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Microsoft to reshuffle Windows unit

By Julio Franco
Dec 15, 2003
  1. Microsoft plans to reorganize its Windows unit, creating a new division more tightly focused on the development of the core operating system, CNET News.com has learned.

    The move to have a unit more tightly focused on development work comes as Microsoft is ramping up efforts around Longhorn, the next major version of Windows, which is expected to be released in late 2005 or 2006. Other software makers, including Oracle, have set up units focused on core technology in the past, leaving the work of creating specific products to separate teams.

    Read more: CNet News.
     
  2. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    This should be a good move, will allow them to focus on getting things more close to being right the first time, rather than having so much to sort out shortly after a final version is shipped.

    I also think it is a good move for them to say that Longhorn "will ship when it is ready" rather than giving a projected release date. For one thing, when you give a date, the industry holds you to it, even if it were an estimate(and MS has not been known to hold to schedules very well anyway)
    If you don't project a date for release, you can't be late with it, this also takes the pressure off, allowing them to concentrate on getting things put together so they work rather than getting the product shipped.
     
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I think that is the best thing they could do. Have a lot of integrated teams that work under one major team of developement. This way they can just focus on developing one aspect of certain things, while the other teams work on the other parts of it. But the only downside to this is that sometimes the teams don't communicate as much or as well as they should and this causes some problems when it comes to implementing 2 different projects into each other. But if it is a well managed team this is one of the best ways you could do projects.
     
  4. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    Sounds like a good plan by Microsoft. Hopefully adding a team dedicated to working on the core of the operating system will mean that the overall stability and security of the new OS will be vastly improved, not to mention easier to pinpoint problems should they arise... considering the fact that the team won't have to deal with the other stuff in the OS.

    I'm not sure exactly how each team would "connect" with each other, though. It seems like since the core of the operating system is what everything is based on, the other team(s) would have to yield to the "demands" (for example, the core team may find a bug in part of their code, which causes them to have to entirely redo that part. Since that part of code was a basis of other parts of the OS, the other teams have to rewrite their code to be compatible as well) of the core team, which may create problems. However, I'm sure Microsoft already has a plan on how to work that issue out or avoid it altogether.

    Either way, seems like a step forward for their new OS.
     
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    It could be difficult, but where this really comes together is with the manager and a few key players who are involved in more than one team. They will be able to coordinate the problems and solutions back and forth so everyone understands what is going on.
    Transfering the code might be a bit tougher, but you get the point.
     
  6. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Posts: 154

    That makes sense. Seems like a viable solution to the issue.
     
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    Guess you also have to consider another angle, if this goes well and MS makes signifigant improvements in their products, it will be bad for the competition. This would give them an even bigger edge over rivals than they now have. On the other side of this coin, if it doesn't work out, it might give rivals a bit of an edge which might stiffen competition(at least in some areas)
     
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Well I think that if people see that M$ is doing well with their new integrated product teams, they might try it as well. I know it is a good system as long as it is operated correctly (and that is the hard part some times). But I don't really think that them changing their system around a little bit will be that bad on their competition, at least if they can put out a great OS that has few probelms, I wouldn't mind at all using it, whereas now I am using more than just M$ OS's.
    If M$ has the ability to create a fault free (or as close as you can get of course) OS then I wouldn't have a problem with that, because 90% or more of the population uses at least one of their products.
     
  9. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I just got to thinking that by MS doing something that improves their product, you have to look at it from the point of view of the competition(that, and no one else seemed to be taking that view on it) So I thought I'd try to point out a few things from that point of view.

    I think your last statement kind of proved one of my points, though that may be a bit of an extreme(the near perfect OS part)
     
  10. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Of course, I know that. but it would be nice to think about it that way. And if they spent so much time working on it closely then it might be feasable. But just like anything else it's only a matter of time before someone figures something out around it.
     
  11. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It would be an impossible feat to rewrite Windows core completely ditching the remnants of the buggy, ill-designed and obsolete legacy code. I salute MS if they are going to attempt this. And if they pulled this one off, we would be looking at another 20 years of (complete) MS dominance.

    Another impossible problem is the legacy API. If MS wants to keep people happy, it has to support old apps that use old OS interfaces. Meaning that you will have to write an insanely complex wrapper around your new shiny core (huge pile of security issues rolling in the window)
     
  12. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I love the way people take tiny details out of context and turn them into an entirely new argument.
    I believe it was pointed out that it was a bit extreme, and was only mentioned to illustrate a point. I don't think any of us are in any way saying that MS is magically going to build a perfect OS overnight, or even anytime soon. It was an attempt to look at the possible results of this reshuffle from a different angle than what we had already discussed.
     
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,715   +397

    Alright - I finally got around to reading the article.
    First off I think that analysts have overestimated this problem, Microsoft isn't that vulnerable, I seriously doubt that buisnesses are going to go from WindowsXP or Windows2000 (or the 25% that still use 9x!) are going to switch to Linux with the new version of Windows comming out within a couple years. WindowsXP or 2000 should suit the companies just fine until then.
    Also this switch to focusing more on the core and having different teams for other segments - could this be because of Anti-Trust lawsuits against them? Seems to make perfect strategic sense to me if in the future they have to be broken up - this is the first major step in preparing for what could happen in the future.
     
  14. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I thought about that point as well sngx, it would be a good move if they were split in the future, or they might eventually make that split themselves(if they saw it as a good move)
     
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