First day of post-Microsoft sadness

I was just reading feeds for my link blog.

Aside: there’s TONS of stuff about Windows Vista shipping that I DID NOT put on my linkblog. Why? It’s all the same. Vista shipped. Vista shipped. Vista shipped. Why do I do my link blog? So that I can filter out all the duplicates for my readers. Only the best posts get shared on my link blog.

Anyway, this is the first day I’ve been sad about not being at Microsoft. I remember the day when I was an MVP about four years ago (before I was an employee) where they showed off some Macromedia Director movies about what Longhorn (the code-name for Windows Vista) would do.

The UI doesn’t look as cool. There isn’t any .NET code in Vista, which is a complete shift from what I saw back then. It took two years longer than I thought it would (taught me a lesson that software at this scale isn’t easy and you should never even think about a potential release date if the developers won’t let you play with the product).

Lots of people are underestimating Windows Vista. It’s gotten that kind of tarnish that comes from being a little too public with the sausage-making process.

I learned a lot from watching Vista be built close up. I learned that it’s better to spend an extra two years and possibly billions of dollars to do something right. Many people told me “no one will care in the end that it’s late, if it’s good.”

Someone told me that they’ll never load Windows Vista. I said I’m going to load it on the first day that it’s available. He seemed amazed by that.

I said “it’s way better than Windows XP.” I also acknowledged that there’s probably going to be things that drive me absolutely bonkers. Lots of blog posts to come on those, I’m sure (said with no irony that I’m fighting with Apple’s Final Cut Pro running on a different OS while I type this blog).

Anyway, I’m rambling.

The Vista team, under Jim Allchin, suprised me. They shipped it on time. With a lot better quality than I was expecting.

Kudos to the team. My hat is off to you and can’t wait to get the final bits and start using them. I’m sad I can’t be there.

47 thoughts on “First day of post-Microsoft sadness

  1. Richard-
    Yes, I said earlier in this thread:
    “Windows Vista has managed code, just no WPF managed dependencies yet.”

    I’m not sure why you say that WPF is not a Vista technology. WPF is part of Windows Vista. It helps people build great Vista applications. Yes, most of the capabilities that are part of a WPF app for Vista can happen on XP…but Vista will exceed XP.
    Tim Sneath had a blog post about the differences (Tim Sneath : Comparing WPF on Windows Vista v. Windows XP: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/01/05/comparing-wpf-on-windows-vista-v-windows-xp.aspx)

    Hopefully you’ll notice that we are not trying to keep any of this secret…

    Thanks, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  2. Richard-
    Yes, I said earlier in this thread:
    “Windows Vista has managed code, just no WPF managed dependencies yet.”

    I’m not sure why you say that WPF is not a Vista technology. WPF is part of Windows Vista. It helps people build great Vista applications. Yes, most of the capabilities that are part of a WPF app for Vista can happen on XP…but Vista will exceed XP.
    Tim Sneath had a blog post about the differences (Tim Sneath : Comparing WPF on Windows Vista v. Windows XP: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2007/01/05/comparing-wpf-on-windows-vista-v-windows-xp.aspx)

    Hopefully you’ll notice that we are not trying to keep any of this secret…

    Thanks, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  3. Just to make this clear. There is very little .NET in Vista. I give the figures in the article on my site (click on my name in the comment). The article explains how you can determine if code is managed and provides a tool that you can use.

    In effect the following are managed:

    Media Center
    Narrator
    Various MMC snap-ins like event log viewer
    Group Policy Migration Tables Editor

    The article on my site gives a more detailed list, but it is clear that this list doe not contain anything that is vital to the operation of Vista. Although I haven’t tried it, I suspect that if you typed del /s %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET and del /s %systemroot%\assembly at a command line and removed all of .NET the operating system would continue to work just fine.

    Further, if you check the few managed applications you will find that they do not use WPF. Those that have a UI are Windows Forms applications. So Vista does not depend on WPF and equally so, WPF is not a Vista technology. It would be nice if Microsoft made more of an effort to make those facts more widely known.

    In my article I make the statement that just 4% of Vista (in terms of the number of files) is managed. There are several explanations for why Vista is a 4% operating system, and apparently my name is considered unmentionable at Microsoft because of the conclusions that I came to. Therefore, given the facts, I invite you to make your own conclusions.

  4. Just to make this clear. There is very little .NET in Vista. I give the figures in the article on my site (click on my name in the comment). The article explains how you can determine if code is managed and provides a tool that you can use.

    In effect the following are managed:

    Media Center
    Narrator
    Various MMC snap-ins like event log viewer
    Group Policy Migration Tables Editor

    The article on my site gives a more detailed list, but it is clear that this list doe not contain anything that is vital to the operation of Vista. Although I haven’t tried it, I suspect that if you typed del /s %systemroot%Microsoft.NET and del /s %systemroot%assembly at a command line and removed all of .NET the operating system would continue to work just fine.

    Further, if you check the few managed applications you will find that they do not use WPF. Those that have a UI are Windows Forms applications. So Vista does not depend on WPF and equally so, WPF is not a Vista technology. It would be nice if Microsoft made more of an effort to make those facts more widely known.

    In my article I make the statement that just 4% of Vista (in terms of the number of files) is managed. There are several explanations for why Vista is a 4% operating system, and apparently my name is considered unmentionable at Microsoft because of the conclusions that I came to. Therefore, given the facts, I invite you to make your own conclusions.

  5. Diego-
    Photosynth is pretty cool isn’t it.

    I haven’t worked directly with the Photosynth teams yet. I believe that today it is a DirectX application written inside of ActiveX controls to be able to run in the browser. But their team would be able to say for sure. I believe that there was a channel 9 video with the creator of PhotoSynth several months ago…I watched that…he may have discussed that detail then?

    What I enjoy most about photosynth is the illustration of what 3d can do for visualization.

    Thanks, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  6. Diego-
    Photosynth is pretty cool isn’t it.

    I haven’t worked directly with the Photosynth teams yet. I believe that today it is a DirectX application written inside of ActiveX controls to be able to run in the browser. But their team would be able to say for sure. I believe that there was a channel 9 video with the creator of PhotoSynth several months ago…I watched that…he may have discussed that detail then?

    What I enjoy most about photosynth is the illustration of what 3d can do for visualization.

    Thanks, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  7. Rob,

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. I guess .NET is a snowball which is just slowly rolling down the hill and will only get better.

    On a slight tangent, is Photosynth written in .NET? Listening to the Gillmor Gang I was surprised to hear that it was ActiveX? I assumed that meant it was not .NET, although it could be in parts. I guess COM is not dead. :)

  8. Rob,

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. I guess .NET is a snowball which is just slowly rolling down the hill and will only get better.

    On a slight tangent, is Photosynth written in .NET? Listening to the Gillmor Gang I was surprised to hear that it was ActiveX? I assumed that meant it was not .NET, although it could be in parts. I guess COM is not dead. :)

  9. And don’t forget IIS7 – it’s got asp.net, which I *think* is .net based :-). And it’s also got native integration with asp.net, which means that you can write modules for IIS in .net (rather than modules only for web applications like you could in IIS6)

  10. And don’t forget IIS7 – it’s got asp.net, which I *think* is .net based :-). And it’s also got native integration with asp.net, which means that you can write modules for IIS in .net (rather than modules only for web applications like you could in IIS6)

  11. Diego-
    I don’t think that is a great summary of the situation.

    C/C++ still is an important part of Windows development. As I said in the earlier post, it is critical to use it in most of the pieces of the OS today.

    ISVs have the option of writing with .Net or without. Their scenarios, existing codebases and competitive scene will be the judge of which choice is best for them today.
    Using Visual C++, you can stick with unmanaged development, or take full advantage of .Net.

    Over time, you should see more of the Windows team have that option of writing .Net or not…

    To me, somebody who worked in the Windows team for the last 8 years, I view Microsoft as a very important ISV…they have some groups where .Net makes total sense and others where it will likely be interesting over a longer time period.

    Later, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  12. Diego-
    I don’t think that is a great summary of the situation.

    C/C++ still is an important part of Windows development. As I said in the earlier post, it is critical to use it in most of the pieces of the OS today.

    ISVs have the option of writing with .Net or without. Their scenarios, existing codebases and competitive scene will be the judge of which choice is best for them today.
    Using Visual C++, you can stick with unmanaged development, or take full advantage of .Net.

    Over time, you should see more of the Windows team have that option of writing .Net or not…

    To me, somebody who worked in the Windows team for the last 8 years, I view Microsoft as a very important ISV…they have some groups where .Net makes total sense and others where it will likely be interesting over a longer time period.

    Later, Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  13. Rob: Interesting to hear this. With such a large push for .NET isn’t interesting to see that MS doesn’t use it that much. I guess C/C++ is still king.

  14. Rob: Interesting to hear this. With such a large push for .NET isn’t interesting to see that MS doesn’t use it that much. I guess C/C++ is still king.

  15. Hey Robert-
    Yes, it is an exciting time to be at Microsoft! I’m sorry you aren’t still here to be part of the party…

    Anyway, I’m in my hotel room in Barcelona (TechEd day 3 of 4 just finished) reading blog reactions about Vista, WPF, .Net Framework 3.0. It is fun. Yes, this is a fun city!

    To confirm, yes the DWM (Desktop Window Manager) in Windows Vista is not using Managed code. Both WPF and DWM share the underlying graphics stack build on top of Direct3D/DirectX. This is implemeneted in a unmanaged DLL call MilCore.dll. MIL stands for Media Integration Library.

    Windows Vista has managed code, just no WPF managed dependencies yet. Media Center is written in Managed code. There are some other random pieces as well (I don’t know them all.)

    The CLR team is doing work now and into the future to make sure that more components of the OS can be built with it. Right now, I’d say the .Net Runtime is better for ISV/Enterprise/Consumer applications than it is for building Operating Systems.

    If WPF/.Net could do everything now, life would be boring. After almost 6 years working on WPF, I’m as exciting as ever about the next wave of things we can do in our future versions.
    How can we work with Office better, etc…

    Vista is done. Our team keeps learning of great applications/experiences that great designers and developers around the world have built. It is fantastic!

    Anyway, gotta go back to VS — I’m prototyping some new ideas for even cooler things we can do in the next version or two.

    I love software!

    -Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  16. Hey Robert-
    Yes, it is an exciting time to be at Microsoft! I’m sorry you aren’t still here to be part of the party…

    Anyway, I’m in my hotel room in Barcelona (TechEd day 3 of 4 just finished) reading blog reactions about Vista, WPF, .Net Framework 3.0. It is fun. Yes, this is a fun city!

    To confirm, yes the DWM (Desktop Window Manager) in Windows Vista is not using Managed code. Both WPF and DWM share the underlying graphics stack build on top of Direct3D/DirectX. This is implemeneted in a unmanaged DLL call MilCore.dll. MIL stands for Media Integration Library.

    Windows Vista has managed code, just no WPF managed dependencies yet. Media Center is written in Managed code. There are some other random pieces as well (I don’t know them all.)

    The CLR team is doing work now and into the future to make sure that more components of the OS can be built with it. Right now, I’d say the .Net Runtime is better for ISV/Enterprise/Consumer applications than it is for building Operating Systems.

    If WPF/.Net could do everything now, life would be boring. After almost 6 years working on WPF, I’m as exciting as ever about the next wave of things we can do in our future versions.
    How can we work with Office better, etc…

    Vista is done. Our team keeps learning of great applications/experiences that great designers and developers around the world have built. It is fantastic!

    Anyway, gotta go back to VS — I’m prototyping some new ideas for even cooler things we can do in the next version or two.

    I love software!

    -Rob Relyea
    Program Manager, WPF Team
    http://rrelyea.spaces.live.com

  17. How long after leaving MS does one stop being an MS whore? Vista is tons better than XP? RC1 made my brand new Core Duo PC no better and no smarter than XP did. RC2 ran more smoothly but was, in truth, no better. What Vista does bring are draconian licensing rules for the emperors new clothes. Vista won’t touch any computer that I own and when/if XP is no longer viable I’ll happily live with *nix and Web 2. Microsoft is dead.

  18. How long after leaving MS does one stop being an MS whore? Vista is tons better than XP? RC1 made my brand new Core Duo PC no better and no smarter than XP did. RC2 ran more smoothly but was, in truth, no better. What Vista does bring are draconian licensing rules for the emperors new clothes. Vista won’t touch any computer that I own and when/if XP is no longer viable I’ll happily live with *nix and Web 2. Microsoft is dead.

  19. “As I understand the Windows Desktop Manager is written in .Net (WPF) Thats the 3d flip part thing”

    I’d be surprised it is. The Flip3D is a DWM 3D tree, but to say it’s written using WFP is another thing.

    Also, WPF is going to be updated over time. I am not sure the OS guys want to have to deal with evolving application-layer SDKs.

    Hopefully, Microsoft employees can explain to use what’s going on here.

  20. “As I understand the Windows Desktop Manager is written in .Net (WPF) Thats the 3d flip part thing”

    I’d be surprised it is. The Flip3D is a DWM 3D tree, but to say it’s written using WFP is another thing.

    Also, WPF is going to be updated over time. I am not sure the OS guys want to have to deal with evolving application-layer SDKs.

    Hopefully, Microsoft employees can explain to use what’s going on here.

  21. I will not be getting it the first day or this year at the very least…I am in no big rush to get it. I am a wait and see with this. I am not sold on the quality of this and want to see how it works out over the next six months or so.

  22. I will not be getting it the first day or this year at the very least…I am in no big rush to get it. I am a wait and see with this. I am not sold on the quality of this and want to see how it works out over the next six months or so.

  23. @2 When you continue to make up new dates and then eventually meet one of those dates, of course you can say you shipped on time. ;-)

    and people say Scoble is not a marketer…

  24. @2 When you continue to make up new dates and then eventually meet one of those dates, of course you can say you shipped on time. ;-)

    and people say Scoble is not a marketer…

  25. Derek: once Vista was reset last year it has stayed on track for the most part. That was an amazing accomplishment alone, but they threw a lot of things over the side.

    mahoekst: I believe that you’re wrong on both counts, actually. I was told that there no longer is any .NET code in Vista. Certainly NOT the Flip3D thing (I know the team that wrote that and they did it in native C++). Media Center I’m not certain about, though.

  26. Derek: once Vista was reset last year it has stayed on track for the most part. That was an amazing accomplishment alone, but they threw a lot of things over the side.

    mahoekst: I believe that you’re wrong on both counts, actually. I was told that there no longer is any .NET code in Vista. Certainly NOT the Flip3D thing (I know the team that wrote that and they did it in native C++). Media Center I’m not certain about, though.

  27. As a software engineer, the first thing we ever learned is, “building software is hard.” The more people involved, and the more clients / customers / product champions / etc. you have will extend delivery dates like you wouldn’t imagine.

    That all being said, I’m not surprised at how long Vista took, but I”m really sad that things like WinFS wasn’t included (and probably never will as originally envisioned) and some of the syncing stuff isn’t in there.

    I, too, can’t wait to get my hands on it.. MSDN downloads.. Hurry up!

  28. As a software engineer, the first thing we ever learned is, “building software is hard.” The more people involved, and the more clients / customers / product champions / etc. you have will extend delivery dates like you wouldn’t imagine.

    That all being said, I’m not surprised at how long Vista took, but I”m really sad that things like WinFS wasn’t included (and probably never will as originally envisioned) and some of the syncing stuff isn’t in there.

    I, too, can’t wait to get my hands on it.. MSDN downloads.. Hurry up!

  29. Scoble,

    As I understand the Windows Desktop Manager is written in .Net (WPF) Thats the 3d flip part thing :)

    There is .Net in MCE as well. Probably in more areas.

  30. Scoble,

    As I understand the Windows Desktop Manager is written in .Net (WPF) Thats the 3d flip part thing :)

    There is .Net in MCE as well. Probably in more areas.

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