Why Vista is late?

Written by Glen Chivers

June 16, 2006 // 10:32 a.m.

Tags: #bill-gates #blog #delay #developer #google #microsoft #phillip-su #redmond #vista

A Microsoft worker (more specifically, blogger Philip Su) has described why Windows Vista is late - it isn't bad programming, or plenty of holes in the software, but bad team management.

"The largest software project in mankind’s history now threatens to also be the longest."

Vista is said to be overcomplicated and operates on 50 million lines of code whereas XP only uses 40 million lines of code. Under a little investigation one sees where the problem lies...

10 million extra lines of code to write, 2000 software writers and 5 years in the making, do the maths and you will find that each developer writes 1000 lines of code a year, 5200 below the US average of 6200 and 8000 below the average at Redmond back in 1999. Even being kind and assuming that half of the existing codebase needs rewriting, that makes those coders responsible for just 2500 lines.

The problem, according to our intrepid blogger, is that there are "too many vice presidents" and the management structure is too narrow. In other words, the teams are split too many times with too many managers of managers. Too much nagging and not enough code writing.

The original blog has been removed due to the "opinion on the challenges of managing large software projects has turned out to be a rallying point for detractors, which isn't interesting or productive". However we all love Google don't we - grab the cached version for a peek.

So... is Vista still on track for 2007 after a delay from its initial release of this summer, or is it just talk to keep Redmond's vice presidents happy? Give us your thoughts over in the forums.