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Windows Development Processes Torn Apart

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It’s interesting to watch the reactions to the Wall Street Journal article about how messed up Windows development processes were.

Many bloggers called it a “puff piece” but now on Memeorandum the headlines that are attached to it say “Microsoft Windows Officially Broken.”

Neither view is really accurate.

Windows isn’t what whas broken. Windows DEVELOPMENT PROCESSES were what was broken. I really hate headline writers who don’t get the facts right and/or sensationalize a story beyond what it needs to be sensationalized. The two are different things.

Either way, I’m glad the story is getting out. The short view is that last year we threw out the code that had been written for Longhorn and started over with a fresh code base (they restarted with Windows Server 2003′s codebase, by the way). Then they started checking in features one at a time, albeit with higher quality bars. It was a very painful time. I had been sold on how cool Longhorn was going to be too, and last year I couldn’t really say much as they rebuilt the entire product.

That said, I’m still being mostly quiet. Why? Cause I’d rather you get the bits and judge the product for yourself rather than me mouth off about how I think we’re doing — which might be a mistake too. Two years ago I got caught overhyping because I didn’t know that they’d be forced to back up and “reset.” This year I’m underhyping and staying quiet. My new view? Me mouthing off really doesn’t matter that much either way. What matters is whether you like Windows Vista and what you’ll tell your friends and family after you get a good solid look.

You’ll hear my excitement about Windows Vista, though, in videos I film with the dev teams as I take you along to discover new features. The last chapter on this book hasn’t been written yet and I believe business students and computer science majors will be studying this period in Microsoft’s life for a very long time.

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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net’s Vice President of Media Development.

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Windows Development Processes Torn Apart
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