Dear Microsoft – I Nominate Myself as VP of Development

After announcing some more delays with Vista, and then a delay with Office 2007, and then a critical hole in IE, and then a restructuring of the entire Windows division, and then some negative press about Vista’s usability, Microsoft is reeling right now, and things are looking down.

2006 isn’t the year of Microsoft.

As much as I appreciate and understand that they’re working on projects of a scope that dwarfs the largest projects most of us will ever touch, one thing that amazes me is seeing people continually defending Microsoft, saying “Well isn’t it better that they hold it until they get it right?“. Sure, but you’re talking about the best choice at the end of a lot of terrible choices. Vista has been a disaster, and surely after this debacle Microsoft will take a cue from Apple and learn how to stream out incremental releases, under-promising and over-delivering.

About a year back, a Microsoft rep, as some sort of standard questionnaire, asked me what I thought the greatest problem with Microsoft was. My reply was that Microsoft ties too many of their products together, in a dangerous cross-relationship where each development group is riskily trying to design for the other, and each is critically endangered when there is a fault or delay in the other (e.g. rather than the OS team making the best OS, and the .NET group making the best application layer platform, and the video group making the best video group…each is trying to cater to the needs of the other during the design stage.

It sounds great in theory, but it SELDOM works in reality). Give me a call, Bill. I’ll help you set things straight.