Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

March 2006 - Posts

  • Windows Vista 60% Rewrite? Gimme a Break!

    What ever happened to checking your sources before you link to something? just posted a link to an article on an Australian website that claims that 60% of the Windows Vista code is going to be rewritten in the next 6 months. The article also goes on to claim that Microsoft recently pulled people from the Xbox team to help "fix" Media Center, and tries to associate Windows Vista's RTM with the 2007 CES.

    So, are we THAT starved for attention that we're just making stuff up now, or what? How can anyone honestly believe that Microsoft's going to do ANOTHER rewrite in the final days of development. Windows has to have a couple hundred million lines of code. Lets say 60 million, for the sake of argument. With six months left in development, that's 5 million lines of code a month to be rewritten. That's like almost writing Visual Studio 2005 (which took 2 years to build, BTW) once a month for the next six months. Highly unlikely.

    And what's with this CES thing? What part of "we'll RTM in October, but we're sitting on the discs until January" did you not understand?

    Don't believe everything you read.

    UPDATE: Scoble confirms: "Totally 100% False"
    UPDATE2: Updated to correct Windows codebase statistics and original article link.

  • Allchin: Vista Business in November, Consumers in January

    In a surprise conference call today, Jim Allchin informed the media that Windows Vista's development schedule had slipped a few weeks. After confronting psrtners with the slippage, many asked Microsoft to hold off on the consumer release of Vista until after the holiday season. Therefore, Windows Vista will not be available to consumers until January 2007. According to Jim: "We'll RTM everything at once, and we'll sit on the disks.

    Responding to a question on Allchin's retirement plans aligning with Vista's release, Jim reiterated that "Windows Vista will be finished this year. I'm gonna sit here until the quality of this thing is right."

  • 'Updated Vista Build' - Not News

    I've seen many websites talking about Microsoft's plans to release an updated build to TAP customers. I seem to remember getting my hand slapped by Microsoft the last time I talked about this, but oh well. Guys, this isn't news. Microsoft put out at least one build to TAP customers between each CTP release. Customers who add access to those builds are already aware of what's coming. What's the point in telling people who aren't in those programs:

    Other Vista testers will have to wait for the next full update of the Community Technology preview program, which is due next quarter.

    WTF?!?!?. This is apparently what one-upsmanship looks like between geeks.

    On a related note, I've asked this question in private a dozen times, and never gotten a decent answer... so I'm gonna ask it here: How come whenever I comment on a great idea, Microsoft threatens to take away my MVP (which is a reward for past performance, I might add), but Paul Thurrott can have a mouth worse than a teenage blonde in gym class and he still gets handheld by Micorosft's PR department? That's a double-standard that's really getting old.

  • Project Origami: Marketing Beyond Expectations

    Dustin from the UMPC team has a great run-down of the viral marketing campaign that successfully trumped Apple's announcements a couple weeks ago. I think it's really funny that he mentioned they were only planning on getting 10,000-20,000 hits in the first two weeks. Turns out, they beat their projections for the entire campaign on the first day. In the full two weeks since the site went live, they've received 2 million hits. That's 100x their estimations. Not bad for a viral marketing campaign. The UMPC team must be pretty happy.

    Now, the critical time for the UMPC has arrived. The marketing team has done a fantastic job. Microsoft can market the hell out of anything it does. The one thing Microsoft cannot do effectively after 30 years in the business is accurately market the capabilities to the consumer. Every team has oversold their products, and one of the reasons consumers get pissed is because the software they just spent a bunch of money on doesn't do what they want it to do effectively. Hopefully they've learned from the extremely accurate and very effective Microsoft iPod parody that started circulating around the Net the same time this UMPC craze showed up.

    Now Microsoft and Intel need to try something different, and send 100-200 units out to influentials to try for 2 months. "Loaners", if you will. Is this just a play to get my hands on one? Of course it is! But seriously, if you give a seemingly great device to a bunch of people with big mouths, integrate it into their lives, and then take it away... well, you'll sell at least 100 of them after the trial is over ;). That is, of course, if the UMPC Team has delivered on the marketers' promises.

    To the UMPC team: if that sounds like a good idea, feel free to send one my way for testing ;). My address is on file.

  • WOAH! Surface Computing Rocks!

    Todd Bishop over at talks about the Surface Computing project at Microsoft Research. This is the team that came up with that mind-blowing demo at CES that I couldn't stop talking about. The demo he shows this time around uses Virtual Earth mapping to let you interact with a map as if you were handling a piece of paper.

    (click for the video)

    Forget Origami, this is the technology that I want to see everywhere. Just think about it. If you can manipulate a computer UI against a flat surface, how much longer until sensors would let you manipulate a holographic UI projected into thin air, like on "Minority Report"? Forget jumping that far ahead, think about the CES demo again for a second. What if you had several devices on the same table, each with their own projected desktop space. Forget using a mouse, what if you could physically grab information on your cell phone and drag it to your friend's phone? Or drag it from your phone to your Origami device? Or from your phone to your Smart Watch?

    I really hope Microsoft doesn't stop pursuing this technology. Thanks Todd for the cool report.

  • Project Origami: Week 2

    Week Two is here, and the OrigamiProject is beginning to sound more like the next generation Predator drone than it is a conept computer. "I am everywhere you are," it says. Creepy. Whatever it is, it had better not try to follow me into the bathroom. Sometimes I just need my privacy.

    PS: Thanks to Engadget for the link earlier today. We've seen a huge jump in traffic. :)