On the first of August, Mary Jo Foley echoed the Microsoft line that Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Microsoft’s Core Operating System Division, and Senior Technical Fellow David Cutler had been put to better use by Windows new kingpin, Steven Sinofsky.
A friend in the belly of the beast told me Valentine’s exit on 5 September (for failing to deliver Vista) was not pretty.
“This was review time at MS and you can bet the BV was being handed the booby prize for Vista,” he said. “What management at MS didn’t get was that Vista was a huge piece of work, major rewrite of the code base from the ground up. Over 50 million lines of code don’t get rewritten overnight, and serious work on this thing didn’t start until RC2 of (Windows) Server 2003.”
The combination of too few humans with too little hardware shouldering a ton of new work, along with the code rewrite of the existing base led to delays predictable by anybody but MS management.
“With Alchin retiring, MarkL and MarkZ, two of the most talented architects in MS already having left, the picture gets really ugly for the Windows division,” my friend claimed, and the BV’s core team members, Ian McDonald, Jack Mayo, Todd Wanke, Clyde Rodriguez and others are starting to connect the dots.
“The Office team is taking over Windows. They have no idea what they’re biting into. Office source is at least an order of magnitude smaller in size than Windows source and Heaven knows how many fewer sku’s produce. The product compile times aren’t even in the same time measurement window.
“Sinofsky can’t really have any serious appreciation of just what this monster is like. Calling him the “master of shipping product” and thinking he’s gonna pull a rabbit out of a hat with Windows is just delusional. He’ll pull something out of a hat all right, the wererabbit of Wallace and Grommit fame!”
As for Cutler… the hard-nosed kernel developer has gone from Windows development to “improving” Windows Live. When teased about his new assignment, my friend told me he threw a “Cutler classic temper tantrum,” nearly wrecking a small part of the cafeteria.
“Considering that he and not MS owns the kernel code,” my buddy said, “This is amazingly stupid! He’s just biding time to vest some stock and then he’ll split, I just know it!”
He concluded ominously. “A trainwreck of biblical proportions looms. Pick a good seat on the sidelines, trainwrecks this large take awhile to complete. Vista may be the last MS OS for some time to come, especially if Cutler decides to play hardball.”
On the other hand, Ballmer just promised new releases every two years, from here on out.
Funny how reality doesn’t quite match up with the press releases, isn’t it?2053