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Whidden
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Windows Vista delayed again. post #1  quote:



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Langberg: Windows Vista delay is explained in 1975 book: too much manpowerBy Mike LangbergMercury NewsToo many cooks spoil the soup, and too many software developers can cause more problems than they solve.
This could explain, at least in part, what's wrong at Microsoft.
The company suffered a huge embarrassment last week in slipping the consumer launch of Windows Vista back to January.
This came after Microsoft made solemn pledges to ship Vista, the newest version of its flagship operating system, in time for this year's holiday selling season.
Vista is crucial to Microsoft's future.
Windows XP, its predecessor, is almost 5 years old -- retirement age in the fast-moving world of computing. Improved security and slick new features in Vista could help Microsoft regain a cutting-edge image snatched away by faster-moving competitors such as Apple Computer and Google.
But Windows has gotten so big over the years, designed for everything from high-end computer entertainment systems to portable touchpads, that coming up with a new version is untangling a bowl of spaghetti.
The challenge of big software projects was probably best described by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. in his classic 1975 book, ``The Mythical Man-Month.''
Brooks, a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, stated then what he called Brooks' Law: ``Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.''
The need for latecomers to get up to speed and communicate with their predecessors, Brooks says, takes up more of the team's time than what the added workers contribute.
It's even theoretically possible to reach a kind of software gridlock, where the team is so big that all its time goes to communicating among each other and making revisions -- with the project never reaching completion.
The outside world doesn't know exactly what went wrong with Vista, because Microsoft didn't go beyond platitudes last week in explaining the unexpected delay.
``We won't compromise on product quality, and we needed just a few more weeks,'' said James Allchin, co-president of Microsoft's Windows division, on Tuesday.
But there are hazy signs of distress from behind Microsoft's closely guarded walls.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced a major reorganization that brought new managers into the Windows group. On Friday, the company said it would also delay the newest version of Microsoft Office so it could launch at the same time as Vista.
In a memo to employees explaining the reorganization, a senior Microsoft executive said one major goal is to, ``Lay the foundation for accelerating our pace of innovation, including focusing on ways to improve clarity of decision making, drive greater accountability, and reduce layers in the organization so we can move faster.''
Translated into plain English, Microsoft sees itself as a bear caught in a bureaucratic tar pit -- an analogy Brooks used in his 31-year-old book.
``No one thing seems to cause the difficulty -- any particular paw can be pulled away. But the accumulation of simultaneous and interacting factors brings slower and slower motion,'' Brooks wrote.
Brooks' analysis doesn't seem at all dated, other than his obsolete assumption that software is only created by men, and much of the book seems relevant to Windows Vista.
``When one hears of disastrous schedule slippage in a project, he imagines that a series of major calamities must have befallen it,'' Brooks wrote. ``Usually, however, the disaster is due to termites, not tornadoes; and the schedule has slipped imperceptibly but inexorably.''
There is certainly ample room for bugs -- termites or otherwise -- in Vista.
Windows 3.1, the first commercially successful version of the software, contained 2.5 million lines of software code at launch in 1992, according to Gary McGraw, chief technical officer of Cigital, a software development consulting firm in Dulles, Va.
Windows 95, the next big hit for Microsoft, had 15 million lines of code.
Windows XP, the current version introduced in 2001, reached 40 million lines.
Windows Vista, according to several outside experts, is somewhere around 50 million lines. That's 20 times the size of Windows 3.1.
Michael Cherry, a former Microsoft product manager, now analyzes the company for Directions on Microsoft, a research firm in Kirkland, Wash.
According to Cherry, Windows Vista has fallen into at least some of the traps described by Brooks.
``It's such a collection of smart people that they've started to believe too much in themselves,'' Cherry said last week.
This overconfidence allows managers to set unrealistically optimistic schedules, and low-level supervisors to hide the extent of delays from their bosses.
Cherry doesn't believe Microsoft will hit its new target date in January, and said there isn't the same pressure to ship in the new year as there was to launch ahead of the big year-end holiday shopping season.
``Does it matter now if it's Super Bowl Sunday or Easter Sunday?'' Cherry asked. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 4, 2007, and Easter Sunday falls on April 8, 2007.
For now, my advice to Microsoft is: Don't add more people to the Windows team, and buy a copy of ``The Mythical Man-Month'' for everyone already working on Vista.


Old Post 03-28-2006 12:48 AM
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post #2  quote:

I heard Microsoft state that Vista is now ready for delivery.

Old Post 11-09-2006 08:40 AM
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post #3  quote:

quote:
Viper1 said this in post #2 :
I heard Microsoft state that Vista is now ready for delivery.


Anyone heard when Microsoft starts delivering the product?


Old Post 11-18-2006 12:19 AM
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post #4  quote:

quote:
The software maker plans to offer Vista and Office 2007 to volume license customers on November 30, while consumers will have to wait until January for the latest versions of Microsoft's flagship products.

Meanwhile, the company is giving free copies of Windows Vista to members of its technical beta program who filed at least one bug report during the testing of the operating system. The offer does not apply to technology enthusiasts who downloaded Vista as part of the broader Customer Preview Program.


Old Post 11-18-2006 12:45 AM
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post #5  quote:

Wait, wait, wait, is it called Windows Vista, or is it just plain Vista?

Old Post 11-18-2006 02:59 AM
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post #6  quote:

quote:
gaboman said this in post #5 :
Wait, wait, wait, is it called Windows Vista, or is it just plain Vista?


I think it's either/or.


Old Post 11-18-2006 03:04 AM
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