Microsoft Software Engineering & Windows Vista Presentation

Many of my readers know that I am an Iowa State University student. Today we had a Program Manager from Microsoft come to discuss the software engineering process that Microsoft uses. He is one of the two Program Managers for the DWM (Desktop Window Manager) department.

At the end of the presentation he demonstrated Windows Vista, which was dated January 24, 2006. He did not say, however, what build he was running and we were not able to clearly read it. He did say, as of last night, there are still plans for a Beta 2 release of Windows Vista despite the popular successes of the CTP releases.

Right now, he said that there are 2 program managers, 6 developers, and 6 testers in his DWM group. At certain stages there may be more developers than testers but Vista is nearing the final stretch so there are a lot of features that need to be tested. The developers spend an average of 60 hours per week hammering away at making DWM as perfect as possible. They are not given a certain amount of hours that they need to work, but they are given a project that needs to get done. If it takes them just 2 hours to get it done, then they can kick back and relax (I’m sure that is not completely true).

Someone also asked whether they would shun people if they brought in a laptop that ran Linux. He said that they have no problems with people choosing what software they want to use, but many people like to use Microsoft products in order to promote the company they work for. He said that they don’t sit there and look over people’s shoulders to see what search engine they are using.