Daily Archives: December 23, 2005

A conversation with Windows Vista Kernel Team

This is Channel 9′s Christmas Present to geeks everywhere. A candid conversation with the team that’s building Windows Vista’s kernel. I even ask if they wish the registry had never been invented. But, Charles Torre did most of the interviewing. Being in a room with these guys for an hour makes my brain hurt.

They give a lot of details about how they are rearchitecting Windows to make it easier to ship new, higher-quality, versions of the OS.

I don’t remember any conference where these four people get together and just have a simple conversation. In 2006 I’m going to push for even more corporate transparency into why we do the things we do. Since much of the world has bet on our products, shouldn’t the world have better conversations with the folks who build those products?

Think about the impact on the world these four people have. If there are going to be hundreds of millions of people using Windows Vista (and that’s if it’s a market failure), and these four people find a way to increase computer speeds even a few seconds a day (or do something similarly impressive to increase productivity), imagine the economic impact of that.

Happy Holidays from building 18 on Microsoft’s headquarters! Hope you have a good one!

Update, I wish I were back in Belgium with this Nine Guy.

The prediction business going hot and heavy

Jason Calacanis is the latest to jump in with his 2006 predictions.

My predictions last year?

Didn’t come true: #1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18. That’s 11 out of 19 items. Not a good track record.

I’ll probably leave the prediction business to John Battelle, who has done a much better job at it so far.

If I were to predict something for 2006, though, it would be similar to what Steve Rubel is focusing on: that blog search simply needs to get better.

Oh, and for a fun little touch, Nathan did a little movie of me and Steve Rubel and Mini-Microsoft. Totally fictionalized, of course!

MarkL loves 4 a.m. workers

Mark Lucovsky of Google came by Mini-Microsoft and bragged “I worked until 3 a.m. and guess what. I wasn’t the last one in my area of the building the leave! There was plenty of company. All these guys are proud of their work, love what they are doing, and wanted to nail their deadlines and then take a few days off for the holidays.”

Keep in mind here that Mark is an industry leader that’s paid many times my salary of less than $100,000 a year. His comment pisses me off. The implication that workers at Microsoft aren’t proud of their work or don’t work hard is just totally unfair. Come watch some videos over at http://channel9.msdn.com and tell me those folks don’t care about their work. I’ve done more than 500 interviews now and there isn’t a single non-passionate person among them. How does Mark explain that? At least in my experience. But, I don’t want to glorify late-hour work. It should be voluntary and not forced on workers by people in leadership positions (and, sorry, when a guy who makes several times what I’m making tells me I should work harder to be “cool” that pisses me off).

Keep in mind I know many coworkers who spent most of the last month overseas doing Visual Studio/SQL/Biztalk launches. I also know quite a few people who were pulling late hours recently to get Windows Vista done. And, ask anyone in the Xbox team how much rest they’ve gotten lately.

Of course, I shouldn’t throw rocks. It’s 3 a.m. here at home. But I’m not an executive who manages other people like Mark is.

But, what do you think of managers who value around-the-clock-in-the-office kind of work? Oh, and Mark, do you count your 20% time out of an ordinary 40-hour-workweek? Or out of your 80-hour superweek?