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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.