leave the developers to do their work.

The rule of the 3 E's has applied to more than just the competition over the last 18 years, it's applied to the soul of the developer within M$ as well.

Embrace,
Extend ( working hours )
Extinguish ( any form of life you had outside the company )

Get back in touch with reality. Get a pet, take the pet on walks.

Just quit spouting your drivel here. Talk about crybabies. Grow up already. [Godfather voice] Keep yourself together like a man [/Godfather voice]

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you try to re-invent the wheel while being all things to all people.

It amazes me that a company with thousands of talented people, a virtual market monopoly from mobile and embedded devices through clients to servers & more money than god could have come to this point. Re-inventing the wheel while avoiding the minefield of software patents AND maintaining backwards compatibility is a VERY tall order and obviously, even Microsoft is not up to the task as the shipping version of Vista will be a pale shadow of what was promised what seems like a lifetime ago.

A caveat, for those interested. In the 1990's Roger Smith ran General Motors and spent tens of billions on a technology rabbit chase that produced little. It has been said that what they spent was greater than the combined market value of Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan at the time. Now GM is worth more dead than alive, a mere shadow of it's once mighty self, getting it's ass kicked daily by Toyota all over the world. A company that once held over 75% of the US market. Not the domestic market-- the whole thing.

The analogy is valid. It took 40 years for things to get this far at GM, but the seeds were planted even before the Smith era. It's too bad blogs were not around back then, because I think you would be astonished at the similarities.

Shepherd_Spy said...

I seem to remember Steve Jobs saying that the day when the sales people took charge then that was the day when that company started to die (or words to that effect). Remind me. What was Monkeyman Ballmer ? Sales isn't it ?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words about Photoshop and other Adobe products. I work for Adobe, and its nice to hear such things. I used to work at Microsoft, though, so I'm also familiar with the codebase for certain Microsoft products, at least to a certain extent (anyone who says they know all of the Windows and/or Office codebases is full of it - they're just too big for that).

However, the poster who said Photoshop was the most complex app ever written is way off base. It is a very complicated app, no question. But Windows is at least an order of magnitude more complex, maybe two orders of magnitude.

Anonymous said...

Firing anyone at this point while deserved and long overdue, would probably just create more disruption/delay and therefore be short term counterproductive. Focus should be on getting Vista done and doling out accountability after. Meanwhile, if it wasn't already clear to all, this solidifies the fact that Gates/Ballmer are unable to provide the leadership that MS needs moving forward. As others have commented, it also underscores chronic problems within the chain of command, within the chain of accountability and a very real technical problem which is the code-base for Windows is now apparently so unwieldy that it is no longer possible to do a new release in a timely fashion. The former requires a change at the very top and imo, Ballmer should step down on Vista's release or sooner and Gates should shuffle off to where he can't do any more damage. On the technology side, it seems like MS needs to give serious consideration to either moving to an existing stable core like BSD or inventing their own. Either way, this process of trying to cart 20 years of baggage up a hill while moving the OS forward needs to end.

Anonymous said...

Whoever made the MS/GM comparisson: I was thinking the EXACT same thing. The demise just won't take as long for MS.

Anonymous said...

However, the poster who said Photoshop was the most complex app ever written is way off base. It is a very complicated app, no question. But Windows is at least an order of magnitude more complex, maybe two orders of magnitude.

Of course, then, Windows isn't an app now is it? Maybe that's the problem. Is the two orders of magnitude in complexity the basic OS functionality or all the crap stuck to the side trying to be an application?

In any case, my overall point wasn't to debate what the most complex app is (if not Photoshop, then what?) but the fact that Adobe seems to know how to ship very very complex software on time that actually solves user problems, which are the two biggest problems Microsoft seems to be having. They can't seem to ship anything, and when they do, it is not really addressing customer needs. These are two separate issues that Adobe seems to be on top of.

You might make the same argument withApple and MAC OS. They certainly have had their share of problems in the past (remember OS 8?) but they also seem to have corrected these issues.

It isn't impossible to fix, but is has to start somewhere. My hat is off to Mini, because I believe it can start here.

Anonymous said...

*sigh*

I'll be sad if Steven leaves Office. I don't know what to say about Windows. I interviewed with them when I was in Office and was told by an interviewer--confidentially "this really isn't the place for a woman." I should have reported that crap.

So much for my peaceful morning...

Anonymous said...

As a user of both Windows and OS X it is clear MSFT is WAY behind Apple in the OS race.
I wonder if a beta for Leopard (new version of OS X) is released shortly will trigger another Vista delay?

"You can do everything on a Mac", anyone who says different hasn't tried OS X for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I like Microsoft :-)

And I think everything it's perfect.. and YOU are talking to much and doing nothing to fix the problems that are involving MS.

Before judge MS, do something better for the world instead of stay here postting these cretins comments.

Long live Bill, Long Live MS, F#@* YOU ALL !!!

Anonymous said...

This is a critical time for apple to lay a blow against msft. If they sell their OS to OEMs the vista delay could downright kill microsoft's os dominance

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Hey, goofball, I think these people are Microsoft employees, and therefore have a clue what they're talking about.

Cheopys said...

(2) It could also be that the size of the projects Microsoft undertakes have increased beyond the ability of Microsoft's processes to manage them. Allchin already admitted this in several press stories about Vista. The process choke you see now is Microsoft management struggling to come up with something that works for software projects that are much larger than were undertaken by Microsoft in the past. Your rant suggests that they are not going to solve the problem any time soon.

You can remove the subjunctivity from your post and it would be more accurate: Microsoft CANNOT manage a project the size of Vista. The fact that devs spend virtually no time writing code is a pretty solid indicator. Between the checkin system and the RIs between depots almost all time is spent on process. Maintaining a Longhorn test machine can take two days a week by itself, and managers' only response to complaints about the frustration of the process is to issue silkily-worded threats about "performance expectations."

In DMD we'd have dozens of checkins getting rejected due to autosmoke failures having nothing to do with the checkins, every subnmission being rejected on the same two (or two dozen) failures. Network problems, indiv server problems, whatever .. and nobody ever got around to doing anything about this.

Should we be running AppVerifier right now? Walk to the other side of the building and ask someone who isn't in his office. Why are checkins failing? Ditto. What version of LH should we be running on our test boxes? Ditto.

Nobody has ever gotten around to addressing these regular and systemic problems in any way, there is no web page anyone can go to and determine the State of Things Today, and managers take the attitude (1) that as long as some people are functioning then the others must be slackers and (2) this tedium and frustration is separating the men from the boys. That's a totally lousy Randroid attitude and managers like that should be farmed away.

Nobody seemed interested in making the process any easier, and there was talk of more quality gates, such as a (*shudder*) threat-modeling code analysis tool.

I'm a lot happier on a non-Vista project.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the Vista issue, if the upper management is changed, they will not be fired rather they will be "reassigned" take a look at Gord Magione (I think that was his name) of SQL Server, that product took 5 years to ship and did they fire him? Hell no, he "took on a different challenge", once you are a 67+ you are part of the good old boys network.

Gord Mangione moved over to "his new challenge" as the Corporate VP for SBTU. However, they clipped his wings in the re-org last Fall and he left MS "to pursue new challenges"!

Anonymous said...

people who put ( spaces ) inside parentheses should be gassed

Anonymous said...

LONG LIVE BILL!!! LONG LIVE MS!!! LONG LIVE XBOX!!!!, LONG LIVE AGE OF EMPIRES!!! LONG LIVE BUGS AND VIRUS AND SPYWARES!!!!

Anonymous said...

And for those of you who will respond that Vista is WAY more complex than Photoshop

Look up what an OS is vs. an app.

it is clear MSFT is WAY behind Apple in the OS race.

Right, by discarding their own kernel an adopting another's Apple proved their technical prowess and maintained control over their destiny.

I use both, and OS X is nowhere near as nice as XP unless you count photoreal icons as the measure of an OS.

Anonymous said...

seems to me I read somewhere that OSX is really FreeBSD underneath. Maybe it won't have that fancy GUI but you can get FreeBSD for free with a wide selection of window managers or even GUI-free (which I'm sure Cheopys would like ;)

and like the name says, it's free.

and you don't need a dual P4 with a GB to run it

Anonymous said...

OS X is nowhere near as nice as XP

what?

oh.. maybe you mean..... oh no... hmmm.. what can it be?.... nope, sorry I don't understand you one bit.

Please explain WTF you mean!


(you know, I almost fell off my chair reading that...)

Anonymous said...

Who wants to bet that the three chopped APIs, "Pillars of Longhorn", are going to ship before the OS?

WinFS, WinFX, Ingigo (er Workflow whatever) will be released and running on XP before Vista ships. Pair that w/.NET 2.0 Framework plus a stand alone IE update, and you have the entire platform without a need for Vista at all.

(Ok maybe not WinFS, but it has been a doomed project from the start of history)

I am a shareholder and heads do need to roll, but please be smart about it and make sure it includes some of the people who have so much time working their 16 hour days to post on Mini's blog!

Anonymous said...

Can I ask a question? If you guys don't like Ballmer so much, how come you prepend every word with "SUPER" like he does?

I'm SUPER excited about this. I'm SUPER passionate about that. Reminds me of something...


I'm super
Thanks for asking
All things considered
I couldn't be better I must say

I'm feeling super
No, nothing bugs me
Everything is super when you're
Don't you think I look cute in this hat

I'm so sorry
Mr. Cripple
But I just can't feel too bad for you right now.
Because I'm feeling
So insanely super
That even the fact that you can't walk
Can't bring me down

Anonymous said...

Let me explain something to you.

There are two types of people in this world.

The first type of people:

These people have no culture.
These people either got all F's in school, or all A's.
These people like to think they enjoy life.
These people talk a lot.
These people will never get rich.
These people fight for theire rights, even though, they will never use them.
These people have no culture.
These people have no culture.
These people have no culture.
These people have no culture.
These people have no culture.

The second type of people:

These people have culture.
These people knows the reality behind everything.
These people are nice.
These people are silently.
These people do enjoy life.
These people like to think they know everything.
These people often do know everything.
These people know what they wan't.
These people are not afraid of anything.
These people have culture.
These people have culture.
These people have culture.
These people have culture.
These people have culture.


You see, the world is divided into these two categories of people. The only people who knows what category you are in, are yourself, and the people from the second category.

It's now up to you to see which category is for Windows users, and which is for Apple users.

Anonymous said...

This gave me a chuckle. Take a look at this open source .NET application, written as a college senior project. 3 devs. 100,000 lines:http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net

And yet, MS is unable to ship OS with a simple graphic editor for digital images...
Not to mentioned about OS built-in calendar...

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that, once this blog got around to all the Mac news websites, idotic Mac people came out of the woodwork and made asses of themselves. I'm a Mac fan, but this is completely embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

give the company to Steve Jobs.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a Mac user, love OSX, and have my peecees in the attic. What the hell are you MS guys gonna do when Google brings out an OS? I give 'em, 2, 3 years??

Anonymous said...

What would Steve Jobs doo?
Close the firm?

James said...

Mac fans should remember the bad old days in the late 90s when Apple's next-gen OS was mired in development shit and the company was increasingly directionless, beauraucratic and confused.

I'd like to hope that MS can bring it around or at least do something to try to push things in a new direction. The old0school Apple weenie in me wouldn't mind seeing them fail but the danger isn't in MS going out of business, it's in them releasing a half-baked fundamentally broken OS that we all have to deal with for the next several years.

Cheopys said...

Please don't let this degenerate into another Mac vs. Windows thread. Jesus that shit is boring.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the bigger piece of news hiding in these comments to minimsft is all of the Apple love from MSFT employees...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with Windows. It gets you where you want to go.
Steam locomotives
Edsels
Boeing Super Connies
Square-riggers
Vacuum tubes
AT&T...


What's another year in the great scheme of things?

Anonymous said...

Oh, lordy. A Mac vs. Windows thr-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

huhwha? Oh, right...

Look, you Mac fans, can't you go back over to Slashdot and flame Bill Gates there?

PS; Copland.
PPS: Pink.
PPPS: Gil Amelio.
PPPPS: "There but for the grace of God go I."

tatle said...

This promted me to update the Vista Perspective.

But honestly guys, I think it is sad your company comes across as a company that cannot be relied on any more.

...and I'm not sure the end-customers care so much, but your business-partners and developers? I'll be surprised if we don't see the speed of preloading Linux on Intel boxen picking up substantially.

Anonymous said...

This thread demonstrates the core problems facing this company, and exemplifies why this company is struggling.

When something goes wrong, nobody takes responsibility for their part in the failure -- instead you get lots and lots of finger pointing and excuses as to why they are not responsible for the failure.

Everyone sits in their own little corner, complaining to their co-workers about how things suck and how xyz needs to be done instead. In the process, they do absolutely NOTHING to fix the problem. They wait until something goes wrong, stand up, and say to their coworkers "Aha! I told you this would happen! If only we had done xyz!".

Stand up and fucking do something about the problems instead of being a part of the problem. At the very least, acknolwege your part in the problem, learn from it, and prevent it from happening in the future.

It is easy to sit there and do the wrong thing because your boss told you to. It's hard to do the right thing, because it's risky. Guess what -- nothing worth doing was ever easy, and nothing great was ever accomplished by taking the safe route.

Stop your whining, get over what is, and do something about it.

The Nog said...

Looks like it's time to turn on moderation again.

Anonymous said...

All right, first of all, I don't have a problem with holding things up to fix problems. "Don't rush a miracle man, sonny. You know what happens if you rush a miracle man? You get rotten miracles." - Miracle Max, in The Princess Bride.

But I tend to agree with those who say that the processes are inadequate for a product this complex. (I don't work at MS; this is just what it looks like to me from the outside.)

How can you fix it? Believe it or not, the answer is: Bill and Steve have to go. Really.

My reasoning is as follows. There are only two ways to fix this: Better management processes or simpler OSes.

For better management processes, you need somebody at the top who understands what management really is, and who can tell who can do it and who can't. You need that person to do a wholesale housecleaning of management, getting rid of people who do nothing, people who generate process as a replacement for management ability, and similar types. (Note that this is not a call for no process! That way is also a disaster.) Bill and Steve have shown that they do not have the necessary ability to judge management talent. So for this to happen, Bill would have to let go of control of the company. Once that happens (if it ever does), it would probably take one to five years to get things working well.

The other way, simpler OSes, could be done, but it has a big downside for Microsoft. The problem is that the basic OS function, controlling the PC's resources, is no longer an awesome technology. College kids do them, and they turn into real OSes. (Yeah, I know, it took that college kid 15 years and a lot of help from a lot of other people. Still.) So what Microsoft has tried to do is the feature-war approach to the OS: Throw in everything and the kitchen sink. But to make this more than just a bunch of apps running on a simple OS, they have to tie it all into the OS in ways that ordinary apps don't tie into the OS. This makes the OS an incredible tangle. Fixing this means that the OS becomes just an OS, and that means that Windows doesn't have much of an edge on Linux (apart from the inertia of being the platform that all the apps have been written for). But this means that the Windows dominance would continue only at the whim of the app developers. And I suspect that Bill has too much ego tied up in the "Windows is the OS, unique, better than anything else" mystique for him to allow something like this. So for this road to be followed, probably Bill has to give up control or be removed.

But I don't see any signs of Bill going anywhere. And if I'm right, that means that the next Windows OS is going to be an even bigger disaster.

PS: To the arrogant "I got my millions because I was a hot coder, and we're in trouble now because you losers can't code as well as me" jerk: You are a big part of the problem, because, regardless of how good you were as a coder, you coders-turned-management can't manage as well as real managers can. In particular, you can't manage something this complex. The problem isn't whiny, lazy devs. The problem is you.

MSS

Anonymous said...

You are a big part of the problem, because, regardless of how good you were as a coder, you coders-turned-management can't manage as well as real managers can.

You are dead wrong. I am a great coder, BUT since I know I am a crappy manager, I refuse to manage. I am not a manager, have never managed, and do not intend to manage.

Anonymous said...

Here is a comment that was made to the scoble post

http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/03/22/windows-vista-delayed/#comments

"There are many great people in the systems division working on Windows but the management is poor. The quality of software is determined by management first and culture second. Microsoft suffers on both. Windows management insists on a monolithic approach where Windows is considered one big program. The development culture favors the cowboy over the professional.

Contrast this with Office where, by design, it consists of a suite of relatively independent programs. As the development progresses management enforces rules so that common components are more difficult to change.

To enforce Steven Sinofsky style management will be nearly impossible in the systems group. During the “Cairo years” the “object model” changed almost weekly. It was clear to me that management knew neither what an object model was nor what the implications of one design decision over another would be. They certainly did not know what the consequences of changing it so frequently were. These same managers and the cowboy “architects” they nurture remain in the group today.

Another key failure of Windows management is the focus on bundling. Not only must things be not-modular, they must have system dependencies. The root of this is fear. In the face of falling operating system kernel prices (open software) management seeks to expand the size of the operating system.

Microsoft systems division, it’s so, well, IBM like isn’t it? Yet IBM has moved on. Perhaps Vista will ship and perhaps it will be the last great giant monolithic operating system. Or maybe Windows XP was the last…

Comment by Henry — March 22, 2006 @ 8:32 pm "

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing MS has to be concerned about by missing the Christmas 2006 window:

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.

Missing Christmas is a very expensive mistake, which MS clearly is aware of, since they're letting their partners know now, almost 9 months in advance.

Disappointed loyal employee said...

Agree re need for accountability. Equally, if not more disturbing is the spin that Jim and other MS execs put on this. They either are totally out of touch with reality or think we (MS employees, analysts, consumers, partners, etc) are stupid. Not sure which is worse.... The internal mail on this reminded me of the Steveb Business Week interview....

One of our core values is honesty - I would like to see more of that from MS management (in addition to accountability).

Anonymous said...

Paint.NET?
I think you mean 5% of Photoshop's functionality. (The GIMP has a little more than that, but not much).

Please learn the application in question before making comments about it that just make you look silly.

Nobody said...

Paint.NET?
I think you mean 5% of Photoshop's functionality. (The GIMP has a little more than that, but not much).

Please learn the application in question before making comments about it that just make you look silly.

Anonymous said...

Selling to corps in November doesn't help. What corp is going to be dumb enough to buy Vista even if they are buying new PC's? Get real. Gartner was right (for once) when they recommended corps not buy Vista for three years. As a Senior IT Architect who has worked as a consultant or employee at some of the best know companies in the country I can tell you that Microsoft is widely regarded as a joke. Don't even get me started on the non-release of IE7 or the idiotic "ribbon" toolbar in office.

Lou Giliberto said...

Are you Dave Cutler, no he's retired

Cutler isn't retired. I'm sure he's got an ulcer watching things go nuts around here, but he certainly isn't retired. At least not that I know of.

Anonymous said...

What would Steve Jobs doo?
Close the firm?

Steve Jobs would ship VISTA on time which guessing from your managment's perspective seems like an impossible feat and unheard of. What, make promises and actual deliver on time... that is just crazy.

Why would we want to ship on time when we can lie and delay again.

Anonymous said...

To those who are wanting to "vent" - If you guys are so frustrated with the situation at Microsoft, why don't you get the hell out and get a real job somewhere else. That company needs people who will survive the "tough times". And tought times are times any organization goes through. Be the rats to jump off the ship, except that ship ain't sinking, because it's too big.

Do you mean too big as the Titanic was?
I guess some penguins are waiting on the iceberg ;-)

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

Didn't you read the press release? Doesn't say anything about a slip, delay, or any culpability or responsibility on MS's part.

First of all Microsoft is ON TARGET and ON TRACK:
"[Vista]is ON TARGET to go into broad consumer beta to approximately 2 million users in the second quarter of 2006. Microsoft is ON TRACK to complete the product this year..."

So they're on target, and the biggest computer buying season of the year simply wasn't part of the target.

Allchin also says in the release that he's ON TRACK to deliver stability and great out-of-the-box features. What kind of target do you want from the guy? A ship date? Sheesh.

Microsoft did this for the OEMs.
"the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during holiday."
As we all know, OEMs need at least six years to shift to a new OS. Microsoft only gave them five years to get ready for Vista. Slow down, guys.

Business customers also asked for a delay:
"Because of the way businesses test and deploy software, it makes sense for Microsoft volume licensing customers to receive windows Windows Vista starting in November of this year."

As all of you business IT people know, November and December are the months that every business IT department prefers for testing and debugging new software. That's prime time for working late nights, weekends, through the holidays, etc. to get big upgrades ready for Jan. 1. MS is simply accommodating those desires.

NoMonkeyBoy said...

Yet another slip in the Vista release is high profile sure, but it’s not unique nor even out of the ordinary. It’s merely a symptom of the failure of the highest levels of strategy and management execution that begins with, but won’t be resolved until Ballmer and Gates are removed and replaced with people with higher moral standards that are better in touch with reality. These two aggressive monopolists have managed to galvanize their competitors into extraordinary levels of collaboration around products like Java, J2EE, Eclipse, Linux, OpenOffice: the likes of which have never been seen in our industry, if in any other industry before.

By time and time again fulfilling the fears of worse-case scenarios when exercising those monopolies they have alerted governments at all levels around the world to the dangers of “entrusting” the information strategies, (in fact the electronic heritage of a nation) to proprietary formats.

Over a consistent period Ballmer and Gates’ Microsoft have managed to alienate its customers on an almost daily basis, leading to the existence of the “ABM” fraternity. The “Anything But Microsoft” decision goes way beyond normal levels of technical standards and consumer preference. Fraternity members are in all levels of organizations and consumer markets. It’s not that an ABM decision disregards all technical facts, it’s that it places a higher value on the values of openness, respect and professional standards that are so often lacking in the MS of Ballmer and Gates. As such, they exhibit a level of distain for this Microsoft that can be described as nothing less than hatred.

Finally, by exercising their absolute power, Ballmer and Gates have created a company culture in their own image. One that is renowned for its delusionary arrogance: its self-serving adoration and its reactive petulance. They treat their partners with absolute disdain: encouraging them to invest on their platform to in the attempt to create successful markets, where substantial success will be crushed by a Microsoft imitation that is both cross subsidized from monopoly revenues and often pushed on customers via the OS distribution channel.

How does this affect Vista? The above illustrates why there are so many things in the operating system that shouldn’t be there: the inability for scores of successive managers to effect change and why the situation has persisted for so long and across so many MS products.

For the record: “The emperor has no clothes”

Anonymous said...

MS is spending $500 million on ad campaigns challenging IBM... hmmm why not spend a bit of that hiring a few more developers and finish this crap. Or better yet, why not ship it right now.... rather it is shipped in November of January, it does not really matter... its still going to be bugged ridden, crash many times, and hacked and shut down the first few hours it goes live.

Lots of stuff being said about Apple and Adobe being better... blah, blah, blah... rather you like them or not that fact is they do ship on time.

Of course the real job is not shipping this product out in JAN 2007 but tricking people into actually buying it. XP does its job for the most part... rather that is totally true or not depends on your ideas and what you want from you pc... MS execs actually think people believe VISTA is anything better or safer... They already have safe... Its called Nortons. How do you think people survived these last few years.

Anonymous said...

Since it is being pushed back again and since MS execs need a way to deny VISTA was late again... I think MINI needs to start a new thread enlisting help in renaming VISTA, what do you say folks... any suggestion on a new name????

Anonymous said...

Mary Jo Foley starts off her piece by citing Mini: http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,2180,1941182,00.asp

I'm afraid Mini's become the news, not just the guy who reports it.

Any of you high-level management types want to comment on the search for Mini? Is he causing steam to come out the ears of our execs?

Anonymous said...

Maybe, Gates and Ballmer figured MS would rake in BILLIONS on ORIGAMI, they figured they would not need to VISTA on time. Lets face it your average person would spend $500-1000 on a paper weight.

Oh by the way, how is that killer IPOD thing called URGE coming along. Steve Jobs has too much money in his wallet and need to shit it away on something to laugh at.

Cheopys said...

When something goes wrong, nobody takes responsibility for their part in the failure -- instead you get lots and lots of finger pointing and excuses as to why they are not responsible for the failure.

This is a load of bull. First of all it's just another Randroid scold about "personal responsibility" and as such contributes nothing to the discussion. Take it to freerepublic.

Second of all it's contrary to reality. While I was working on Vista—and I don't think you ever have—there was no shortage of dedication on the part of anyone I knew of, at least those at the bottom of the org chart. Devs, testers, maybe even PMs, putting in the grueling hours and present on weekends and not just at crunch time.

The real problem comes from those higher up the chart, the ones who keep tossing obstacles into our paths. The ones who release LH versions that wouldn't even complete installation, the ones who turned the checkin process into a nightmare of needless steps each exhibiting random failures, the ones who insisted that their favorite hobbyhorse had to be part of the process.

The only people who could remain passionate about their work under conditions like that were the obsessive-compulsives who'd rather work checklists than fix bugs and the hyper-aggressives to whom a coworker is nothing but a rival or whose direct reports were for intimidating and browbeating.

Get all that extraneous crap out of their way and let them work.

Stand up and fucking do something about the problems instead of being a part of the problem.

Anyone who stood up and fucking said something about the problems was treated as a troublemaker, since managers weren't interested in doing anything about the problems other than more of the same, and only interested in hearing from people who had fully-architected solutions ready to apply. And anyone who knew the build system well enough to craft anything like that was usually too enamored with (his own understanding of) it.

Anonymous said...

We are not fucked and you cannot place the full blame on exec management. PUMs/GPMs, etc. also need to take responsibility. Why, they were not willing to make the difficult decisions to cut some of their own work and instead point upwards to management. This is weak and not the Microsoft way. Stop pointing the finger at others and look inside first. I can guarantee the execs are the only ones who made poor decisions. This is the problem with Windows right now is nobody takes personal responsibility and always points the finger elsewhere. Just suck it up, make the best of it and stop pointing fingers and get your job done!

Anonymous said...

Anybody else catch the details of the Allchin mail?

The thing that toasted my shorts was his literal statement that we were slipping Consumer as a service to our industry partners by not randomizing their busy Christmas selling season.

WTF? That doesn't even pass the giggle test.

Anonymous said...

Allchin's email is a complete joke. It sets a new low in corporate speak. And an insult to all the recipients (all MSFT FTEs). Does he think we are stupid or is he just senile? Vista is the crowning failure of his career. Snippets from his mail:-

"As we enter the homestretch for the delivery of Windows Vista,"

How long have we been in the homestretch? 3 years now?

" I wanted to provide an update on our progress"

What progress? We are as far away from release as we supposedly were, 6 or 8 months ago.

" and let you know that, today, we are confirming publicly the roadmap"

We never confirmed it before publicly?

"and we’re on track to complete the product this year."

Wasn't the goal to release the product this year? As opposed to the ambiguous "complete the product". Which I am sure will change to "complete most of the work".

"But the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during the December selling season. We must optimize for the industry so we’ve decided to separate business and consumer availability."

Good job optimizing Jim! Like someone said, 5 years was not enough for OEMs.

"With this news, we are on a strong path forward to deliver a fantastic Windows Vista"

Yeah, before this news was released employees did not have a path. Joker.

To the guy who was blaming the whole Windows org for this failure: Responsibility may rest at all levels. But accountability should start at the top. My commitment was to deliver on my component. Allchin's commitment was to release Windows and he was paid some > 50 mil dollars the past few years for that job, and he failed to deliver. Accountability should probably start even higher, with Bill and Steve. I did not decide the architecture of Vista or what all junk should go into it. Bill, Steve, Jim, Brian V, Chris Jones and a few others made those decisions.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Apple can bring out OS X faster than MS can bring out Vista. They have one guy to please. How many people have to be pleased to finish a version of Windows?

"A camel is a horse designed by a committee" is the quote that comes to mind that best describes this situation.

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

Discussion at MS: (three hours in...)

"What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

Anonymous said...

Why not break down MSFT into 4 corporations
1. Windows
2. Office
3. Web
4. R&D

Anonymous said...

The reason why microsoft doesn't want to be broken in up into those 4 pieces (which would be fantastic for consumers, shareholders, and employees) is because all microsoft knows how to do is integrate products to kill competition. They simply wouldn't be where they are today without this. Their fear is that if the company gets busted up, the have to start playing on a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

Bill is a geek infatuated with cool sounding technology. He thinks he is an engineer/architect, but has not touched a debugger or text editor in decades. What kind of company promotes someone so out of touch with reality into a role as their "Chief Software Architect"?

I'm glad you're finally pulling back the curtain on Oz. Gates is a phenomenal opportunist. He knows the value of locking down a platform. He knows the value of a monopoly. However, in spite of making 'The Road Ahead' and 'Business at the Speed of Thought', he really does not know where its going, and he doesn't know how to orchestrate a company. For Bill, Microsoft is a toy. Much lipservice is given to having an open and frank discussion with management about topics that concern us, but in the end it doesn't matter. Bill is in charge. Steve is his frat buddy. They only want certain types of people to join them in the frat. The success of the company and its products don't matter. If you have a problem with that you can get the hell out.

Anonymous said...

As all of you business IT people know, November and December are the months that every business IT department prefers for testing and debugging new software. That's prime time for working late nights, weekends, through the holidays, etc. to get big upgrades ready for Jan. 1. MS is simply accommodating those desires.

This makes no sense. What desires? Who desires working through the holidays? Who is MS accomodating?

As anyone with a clue has figured out, saying that Vista will be released for corporate customers ahead of the rest of the package is a joke considering how slow big companies move to new software, especially OS's. It's a face-saving joke.

Besides, I still can't think of a single reason why I would recommend my company upgrade. Can't think of a single feature we'd need in the Business Productivity++ Ultimate Edition of Vista.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a clue figured out that post was sarcastic

Anonymous said...

Sorry it's a little hard to detect what is sarcastic and what is sincere among some of these comments in defense of Vista / the slip / management.

Anonymous said...

I feel worried about the employees who are just getting hired into the company... the future doesn't look bright.

Anonymous said...

As one of those employees "just being hired into the company" I am extremely concerned. What can I do to try to do to get into the Office group ASAP?
(future PM here)

Anonymous said...

Vista will be released for corporate customers ahead of the rest of the package is a joke

You guys are missing the point. This is all about software assurance, the MS plan where enterprises buy our shit in advance.

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. They will sue the crap out of us and they WILL win, and we WILL be making a HUGE adjustment to our earnings.

This IS THE ONLY explaination. There is NO OTHER reason for delivering to enterprises early.

Anonymous said...

I just hugged my Mac

Anonymous said...

To anybody who thinks Office is a panacea and that Sinofsky can do no wrong--look before you leap. Office has had its share of strategic missteps this cycle, and it seems to be adding process as fast as possible. The rumor is that Sinofsky is responsible for the hyper-agressive beancounting that resulted in the Christmas party being cut and the fiasco that is building 36. You're probably better off in some other group.

Anonymous said...

$100 millino dollar question: Why is it that Apple can do it, but we cannot?

I think 'we' have the wrong 'Steve' leading us...

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

None... go apply at Apple or Google while you can. Don't even put MSFT on your resume...

Anonymous said...

A group inside Google.

Anonymous said...

When do you think Sigularity will see the light of day?

Anonymous said...

LoL at the "don't even put msft on your resume"

even with the shipping troubles msft is still dynamite on a resume

Anonymous said...

Uhh, you folks in the Jobs reality distortion field might recall how Apple solves the challenges that Vista is stumbling over. They tightly couple the software and hardware. Orders of magnitude fewer drivers to support, no independent hardware vendors to deal with except as suppliers, and they kill off support for legacy stuff even faster than MS does.

BTW, I own a Mac and am very fond of it. But it's expensive software in a proprietary box, not something that even tries to do what Vista does.

Anonymous said...

Step 1 - download linux.
Step 2 - download WINE source code.
Step 3 - implement planned VISTA experience on top of this starting point.

Seriously, I know fucked project when I see it. You guys are fucked.


Microsoft is patenting APIs. They will wait for an opportune time to pull the trigger and sue people using those APIs without licensing them.

It is how Microsoft innovates these days.

Anti-Spam ... Microsoft lawyers sue
Anti-Virus ... Microsoft lawyers sue
etc.

Anonymous said...

To all the actual MSFT people reading this furious trail of comments, an opinion from one of the people you're trying to sell Visa to:

Chuck the legacy internals in Windows. Windows guts must be so crusty - I bet it can still run VMS and 16-bit OS/2 apps. Chuck it in the bin and all will rejoice.

Retain the Windows experience as a hosted environment, sort of like Java. We will still pay loads of $$ for it and MS can keep all the proprietary goodies to themselves. Let us worry about making all the crappy hardware work, we already do anyway regardless of the OS.

This is about the only thing that will keep me from using and recommending OS X for desktop and laptop work for another 2-3 years. Too bad Apple doesn't see a future for themselves in corporate and commodity computing; it would have saved me typing all this.

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of people, myself included, who are quite happy in their functional, shipping, good morale product groups... which all happen to be not part of Windows.

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.

In a larger company, with so many people repeating what you just said and taking credit for it right in front of your face, it is more difficult to pin down what your contribution is.

Anonymous said...

"To the guy who was blaming the whole Windows org for this failure: Responsibility may rest at all levels. But accountability should start at the top. My commitment was to deliver on my component. Allchin's commitment was to release Windows and he was paid some > 50 mil dollars the past few years for that job, and he failed to deliver. Accountability should probably start even higher, with Bill and Steve. I did not decide the architecture of Vista or what all junk should go into it. Bill, Steve, Jim, Brian V, Chris Jones and a few others made those decisions."

Exactly. Leadership and accountability start at the top and these folks are being paid handsomely for the burden that's been placed on them. Unfortunately, MS has poor overall leadership and non-existent mgt accountability. What bothers me the most though is the institutional dishonesty that is evident in the various press releases/media interviews surrounding this announcement. Without honesty, a company has no culture whatsoever. Ballmer, Gates, most of the 130 VPs and all of the majority of snr Windows mgt need to go. I'd also seriously question the oversight role being played by the BOD.

Anonymous said...

"I know plenty of people, myself included, who are quite happy in their functional, shipping, good morale product groups... which all happen to be not part of Windows.

And all of which (minus MBU) depend utterly upon Windows.

Anonymous said...

Uhh, you folks in the Jobs reality distortion field might recall how Apple solves the challenges that Vista is stumbling over. They tightly couple the software and hardware. Orders of magnitude fewer drivers to support, no independent hardware vendors to deal with except as suppliers, and they kill off support for legacy stuff even faster than MS does.

Actually, OSX is based on BSD, which already ran on a wide variety of hardware when Apple adopted it. They're so platform agnostic that they just switched processor architectures and the biggest wave that created was about inflammatory television commercials. Apple seems to have the upper hand here too.

Anonymous said...

In a larger company, with so many people repeating what you just said and taking credit for it right in front of your face, it is more difficult to pin down what your contribution is.

I know you believe this is endemic of all large companies. It is a particular problem at Microsoft. Employees that do little except hone their political and social connections are the biggest offenders. Its offensive and humiliating for some of us to put in as much time as we do and have our contributions either ripped off or casually dismissed. There are a good many individuals on the Windows team that are sorry that Vista slipped, but there is another contingency on the same team who could now care less. They are glad it slipped, and hope that the failure will somehow incite change.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why Vista, which is trying to catch up with OSX and not getting there, needs so many resources to function? The PC I bought in January from Dell probably won't be able to run it with acceptable performance, and this machine has more horsepower than last year's Mac Mini which runs OSX just fine.

Windows is a big, bloated, overly complicated POS and not worth the effort to pursue any longer. Likewise Office.

As soon as I'm convinced that the new crop of Intel based Macs are rock solid, I'm jumping ship for good...

Anonymous said...

Well this sucks, I was all pumped about working at MSFT and this blog has made me rethink everything :(

I'd work at a start-up but I got bills to pay and loans to pay off.

Anonymous said...

...the industry requires greater lead time to deliver Windows Vista on new PCs during the December selling season...

OEMs and retailers need to be able to install and test the new operating system so they can create an image they will copy for all the PCs that go out for all the holiday sales; an image they will have to support if some device doesn't work properly. The holiday season starts November 1st! The PCs need to be built and shipped to arrive in stores by November 1st, about a 2 week lead time. Testing and installing is about another 2 weeks. This means that Microsoft would need to ship Vista by about October 1st AT THE LATEST to make it to store shelves on time.

Personally, I'm glad it's slipping, but then again I work in IT and will have to roll out this pig.

BTW, I've run the CTP on a Dell P4 GX260, and it's slower than XP on a PIII!!! Guess I'll be turning off all those nifty UI 'features' and choose "Best performance"

Anonymous said...

Mini's post was "Fire the leadership now!". I am thinking...hmmm...is there anyway we can really enforce that? Shareholder meetings? Probably not. How can we spread the word about the incompetent upper management? Not that it needs any spreading! We certainly must take it to next level and hold the upper management for this fiasco called Vista.

I am really thinking about quitting now...The only thing holding me back is that I think something might come out of LisaB listening tour. Yeah, I know...I am naive...

Anonymous said...

Enderle sums it up nicely:

"Consumer Market for Consumer PCs Takes Major Hit

03/21/2006 by Rob Enderle

Few things could have done more damage to the 2006 PC market then the slip of Windows Vista. This will have an adverse impact on a broad cross section of components and platform PC suppliers who depend on the 4th quarter to make their numbers. The big issue is consumers typically do not wait to buy, and will chose to buy something else and now wait until later in 2007 to purchase their computers.

Now all eyes turn to Apple with what now is an unprecedented opportunity to take major market share in the critical 4th quarter. If their expected Media Center competitive product can make it to market as expected, they could gain significant share in a market looking to buy new product but now only seeing it from Apple. I personally can not recall Apple ever getting an opportunity like this.

Overall this is showcasing what may be significant execution problems at Microsoft which has already slipped Windows Vista several years and had been cutting features to make its 2006 ship date yet still was unable to make even that ship date. Execution problems of this level do not bode well for any company, and this level of problem for a company as critical as Microsoft is to the industry could easily drive Microsoft partners to alternative platforms to better assure their own financial performance.

In short, this reminded a lot of folks critical to Microsoft’s long term success how dangerous it is to be tied to any one vendor which is never wise for any dominant vendor to do because it increases, dramatically, the need for a secondary vendor."

Anonymous said...

I wonder what percentage of Microsoft's problems are related to its misguided efforts to crush Google.

While many of their execs are out there planning their attacks on Google, pumping up live, etc. They took their eyes off the ball and let Vista fail.

Anonymous said...

I think that we're all unnecessarily worrying here.

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...

Anonymous said...

Somebody call Dan Brown ...

CHIEF SOFTWARE ARCHITECT is an anagram for FAT REEFER CHIT CHAT COW SIT.

Time's Up said...

I think that we're all unnecessarily worrying here.

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...


You must be new.

I foresee Apple taking 10% and widespread panic. W00t!

Anonymous said...

With its unending blunders, Microsoft has delivered unto Apple the perfect storm to create its own demise. I think Apple's vertical integration is starting to make more sense, seeing as the wheels appear to be coming off at Microsoft right now. The future of techology is not the PC and an operating system, it is whole house entertainment and computing solutions. In such a situation, vertical integration, in which you have an iPod like device, a mobile phone, a computer, and an entertainment system all running the same OS and hardware and all of which function seamlessly together makes way more sense.

Steve Jobs will have some sort of bomb to drop for us all at WWDC in August (or perhaps even April 1 for the anniversary) and without a doubt OSX 10.5 Leopard will be shipping early, and far ahead of V-is-for-vaporware-Vista. Apple quadrupling its market penetration is not out of the question in my book, especially if it has some really innovative new entertainment devices ready to be pulled out of Steve Jobs' reality distortion field...like an implementation of Viiv that blows everything out of the water and a new vpod that torpedoes ORIGAMI.

Anonymous said...

CHIEF SOFTWARE ARCHITECT is an anagram for FAT REEFER CHIT CHAT COW SIT.

Thank you, that make me laugh.

Want to work in a good group that is unaffected by Windows' failings, and maybe even helped by it? Come to the MacBU, folks! If the MacBU can ship Office on time with 1/10th the headcount that WinOffice has, we're doing something right. And all this talk about OS X's glowing future is music to our ears. I'd love to hear what mini thinks about the MacBU.

Anonymous said...

While many of their execs are out there planning their attacks on Google, pumping up live, etc. They took their eyes off the ball and let Vista fail

They arent doing that great a job on search, and live either.

I have one question for Steve Ballmer: "Is you business people ready?"

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