Windows 7 beta testers are expressing concerns about lack of feedback from Microsoft on Windows 7 issues, and Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group at Microsoft, responds in a blog post. Sinofsky says Microsoft has received an enormous amount of input from testers and early users. In the process of digesting all the data, Microsoft has fixes planned for more than 2,000 bugs to date, Sinofsky says.
With Windows 7 beta testers expressing
about not getting enough information on the upcoming operating
system, Microsoft's Windows 7 engineering chief is trying to address some of
In an impassioned Feb. 25 blog post, Steven
Sinofsky, senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering
Group at Microsoft,
responded to Windows 7 beta tester concerns that they
have not received adequate feedback on issues being reported to Microsoft by
"The Windows 7 beta represents a new level of
feedback in this regard in terms of the overall volume," Sinofsky
explained. Earlier in the post, he said:
What we can
say for certain, is that we are listening to each and every comment, blog post,
news story, MS Connect report, Send Feedback item, and of course all the data
In the process of making his point, Sinofsky pointed
to the fact that Microsoft
has released a reliability update for Internet Explorer 8 running on Windows 7.
He also said:
developing the features for Windows 7 we work closely with PC makers,
enterprise customers, and all types of customers across small business,
education, enthusiasts, product reviewers and industry "thought
leaders," and so on. We shape the overall "blueprint" of the
release based on this wide variety of input. As we have design prototypes or
code running, we have much more targeted and specific feedback by using tools
such as usability tests, concept tests, benchmark studies, and other techniques
to validate the implementation of this blueprint. Our goal with this level of
feedback is for it to be representative of the broad set of Windows customers,
even if we don't have a 1:1 interaction with each and every customer.
Moreover, Sinofsky provided specific details on
some of what Microsoft has done to address beta user concerns:
- During a
peak week in January we were receiving one Send Feedback report every 15
seconds for an entire week, and to date we've received well over 500,000 of
these reports. That averages to over 500 reports for each and every developer
to look through! And we're only through 6 weeks of using the Windows 7 beta,
even though for many Windows 7 already seems like an old friend.
- To date,
with the wide usage of the Windows 7 Beta we have received ... hundreds of
Connect (the MSDN/Technet enrolled beta customers) bug reports and have fixes
in the pipeline for the highest percentage of those reported bugs than in any
previous Windows development cycle.
- To date,
we have fixes in the pipeline for nearly 2,000 bugs in Windows code (not in
third party drivers or applications) that caused crashes or hangs. While many
Beta customers have said they are very happy with the quality of Windows 7, we
are working to make it even better by making sure we are fixing the issues
experienced by such broad and significant usage.
- To date,
we have recorded over 10,000,000 device installations and over 75 percent of
these were able to use drivers provided in box (that is no download necessary).
The remaining devices were almost all served by downloading drivers from
Windows Update and by direct links to the manufacturer's web site. We've
recorded the usage of over 2.8M unique plug-and-play device identifiers.
- On a
personal note, I've received and answered almost 2,000 email messages from folks
all around the world, just since this blog started in August. I really
appreciate the discussion we're having and am doing my best to keep up with all
Sinofsky also defined how Microsoft views the term
Let's talk a
bit about "bugs". Up front it is worth making sure we're on the same
page when we use the much overloaded term bug. For us a bug is any time the software does something that
someone one wasn't expecting it to do. A bug can be a cosmetic issue, a
consistency issue, a crash, a hang, a failure to succeed, a confusing user
experience, a compatibility issue, a missing feature, or any one of dozens of
different ways that the software can behave in a way that isn't expected. A bug
for us is not an emotional term, but just shorthand for an entry in our
database representing feedback on the product. Bugs can be reported by a human
or by the various forms of telemetry built into Windows 7. This broad
definition allows us to track and catalog everything experienced in the product
and do so in a uniform manner.