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Why Vista is late

Volish mole bleats from Vista hole
Thu Jun 15 2006, 16:34
A MICROSOFT INSIDER insider has split the beans on why Microsoft is having so many problems with Vista.

Writing in his bog here, Philip Su, a Microsoft developer who works in the Tablet PC team says that the software is too complicated and Volish management is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

He said that Vista has more than 50 dependency layers and after working on the project for five years he has only understood two of them.

Su also points out a neat bit of mathematics. Vista has 50 million lines of code, whereas XP was said to have around 40 million. A typical Windows developer produces 1000 lines of code a year. Remember that there are 9,000 of developers packed into the Vole hill so it is clear that there is a shortage of code being produced on time.

Volish managers work in a "bygone culture of belittlement and aggression", Su said. They couldn't deal with the fact that the software couldn't be made on time so took it out on the staff. Staff had started lying to them about when the work would be ready.

Su said that Microsoft struggles with poor organisational decision-making which is caused mostly because there are too many vice presidents, in reporting structures which were too narrow.

Meetings to get the smallest thing done require about six VPs, and ten general managers. To make matters worse, some of these managers like to micromanage.

There is a lot of energy spent looking after a hierarchy rather than getting a product out. Instead of saying "this is what we want you to do", managers are spending ages arguing about how it should be done. This is before Vole even gets to the technical issues, which in the case of Vista is pretty tough.

"The types of software management issues being dealt with by Windows leaders are hard problems, problems that no other company has solved successfully. The solutions to these challenges are certainly not trivial," Su penned.

The August completion date has long fallen by the wayside. "one has to wonder whether it was merely illusory, given the collective failure of such unified human will, that Vista was ever controllable in the first place," Su says. µ


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