Why Vista is delayed – an opinion by a Microsoft development manager

I assume this blog article is written by a current Microsoft employee since it is hosted on the MSDN site.

The author claims to be a prior manager of a development team working on Vista development, and offers some interesting insight into software development issues within Microsoft, on what they claim is the “largest concerted software project in human history”. I’m not sure if this is true, but 2000 developers working on a single system with over 50 million lines of code, this is not insignificant.

The author describes what he considers ‘the usual suspects’ of project overrun – code complexity and over complicated processes. From my own experience I would say the number one issue is always management enforced, unrealistic deadlines, regardless of the amount of work involved – but he does mention this later in the article.

The two main issues he describes are very eye opening – not because the problems are new to anyone in software development, but because these issues are occuring within Microsoft (surely not?) – an organization assumed to have the software development process well buttoned up.

The main issue he describes as ‘Cultured to Slip’ – he describes that due to the pressures of management wanting to see results and only hear about progress, when issues are raised they are ignored bu management and so people stopped telling the truth. If management ask a question they get the answer they expect to hear, regardless of whether it is true or not. Wow. Now that is a problem that is indicative of major cultural issues within their organization.

The second point is regarding ‘too many cooks’. Many of us have seen this before.

At this rate it will be a small miracle if we ever see Vista released. This is a very interesting article worth a read. I would take it with a grain of salt since the author defintely has a grudge and this may be worse than it actually is, but it’s still an eye opening read.

(The URL to the article seems to be down – the server is responding with ‘server too busy’ error – I wonder if this article is about to be removed?)

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