Microsoft development still broken, but they seem to be learning

Some recent information released by Microsoft seems to indicate that the Windows development model is still badly broke, and will be for some time, but will likely become less broken in the future. From the article:

Microsoft is planning to ship its next major version of Windows–known internally as version “7”–within roughly three years, CNET has learned.

The company discussed Windows 7 on Thursday at a conference for its field sales force in Orlando, Fla., according to sources close to the company.

While the company provided few details, Windows 7, the next client version of the operating system, will be among the steps taken by Microsoft to establish a more predictable release schedule, according to sources. The company plans a more “iterative” process of information disclosure to business customers and partners, sources said.

“Microsoft is scoping Windows 7 development to a three-year time frame, and then the specific release date will ultimately be determined by meeting the quality bar,” according to the representative.

I’d have thought that Vista would have been proof that spending huge amounts of time to develop a huge product release is no longer the way to go. The fact that they will begin “a more iterative process” after the next release seems like an indication that they see the error of their ways, but that Vista just isn’t a good enough base to start from. After over five years of development, that seems a little odd. It’s also interesting to see that they are considering a subscription model, which is one of the most popular Open Source business models. Looks like Linux has quite a bit of time to iteratively improve until the next major Windows release. That’s a great thing for us, although I have to admit I’m a bit surprised.


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