Feeds

Microsoft's 'ordinary Joe' promises Windows 7 bliss

Workers, not managers, in charge

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has wheeled in an "ordinary" developer to re-assure folks that Microsoft won't repeat the mistakes of Windows Vista in Windows 7.

Microsoft employee Larry Osterman has been brought out to say Windows 7 won't slip, and it won't contain the kinds of bugs that dogged Windows Vista with hardware and software incompatibilities.

Osterman was writing on Sinofsky's "official" Windows 7 blog. The blog represents an attempt to clamp down on potentially negative rumors and convince the world all's well in Windows 7.

Steven Sinofsky

Sinofsky: on message

To bolster Osterman's credibility as an "ordinary" guy appearing on the official Microsoft Windows 7 channel, Sinofsky said Ostermann had written the post without any prodding.

Sinofsky is the senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group and follows in the wake of platform and services division co-president Jim Allchin, who helped steer Windows Visa to disaster. Sinofsky will be speaking more about Windows 7 Microsoft’s Professional Developers’ Conference (PDC) later this month.

Microsoft has of course not said when Windows 7 will ship, but there's a widespread belief Windows 7 will arrive next year.

According to Osterman, it's the Windows 7 feature teams are calling the shots on cutting features with management "standing behind them." "In Vista it would have been much harder to convince senior management to abandon features," Osterman reckoned.

"One of the messages that management has consistently driven home to the teams is 'cutting is shipping', and they're right. If a feature isn't coming together, it's usually far better to decide NOT to deliver a particular feature then to have that feature jeopardize the ability to ship the whole system," he said.

It was Microsoft's public commitment to foundational features in Windows Vista, such as the ambitious new storage subsystem unveiled by chairman Bill Gates in 2003, that helped produce monumental delays in Windows Vista.

In another change, Osterman reckons the Windows build and testing teams have been integrated so code is not simply dumped on testers, who must then deal with the fall out.

Integrated coding and testing teams? What ever will Microsoft, preaching to its own customers on the virtues of adopting integrated application lifecycle management (ALM) via its Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) tools, think of next?

"This is a massive change from Vista," Osterman said. "In Vista, since the code was complete we'd have simply checked in the code and let the test team deal with the fallout. By integrating the test teams into the planning process at the beginning we were able to ensure that we never put the test organization into that bind. This in turn helped to ensure that the development process never spiraled out of control."

Astute readers will have noticed Osterman is using the past tense when talking about Windows 7. This suggests engineering has been completed. The reality, though, is Windows 7 is far from finished and Microsoft has been working on internal builds.

Much work is left for taking in feedback and then incorporating this by building and refining features, before Windows 7 is really finished.®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
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
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
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
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.