Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Aug 2008 02:16 UTC
Windows Last week we reported on the Engineering 7 weblog, a weblog headed by Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky on which they promised to chronicle the development process of Windows 7, while allowing us normal folk to give feedback. They are keeping their promise, as the latest post by Sinofsky offers some interesting insights into the various development teams working on Windows 7.
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Interesting
by google_ninja on Wed 20th Aug 2008 02:38 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Generally a team gets unwieldy past 15 or so devs, so if there are 25 product teams of 10-15 devs per team, that means there is 250 - 375 devs directly working on windows. The generally accepted ideal number of testers to devs nowadays is 2-1, so add in an easy 500 - 750 people for testing. So devs and testing alone, you are talking 750 - 1125 people working on windows, and that is not counting project managers, designers, localization teams and middle management.

The shop I work at has around 80 people, the place before was closer to 120, including sales guys. I can't even imagine working on a project with those kinds of infrastructure concerns.

Edited 2008-08-20 02:38 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Interesting
by Alex Forster on Wed 20th Aug 2008 05:38 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

"On average a feature team is about 40 developers..."

That's about 1,000 developers working on Windows 7.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 20th Aug 2008 17:37 UTC in reply to "Interesting"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

It's hard to read a description of software development at Microsoft without immediately thinking of the Law of Diminishing Returns.

Reply Score: 2

Lite Edition ...
by WorknMan on Wed 20th Aug 2008 04:02 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I've seen a lot of comments on that blog from people who want just the core OS without all of the extra bloat and applications that they're never going to use. Basically what we need is a 'Lite Edition.' As each new version is released, I find myself spending more and more time just turning off the crap that MS has added over the years in order to try and idiot-proof the OS. Vista is especially bad, having throw in that fruity-looking glassy-ass GUI to appease 'Generation iPod', and you can bet that more Mac lameness like iLife will be headed our way too. Great for grandma to use, but most power users ain't going anywhere near that sh*t.

So we need a barebones version this time geared toward people who actually know what they're doing. Better clipboard tools, system wide spell checking (the one cool thing they haven't stolen from OSX yet), Firefox-style muultiple select in every application, etc etc. Make it a snap to slipstream all hotfixes and service packs into the original install disc. Oh, and make it possible to *create* an install disc out of a restore partition, since most OEMs are too cheap anymore to throw in a f**king setup CD/DVD with the new $1,500 computer you just bought.

Edited 2008-08-20 04:05 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Lite Edition ...
by ebasconp on Wed 20th Aug 2008 04:28 UTC in reply to "Lite Edition ..."
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Maybe supporting and improving ReactOS will be the answer to such claims.

:)

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Lite Edition ...
by merkoth on Wed 20th Aug 2008 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Lite Edition ..."
merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

"Power users" might use vLite too...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lite Edition ...
by WorknMan on Wed 20th Aug 2008 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lite Edition ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Power users do use vLite ;) But it's still rather limited in scope, especially when you compare it to where nLite is. No integration of service packs, which I guess can't be helped, since Vista does not inherently support this. This stuff should be part of the OS itself.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lite Edition ...
by OSGuy on Wed 20th Aug 2008 05:51 UTC in reply to "Lite Edition ..."
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Although the Vista OS itself might not be the best Windows (as MS claimed), Vista's theme does look rather nice, there is no denial about it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Lite Edition ...
by StaubSaugerNZ on Wed 20th Aug 2008 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Lite Edition ..."
StaubSaugerNZ Member since:
2007-07-13

Although the Vista OS itself might not be the best Windows (as MS claimed), Vista's theme does look rather nice, there is no denial about it.


Actually, it is a matter of taste. I personally don't like the snot-coloured theme (and I know just as many people dislike Ubuntu orange).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Lite Edition ...
by hollovoid on Wed 20th Aug 2008 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lite Edition ..."
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

and I know just as many people dislike Ubuntu orange.


Amen.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Lite Edition ...
by Buck on Wed 20th Aug 2008 07:51 UTC in reply to "Lite Edition ..."
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

more Mac lameness like iLife

Yes, because real men use pirated Adobe Premiere and Audition.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Lite Edition ...
by Adam S on Wed 20th Aug 2008 14:25 UTC in reply to "Lite Edition ..."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

"Power users" my balls! I'd wager many folks much more knowledgeable than you have built plenty of their data into iLife quite successfully. Plenty of default Vista apps are perfectly usable for the average Joe, and I'd postulate that no matter what was bundled in Windows 7, people like you would complain. You can't be everyone's solution, and so-called "power users" will seek an alternative, but the average Joe won't, so they gear towards him.

What, pray tell, are acceptable apps for you "power users?" Is Photoshop a power user app? Because that's not bloated at all! Why, it loads in a scant 45 seconds on my dual core 3Ghz machine!

I'll give you that your second paragraph all sounds useful, but then, people that might use that stuff are not the ones comfortable paying $499 for an OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lite Edition ...
by WorknMan on Wed 20th Aug 2008 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Lite Edition ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Plenty of default Vista apps are perfectly usable for the average Joe, and I'd postulate that no matter what was bundled in Windows 7, people like you would complain.


You're right, so why not offer a version that doesn't install anything by default, so that those of us who want to can start off with a clean, minimal system and build up from there?

I'd probably choose to install the calculator and the mixer, but that's about all ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Lite Edition ...
by Adam S on Wed 20th Aug 2008 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lite Edition ..."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Good point.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Lite Edition ...
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed 20th Aug 2008 16:45 UTC in reply to "Lite Edition ..."
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

There is nothing wrong with teh UI. If you don't like the widgets, fine, but accelerating the UI through the 3d system on teh gfx card allows them to keep the UI usable when one of your application is barfing or has a lot to think about.

Reply Score: 2

Too many teams...
by truckweb on Wed 20th Aug 2008 10:29 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

So, Win7, 25 teams working on different part of the OS. Imagine when it's time to put it all together.... It must be crazy and I suspect that's one way to create bugs.

I just hope that Win7 will be better accepted than Vista, if not, we face many years of wining again. So, Win7 better be slimmer and faster.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Too many teams...
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Aug 2008 10:50 UTC in reply to "Too many teams..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So, Win7, 25 teams working on different part of the OS. Imagine when it's time to put it all together.... It must be crazy and I suspect that's one way to create bugs.

I just hope that Win7 will be better accepted than Vista, if not, we face many years of wining again. So, Win7 better be slimmer and faster.


If you have a decently designed system, there should be no reason for any of the teams to see each other. Things should be modular enough that you can pull out an individual component, go off and work on it, come back and put it back, and the whole thing keeps ticking.

That was the whole purpose of what they did with MinWin; the need to map interdependencies, and reduce them so that you don't end up with situations where by if you change something minor down the bottom of the stack - all hell breaks loose at the top. I just hope that with Windows 7, this job has been completed, and they're actually going to work to fix things up - because Windows is in dire need of a boot up the jaxy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too many teams...
by ShadesFox on Wed 20th Aug 2008 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Too many teams..."
ShadesFox Member since:
2006-10-01

They shouldn't have to talk to each other, until everything goes horribly wrong, and the design is missing important parts, and the documentation is inconsistent... in other words they talk to each other from day one. Then comes INTEGRATION, when all the teams learn that, what seemed perfectly clear to one team was an entirely different perfectly clear to another.

We'll see I guess.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Too many teams...
by tomcat on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Too many teams..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If you have a decently designed system, there should be no reason for any of the teams to see each other. Things should be modular enough that you can pull out an individual component, go off and work on it, come back and put it back, and the whole thing keeps ticking. That was the whole purpose of what they did with MinWin; the need to map interdependencies, and reduce them so that you don't end up with situations where by if you change something minor down the bottom of the stack - all hell breaks loose at the top. I just hope that with Windows 7, this job has been completed, and they're actually going to work to fix things up - because Windows is in dire need of a boot up the jaxy.


Great comment. Another factor is testing. As discussd in other posts, Windows dev teams have unit tests to find problems at the earliest possible point, and there are also automated build verification tests which are more extensive in scope and run with each build. Without these things, it would take weeks or months to produce a stable build. This process is no different than many other companies. The real difficulty emerges at the integration points between components and, presumably, teams that are dependent on lower-level components are testing those points of contact all the time. So, in fact, most teams don't need to know how the other teams are doing, what they're producing, etc. It's just an exercise in scale.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too many teams...
by mallard on Wed 20th Aug 2008 12:00 UTC in reply to "Too many teams..."
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

It's not bugs I'm worried about, it's consistency.
IMHO, that is the number 1 issue with Windows Vista, the fact that the user interface is so inconsistent.

Different layouts, different colours, about 5 different toolbar styles, etc, etc. It's a mess and it gets even worse when you take Office in to account. It's somehow worse than OSS desktops, despite the fact that Microsoft's Windows developers are almost all on the same site and getting they paychecks from the same place.

I really hope Microsoft puts strong guidelines and a powerful review team in place for Windows 7 to make sure that the OS looks like it was actually designed as a whole, rather than made up of bits and pieces that all have a slightly different idea of what Windows should look like.

Edited 2008-08-20 12:01 UTC

Reply Score: 3

bunch of people working...
by djames on Wed 20th Aug 2008 10:54 UTC
djames
Member since:
2006-04-18

The most frequent request was to discuss Windows performance and/or just make Windows faster. There' a lot to this topic so we expect to talk about this quite a bit over the next months

Don't talk about it, don't blog about, MAKE IT HAPPEN.

We all know the Windows dev team is a huge group. It's unfortunate, that one of their resources (the blogger) is wasting time...blogging.

I expect pictures of the Windows dev team at a group outing at a Chinese restaurant real soon...celebrating a new desktop icon picture of the trash can.

Edited 2008-08-20 10:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: bunch of people working...
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 20th Aug 2008 17:43 UTC in reply to "bunch of people working..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"This baby can flash-fry a buffalo in 45 seconds!"
"Awww, 45 seconds? But I want it NOW!"

Reply Score: 2

v lipstick on a pig
by xeniast on Wed 20th Aug 2008 16:46 UTC
lipstick on Vista
by casuto on Thu 21st Aug 2008 06:53 UTC in reply to "lipstick on a pig"
casuto Member since:
2007-02-27

Windows 7 will be nothing more than a newer shade of lipstick on Vista

Reply Score: 1

RE: lipstick on Vista
by sargek on Thu 21st Aug 2008 14:17 UTC in reply to "lipstick on Vista"
sargek Member since:
2007-07-12

That's what I have heard as well. I have also read, but haven't seen much information, that Windows 7 is going to be modular in that MS will disable/enable portions of the OS based on how much you pay or want to subscribe to. For example, you could buy the basic "home" version and do surfing and email, but if you wanted to do multimedia or gaming, you would have to subscribe or pay to turn those "modules" on. This supposedly fits in with their "software as a service" idea. If that is the case, they are signing their death warrant.

I do agree that a slimmed down version would be a good thing - for me, Windows is just a gaming shell and I do not need any functionality other than the capability to play 3d games and whatever connection capabilities the games need. No, I do not want a console: they are completely useless to me because the controller is an ergonomic nightmare compared to a keybord and mouse...old school gamer here :-)

Reply Score: 1