Feeds

New mgt. please, demands star Microsoft blogger

Heads must roll for Vista death march

Boost IT visibility and business value

So who should carry the can for the Vista death march?

While software invariably ships late, Microsoft's successor to Windows XP is not only years late - missing its 2006 ship date for consumers - but more painfully, is short of the radical features we were talking about more than five years ago.

Now Microsoft's best-known and most closely-read blogger has weighed in on the subject, and generated a hot public debate about the future of the company. For some Redmond staff, senior management needs to take responsibility for the chronic delays. For others, the code base needs to be abandoned for a fresh start.

The anonymous Mini MSFT blog - the employee posts under the name 'Who da'Punk?' - has become the premier spot for staff to discuss the state of Redmond. The blog's motto is "Let's slim down Microsoft into a lean, mean, efficient customer pleasing profit making machine!" and has consistently called for a slimmer and more responsive organization, without the levels of middle management engaged in in-fighting ... and meetings about meetings. (Here's a profile from BadgerWeek from last September.)

"Fire the leadership now!" demands 'WdP'. Yes, but who, Who da'Punk?

Here's where it gets interesting. For this week's news is one of the most minor slippages in the history of Blackcomb/Longhorn/XP - a mere few weeks. But it's produced one of the strongest reactions - possibly because 2006 was the ship or bust target - with CEO Ballmer in the frame.

Alas it looks like the decision has already been made, we learn from Redmond court reporter Rob Guth writing in the Wall Street Journal. And the change is as good as "no change".

Office chief Steve Sinofsky will take charge of the Windows Vista successor Blackcomb. The WSJ report didn't endear itself to MS staff, blaming the engineers' "cowboy culture" for the delays.

But can the engineers be blamed for bad planning and processes? These processes get plenty of bashing too on Mini MSFT, with blame put on perennial favorites in-fighting and a surfeit of product managers in middle management, but also oursourcing testing to "non-accountable and barely trained CSGs [contractors] ... oversees".

(The commonest complaint we hear from Microsoft partners is "meetings about meetings about meetings"...)

"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," writes one poster.

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

(Shortly after that, the thread is taken over by Mac nuts, and isn't worth reading).

But the poster suggests that only a market share fall of 10 per cent will catalyze real change.

Where's that going to come from? Clearly not Linux - which isn't ready for consumers, and which is having difficulty getting past the "trial deployment" stage even in Microsoft's most cost-conscious government accounts. If only there was another mature, x86-compatible operating system available to licenses. That would focus minds wonderfully. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.