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March 24, 2006

More skeletons in Vista’s closet?

Posted by David Hunter at 8:30 AM ET.

As everyone comes to terms with the shock of the dual schedule slips of Windows Vista and Office 2007, more stories are surfacing about the current state of Vista.

David Richards at reports 60% Of Windows Vista Code To Be Rewritten:

Up to 60% of the code in the new consumer version of Microsoft new Vista operating system is set to be rewritten as the Company “scrambles” to fix internal problems a Microsoft insider has confirmed to SHN.

In an effort to meet a dealine of the 2007 CES show in Las Vegas Microsoft has pulled programmers from the highly succesful Xbox team to help resolve many problems associated with entertainment and media centre functionality inside the OS. The team are also working closely with engineers from the Intel Viiv team. and it is now expected that the next version of Viiv could be delayed to line up with the launch of the consumer version of Vista at the 2007 CES Show in Las Vegas.

CES starts January 8, 2007, but rewriting 60% of the Vista code in 9 months sounds like the proverbial software death march.

If that wasn’t enough, one of the anonymous commenters at the Mini-Microsoft blog has this stunner:

Ok let’s take a look back at the great mgmt decisions in one Windows test org: Not an important group; just appcompat. (It’s not like anyone really cares about appcompat – who cares if customers’ 3rd party apps (and especially MS apps) really don’t work that well on this new fustercluck.

In the last 18 months this org:

[see the original for the list of 9 boneheaded management moves]

Results: Client appcompat % hovering at <40% (GASP – INTERNAL INFO… better moderate this one out!!!!)

Translated: less than 40% of the 3rd party and Microsoft Windows XP applications that were tested are compatible with Vista. That’ll certainly dim the luster and make the customers cranky!

Finally, despite the widespread expectation that Steve Sinofsky was brought in to shape up Vista development, it’s not clear, as I observed yesterday, that he really has much control over it. Brandon LeBlanc does some digging:

A Microsoft spokesperson today was able to confirm for me that this isn’t the case. “While Jim (Allchin) and Brian (Valentine) finish the work on this year, Steven and team will be squarely focused on the future planning for Windows and Windows Live,” the Microsoft spokesperson tells me. Think of it as if Steven Sinofsky taking charge right at Windows code-named “Vienna”. I would assume that any development beginning on “Vienna” now will be supervised under the direction of Sinofsky while Allchin focuses on just getting Vista out the door.

That would certainly clarify the reorganization. Sinofsky is working on the next Windows client OS (Vienna) , not Vista.

Update: Microsoft is forcefully denying the first of the above items. Ed Oswald at Betanews:

Microsoft slammed an article by Australian technology publication Smart House on Friday, calling it “speculation.”

“This is speculation with no demonstrable basis in fact,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews on Friday. “There aren’t any Xbox developers moving over to the Windows Vista team,” he said, disputing the core premise of the story.

Actually, the core premise is that a large chunk of Vista needs to be rewritten, but we get the idea.

Filed under Executives, Microsoft, OS - Client, Steven Sinofsky, Windows 7, Windows Vista

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2 Responses to “More skeletons in Vista’s closet?”

  1. T. Longren Says:

    No Windows Vista Rewrite

    Some news place in Australia claimed an inside source at Microsoft told them 60% of the existing Windows Vista code would have to be rewritten. This news had the techie bloggers pretty excited today.
    Up to 60% of the code in the new consumer version o…

  2. Round 2: Vista 60% rewrite confirmed? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] In the wake of Microsoft’s surprise slip of the launch date for the Windows Vista operating system, there were a number of stories about underlying causes and resulting effects. One was the claim at Smarthouse Magazine that a “Microsoft insider” had revealed that up to 60% of the Vista code had to be rewritten. This understandably inspired Microsoft to quickly fire back, calling it “speculation” and with calls for firing the editor and reporter from Microsoft’s Robert Scoble. [...]

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