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Friday, September 23, 2005

The Remaking Of Longhorn/Vista

Microsoft's recent announcement of re-org aimed at what is says realigning for Next Wave of Innovation and Growth has seen itslef restructuring its divisions into
- Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division
- Microsoft Business Division
- Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division
Microsoft says that it re-organisation is aimed at strengthening its planned release for the next eighteen months in each of these three core areas.It claims that that with its 30-year heritage of delivering low-cost, high-volume products to market, it is better positioned than most others to deliver the software and services people and organizations need to achieve excellence. On the face of this the last two sentences seemsed to be at variance with each other as the rules of the game are constantly changing and very fast at that - as Microsoft's experience itself demonstrates. While Microsoft’s legendary shipping problem is well known, and had its future questioned. There had always been the recognition about its unmatchable capability in churning out large doses of software. But what wsj reports as what as changing approach to developing software, is a phenomenon by itself. It points out that due to historical reasons, Longhorn was irredeemable as microsoft engineers were building it just as they had always built software. Historically, Microsoft had let thousands of programmers each produce their own piece of computer code, then stitched it together into one sprawling program- it now decided to revise the approach. Microsoft unable to match rivals agility in rolling out tools for the imprisoned by window’s nature of being a a massive program overseeing all of a computer's functions. But Microsoft is now racing to move in that direction: developing a solid core for Windows onto which new features can be added one by one over time. The situation was compared to that of old auto manufacturers not investing in new production lines. Microsoft's holy grail is a system that cranks out a new, generally bug-free version of basic Windows every few years, with frequent updates in between to add enhancements or match a competitor's offering.
The mass of patches and agglomerations that made up Windows turned it into an easy target for viruses and other Web-based attacks. While Windows itself couldn't be a single module - it had too many functions for that - it could be designed so that Microsoft could easily plug in or pull out new features without disrupting the whole system. That was a cornerstone of the new plan. In 2004, Microsoft decided to "reset" Longhorn using a clean base of code that had been developed for a version of Windows on corporate server computers. Through automation of testing and good process checks and schemes like engineers having too many outstanding bugs getting in "bug jail" and banned from writing new code. It could take years before Windows can be as flexible as Microsoft needs it to be to pump out new features quickly. This certainly shows the change in strategy and a watershed point in Microsoft's history & in large software development overall.. It is amazing what competition, innovation and commercial stakes can bring forth- for Microsft, clearly the direction is getting to be right,,cultural shift within is in swing & early results are showing up – would the world be just happy with that would be the key trend to watch.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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