Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ballmer on Vista

Scott Rosenberg has an interesting article on Ballmer's comments that Vista has come out pretty much as expected. I think there are about 30,000 programmers at the Redmond campus. It boggles the mind how that many coders can get anything done that doesn't duplicate, simulate, or break what others are doing. For many years they coped through specialization. Each programmer got something tiny, like a single Win32 API call, to work on.

Then after XP they pinned the needle the other way, and a rewrite orgy began. It produced some good things. XAML is good. They completely rewrote Window's TCP/IP stack; which is quite an act of chutzpah, and now it supports multi-core CPUs in useful ways. But overall they ended up suffering exactly the sort of problems that a Big Bang approach would bring.

In a way it's a smart move though. Most people are quite happy with XP. Any next version had to be a long-term, next-generation thing. People will love Vista in 2009.

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