Longhorn in Sync
You have shifted your strategy on the Longhorn client and server release cycles, and you are now developing them pretty much in tandem so they can ship close together. What drove the change in your thinking on that? Internal efficiency. The alternative was to add a ton more functionality to the server so it would have taken longer. But the problem was that it meant we would have run two different source trees with all the shared components having to deal with both, with two separate runs on beta testing. The coordination effort means that while the server will not have as many features as it would have when we planned to release it two to three years after the client, but now you get all of the benefits and there will be a synchronized system until the very end, where there will be a longer test. We will take whatever time is needed to finalize the server, but it will not be years though. Basically, well keep it one milestone behind and at the end, around Release Candidate time, well let it bake a little bit longer.But that was the early plan with the Windows XP and client releases, and they shipped years apart. Is that same scenario avoidable here? We think so. The amount of IQ that we have on the software engineering process is incredible at this point. The level of people working on our source and build environments and our tools now are so smart. Before we didnt have the MIT guys; we have now applied real hardcore brilliance to the problem. Were putting the dollars there, and I anticipate [what happened with XP] wont happen again. We didnt think internally that the pain with XP was going to be as bad as it turned out to be, and none of us want to do it again, we really dont. We all know by now that you plan to cut some Longhorn features. What is currently on the chopping block, and do you have a sense for what might be cut? The first thing you have to put in context is the magnitude of Longhorn. The things that we cut you did not even know were there and most of the people working on Longhorn did not know they were there. So, its not like the storage system, the graphics system or Indigo are not still going to be there. All the work on basics is still all there. There are things we wished that we could do that weve now decided to move to Blackcomb. There is spreadsheet after spreadsheet of little line items that when you look at them we say we just dont need those now. The one thing about Longhorn is that the quality is going to be there. This security situation is going to be addressed. We have done a very good job with Windows XP SP2, and we are redoubling, tripling, our efforts to ensure that the quality base is beyond anything weve ever done, and I would cut other features out without even thinking about it to make sure that I do a great job on security. Theres so much in Longhorn, it is so overwhelming and the specific things we cut were wish-list items really. Next page: Finalizing the feature set.
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