I started working on the rant I posted last night almost two weeks ago, when Microsoft released the bits and made an internal announcement about distribution plans. Since then, lots of things have happened, so just so that I’m 100% clear, that post was not directed at anyone on the WMC team, as they did a fantastic job shipping a great release which tackles a lot of issues that people have been having. It was targeted at the morons at the top echelons of the eHome division that make the “strategic” decisions.
Since Microsoft posted on the forum over at TheGreenButton (which was just acquired by Microsoft, so congrats guys!) on Friday, there have been nearly 200 replies. Some of those replies come from Microsoft employees, most prominently by Jeff Tucker. From his posts, I’ve been able to glean the following information:
- My assertion that the WMC team is under-resourced is spot-on. WMC is a small team with few resources, even though they arguably own one of the most compelling features of Vista.
- The WMC team considers this a full-fledged release, and is just as pissed about this decision as we are.
- Someone posted the final bits to TheGreenButton. (Won’t link to them, but you can find them on your own)
- Microsoft, in its desire not to completely alienate the community they just acquired, are not pulling the bits, or censoring the posts in any way.
- There is a possibility that some of the Guide improvements delivered in the TV Pack will make their way into a future Vista SP1 update.
- The next release of Windows Media Center will ship inside Windows 7.
If I were you, I’d grab the bits while I can… before the people with higher pay grades than Jeff override him.
And a word to Windows Product Management: Whomever is prioritizing the resource allocation of the WMC team in the eHome division is now officially making you guys look bad. Someone needs to walk over to Building 10 and tell Robbie Bach that you’re perfectly capable of making yourselves look bad, you don’t need other management trying to “lend a hand”. Then you need to do whatever it takes to make sure that team gets the resources it needs to continue be a full-fledged part of your product. Don’t make excuses, or “him and haw” over the fact that you “don’t have the money”, just do it. You were gonna blow $40B on a has-been company, you can cough up the dough. And then make sure it gets officially released to all Ultimate customers, or give us our hundred dollars back.