The gist of it is simple: in 2004 Microsoft came face to face with what I and lots of other folks suspected about Longhorn: it was a plate of ugly spaghetti that was never going to work. Microsoft sucked in its gut and threw the whole thing out, starting over from scratch. Finally we know the reasons behind the mysterious sliding release dates: it all went in the dumpster and they had to start fresh.
Microsoft says that the new Vista is clean and simple from the ground up. But there's a telling quote in there from Chairman Gates, who said:
It's obviously my role to ask people, 'Hey, let's not throw things out we shouldn't throw out. Let's keep things in that we can keep in.'
Yeah. Pour a healthy dose of the same old polluted water into fresh new drinking glasses and what do you get? Why, it's the "Windows Experience" all over again, isn't it? Well, only time will tell what this beast really looks like after all the crap they can't live without gets bolted back on, but my bet is that they'll be broken again before they get it out the door.
Here's another interesting quote from the article:
Mr. Allchin's reforms address a problem dating to Microsoft's beginnings. Old-school computer science called for methodical coding practices to ensure that the large computers used by banks, governments and scientists wouldn't break. But as personal computers took off in the 1980s, companies like Microsoft didn't have time for that. PC users wanted cool and useful features quickly. They tolerated -- or didn't notice -- the bugs riddling the software. Problems could always be patched over. With each patch and enhancement, it became harder to strap new features onto the software since new code could affect everything else in unpredictable ways.
Hello Bill? What's changed? You still don't have the time, so you'll still be adding new bugs in your fever to get new features to users. Maybe Allchin managed to deliver a clean start, but your programmers will muck it up immediately.
Make sure to send your Windows buddies a link to this. They won't want to read it, but I think it might be good for them.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
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