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A Blog's Life: A Windows Vista Test Manager Addresses Bug Count

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You can be forgiven for having missed the fanfare around the kick-off of Windows Test Manager Paul Donnelly's blog, entitled Customer feedback makes for a better Windows ... because there wasn't any.  Paul's initial post is unassuming but provocative, as he responds to a Longhorn Blogs article by Robert McLaws entitled Windows Vista Bug Reports: An Analysis, where Robert analyzes the team's incorporation of customer feedback into the Windows Vista development process.

In "About all those bugs, Robert...," as Paul puts it, it's fair to take into consideration two points that Paul makes in an attempt to clarify the team's handling of customer feedback.  First, Paul states,

About the increasing quantity of bug reports – what is not factored in is the quantity of people we are adding to our programs.  We are constantly adding new people to our programs to get more feedback.  That coupled with the sheer interest generated as we approach the final stages tends to account for the uptick.

Thus, it's fair to say that the ratio of bugs per customer is steadily dropping as we incorporate more customers into the testing process while continuing to resolve issues.  This should be interpreted as a good thing, in that each individual customer is discovering fewer and fewer issues.  It shows that we're improving the product with each successive version and that our customers are playing a vital role in that.

Second, and arguably of even greater significance, is Paul's comment about the gravity of the issues being reported of late:

What is significant is that the severity [of] reported bugs is dropping.  We’ve moved from seeing the serious issues you see in a Beta 1 to a very usable system that generates more ‘this doesn’t work quite right’ issues at Beta 2. 

Again in this case, this should be construed as a very positive trend and evidence of the impact our customer-engagement programs such as TAP (Technology Adoption Program) and CPP (Customer Preview Program) continue to have on Windows Vista.

The funny thing is that this is to my knowledge the first time that one of our customers has gone so far as to calculate the number of issues identified by customers over time and its correlated effect on product quality.  While you should not expect us at MS to publish such information publicly, you can nevertheless take this as evidence that our engineering teams are well aware of the effect customer feedback has on identifying and resolving bugs in Windows Vista.

Comments
  • Why exactly can't we expect you at MS to publish such information publicly?  That sounds like a very old-guard Microsoft stance vs. a more open MS.  I'm very curious how publishing bug-fix stats could be anything but a good thing.

  • Maybe their focus isn't to publish how many bugs get fixed etc - maybe their focus is to fix the bugs that do get reported.

    I mean Robert made a GREAT post with GREAT information but as a user and a tester I could care less on stats. I want to submit bugs and see they get fixed. I want to see progress and progress isn't seeing bug stats - progress is getting a new build that stops using 50% of my memory all the time. Or have DWM work a bit better. Or a new theme for non-Aero users.

  • Microsoft Discourages Honest Feedback and Severely and Harshley Punishes the Individuals who Provide It

    Customer feedback should  make for a 'better Windows' but it can have severe consequences for the customer and deprive the cuistomer of vital information.  Microsoft doesn't want to hear criticism in certain areas that are crucial to the stability of Windows Vista and it will try to squish the person who conveys the feedback like a bug.

    1) The commenter who asked a question you did not answer was very on point--what could possibly be the reason for not listing and making bug fixes in all their categories that Paul Donnelly mentioned including potential bug fixes and fixes that will not ever happen, or will happen post Vista RTM in SP1 and the serveral future service packs of Vista.  

    This includes the category Paul mentioned "Some are suggestions or design changes and will remain active and be tracked for inclusion in the next version of Windows.  Still others that are currently active will wind up with some other resolution after we continue to review them."  

    Paul said that 75% of the bugs are not fixed, yet 10% are still active.  The reason for this wasn't clear on Paul's blog. Why didn't he quantify these categories?

    Paul has written:

    "We have less than 10% of the total reports received that are still ‘active’. Some of these are actual bugs and will be fixed before we ship Vista...Over 25% of all reports received to date are resolved and can be tied directly to a code change."

    Why the secrecy? " While you should not expect us at MS to publish such information publicly..."  Help me with the concept of why we could and should not?

    Many help on public Microsoft Vista newsgroups and you could save a lot of time by publishing the bug fixes or your comments in real time. There is nothing about them that would be adverse to Microsoft PR or sales-wise, which is often a substantial component of  the driving focus in the release of a new Windows OS,  and they would serve an educational function.

    This honesty and straight up communication in the wake of a Beta that has been downloaded by more than 2 million people publicly and about 25,000 plus in various programs like TAP, TBT,and CTP testing.

    Members of the CPP have less incentive to report bugs and are constantly questioning how to do so, given their very limited access to Scenario Voting and real scenarios, and the fact they have no feedback on their bugs whatsoever.  The percentage of bugs reported by the public use of the Beta is going to be precipitously less.

    The "focus" should absolutely include publishing the content and number of bugs fixed. The context and content is by far the most important aspect of bugs.

    Many help or seek help on public Microsoft Vista newsgroups and you could save a lot of time by publishing the bug fixes or your comments in real time.  The people who ask questions on the public groups ask many of them because they don't have the detailed access to the information on bug fixes that TAP, TBT, and CTP testers do in real time.  It would be quite easy to list and summarize these bug fixes by Paul's team.   There is nothing about them that would be adverse to Microsoft PR or sales-wise which is oftenone of the components of  the driving focus in the release of a new Windows OS,  and they would serve a valuable educational function.  

    I would note that bug fixes are listed on Connect publicly for many of the 230 plus Betas offered via Connect.

    Also almost two months after the public release of Vista Beta 2, there has not been any substantive information on a number of Vista features published on Microsoft's sites including Technet or MSDN, and the so-called Product Guide does not deal with a number of features crucial to Vista's stability and recovery such as Win RE including Startup Repair, and System Restore.


    2) The perception that the gravity of bug issues is lessening of late is not correct.  There are still significant systemic shortcomings in Vista features.  Vista has also regretably dropped a number of key features that would have been part of Vista's trademark potentially such as Win FS and direct support for .pdf and .xms although there will be downloadable versions of this apparently.

    3) Finally, there are categories of feedback and constructive criticism that Microsoft will not respond to and if these issues are raised, Microsoft becomes very defensive, vindictive, and does whatever it can to bury and mask them and this is on Paul Donnelly's watch.

    HKLM


  • Aero_Prada, I disagree with you on several points. Microsoft doesn't punish people who submit good feedback and Microsoft is making quite an effort to fix the things that users don't like about Vista - more so than I've ever seen from any product. An example is the fact folks disliked how Vista's Network Center was a bit unorganized and confusing - Microsoft went in and changed it even after beta 2.

    You ask why can't Paul just reveal everything about bugs etc...you ask why the secrecy, but I've not heard one good reason why its really necessary to even know these bug stats or publish them publicly? How does it affect you as a user of Vista? I've yet to hear a good answer to this question. I'd much more rather Microsoft invest time in fixing bugs than spending time publishing them. If you're a technical beta tester, you've got Connect which is searchable. If you're CPP, send in the feedback anyway and keep on moving forward.

    You say the CPP members have no incentive to submit bugs - I disagree. CPP members have a chance to have something they don't like about Vista fixed. That's more than enough incentive. I've got two friends on the CPP who absolutely love having the ability to submit their comments and suggestions regarding Vista. Also: submitting feedback or bugs can be as easy in Beta 2 and sending in an error report. And how can feedback and bugs from the general public with the CPP for Beta 2 be significantly less? Less than what? What are you comparing here? Beta 2 for Vista has been the biggest download in history - there's been nothing like it ever released... how could feedback be significantly less? Less than XP? I doubt it. XP didn't have as many users accessing Beta 2.

    Again, you claim Microsoft is being defensive, vindictive of issues in specific catagories but as a technical beta tester I've yet to experience this.

    You also complain about features that have been taken out of Vista. How about taking a look at the stuff that's there right now. Major security enhancements have been made establishing Vista as the most secure version of Windows ever. That's a pretty big deal to Enterprise users and general consumers - more so than WinFS has ever been. And also: the PDF and XPS situation is an Office problem. Windows Vista was never expected to allow PDF publishing in any way. You also seem to confuse bugs and features. Having features removed are not bugs.

    BTW if you read the Product Guide, there is some great information on System Restore - because of it I've been many successful system restores with Beta 2 and on. Pages 184-188 have a great detailed description of Vista's backup and restore abilities including a new feature called "Automatic Previous Versions".

    I think instead of publishing bug stats or things like that, Microsoft needs to develop a better bug system for feedback/suggestions/bugs. Connect isn't cutting it which I think everyone can agree with. Microsoft should develop a major underlying bug database that everyone has access to. I think if there is one downside to Microsoft's ability to take in feedback that's Connect.

  • Sidebar Geek-- 1) Not for a moment would I be as superficial and foolish as to say (like many airhead detractors those of us who have regularly helped on MSFT newsgroups for years see on those newsgroups) that there aren't a thousand to a couple thousand people at Redmond alone who are on various Vista teams working hard. I don't think I implied that anywhere in what I wrote and I have a very detailed sense of the work involved. 2) Microsoft absolutely does punish people who have worked hard to submit quality feedback and have helped many TBTs and they have. I don't "claim" Microsoft has been defensive and vindictive. I saw it up close. They'll punish people who have submitted "good feedback" who are thoroughly familiar with XP and Vista and its features to date and who have helped extensively on their newsgroups for years. This includes helping MSDNers and MVPs as well some of whom were as confused as newbies last July when Vista birthed and some who remain confused to date. There are certain types of criticism that they feel is "embarrassing" and some of it goes directly to the ability of a huge segment of customers worldwide to be able to fix Vista when it is unbootable just as in 7 years that same segment of customers did not have the tools to fix Win XP when it was not bootable. It is embarrassing because it leaves about 500,000,000 OEM preinstall XP and soon Vista customers in a lurch (the XP number is accurate, and I can only tell you that MSFT has a slide circulating entitled "The Windows Vista Opportunity" that says "Industry forecasts great than 475 million PCs in the first 24 months/Upgradable installed base of around 200million PCs. They are talking about OEM preinstalls there. Microsoft does not want to address or talk about the fact that the media does not work nor do the partitions that are shipped with that huge number of OEM preinstalls. And when the question is raised they do lash out, become very vindictive and very disingenuous to say the least. In doing so they kill the messenger who raises the question instead of giving an intelligent thoughtful answer to the problem that I have had several Softies tell me they find personally abhorrent but are not in a position to challenge, much like the people of Lebanon now find in their relationship with Hizbullah and Hamas. And this is an analogy of a power equation and intimidation--no one is comparing MSFT to those terrorist groups who are now seeing their infrastructure taken away from them like a dangerous tool from a naughty and irrational baby and indirectly getting the pawns to appeal for a measured response after killing nearly 400 people for years exclusive of airplains and lobbing over 800 unprovoked rocket attacks into a democratic country whose accomplishements technologically in the fields of medicine and computer science are significantly better than those in the United States. 2) I appreciate your example, but I'm thoroughly familiar with the process of fixes you name, and the failures to fix and that at times the failures to fix are directly because of pressure to ship although I believe Jim Allchin, Paul Donnelly and hundreds of others are deeply and fiercely committed to the highest quality that the can obtain under their circumstances. This is not your ordinary "Dis Microsoft from a delusional perspective" post. Those are in the millions, have been, and always will be as long as there is the web. They are replete on "I hate MSFT" web sites only the four letter word is often not hate but another anglo-Saxon epithet, and they are seen frequently on newsgroups whose major purpose is for constructively educating people and enabling them to quickly fix problems with Vista/ XP and the related components of those two operating systems, and their features. MSFT puts that category at about 7% of people who comment on their products, and I'm hardly in that category--light years away from it. I can document items when I aim constructive criticism their way. A large segment of the "dis MSFT" crowd has little knowledge of the Windows OS--and I don't fit into that category. I actively help people with Vista on groups and forums including Microsoft communities including setup problems, dual boot problems, boot managers broken problems, ect. I have spent considerable time digging into Vista features including several that MSFT hasn't showcased are discussed anywhere yet on their sites and remain largely unappreciated to CTP, TAP, and CPP, and TBT users of Vista. I collect and read the content of most of the Vista sites in English and all the beta zines. I'm familiar with what has been fixed and what has not been and most probablynever will be fixed, as well as what has been deferred for Vista SP1 and later in a variety of areas. Surely you didn't think that escaped me did you?? Really!!! My focus wasn't on bug stats. I didn't to quote you "... ask why can't Paul just reveal everything about bugs etc" I am not that concerned about **how many bugs are processed** being made public (and besides some bugs are less time consuming than others and some people are more diligent to make information on the bugs easier for the people whose plates they land on to process), but I do appreciate that from Paul's teams perspective since time and productivity is essential that the quantity is a very relevant factor. My comment on secrecy was that (and I thought I made it clear) there is no reason on earth that MSFT can't share the content of the bug issues fixed--that's quality not quantity--that's what was fixed and how--on the web on one of the several Vista portals MSFT has available. Specifically those would be: MSDN, Technet, www.microsoft.com/windowsvista, this site a Technet Windows Vista team blog run by Nicholas White's successor now that he has moved on to "The Hive", http://www.msblog.org/album/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=1 The Hive, http://thehive.net Paul's Site, the MSDN Vista blog sites (19 currently), Technet Vista blogs (10 Currently) http://blogs.technet.com/categories/detail.aspx?category=Vista and Technet Windows Vista blogs (19 Currently) http://blogs.technet.com/categories/detail.aspx?category=Windows+Vista or Microsoft Windows Vista Help and Support http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/default.mspx BTW--I'm going to bet that those two categories of Technet blogs for Vista both are on a Windows operating system format. Whaddya think? Would have been orgainizationally made sense to merge those two. ***All of these sites*** are venues where the individual bugs fixed could have and should have been listed and posted. It would not have been difficult to list them on a link, and while there may be 5000 bugs or so logged for many interim builds (Paul says the number is descreasing--but there is no evidence that means there are less significant featured bugs unfixed). If you read my post--I gave you more than "one good reason" why the subject of the bug fixed should have been made public. It educates and saves people having to report them through the three modalities that public testers have to report them--an icon on a desktop or a site that invites public testers to tell "someone" what they think of Vista, this web site http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/sentiments/default.mspx and public and very simplified Scenario Voting--i.e. http://windowsbeta.microsoft.com/vista/intro.aspx vs. the portal perhaps you're familiar with on Connect and you're urged to use and which has its own newsgroup. They receive no feedback as to how their input would have been used, or if in fact it was even read. As I said, there is a very simplistic, modified public "Scenario Voting" site rather pale in comparison to the one TBT's are encouraged to use via Connect. You sound a little like the Emily Litella character here that Gilda Radner used to play on SNL. http://scsu-scholars.blogspot.com/image004.gif Sending in feedback as CPP btw is a real waste of time. You have no idea if your input is read. I can assure you that there are a significant number of TBTs who post their satisfaction with the feedback they get or don't get on bugs closed of the small segment of total TBTs who have newsgroup posting involvement (about 5%). I have no idea how many of them read the groups and no way to know this figure. To post the bugs fixed would not detract one iota from developers,product managers, team members, and technical writers focusing on their jobs. Again, I wouldn't have suggested this be done if it didn't have considerable value. If one of the components for the CPP was so that MSFT could ascertain how a cross section of users who aren't as technically proficient as the bell shaped curve of the different categories of Beta testers who have had access to Vista since 7/05 (you'd be very naive to think that the CPP wasn't also a marketing PR tool to arouse interest) than CPP's deserve to know what bugs have been fixed; which are slated for RC1 fixing, and which are slated for RC2 and fixing beyond. BTW I personally expect you will see an additional delay of Vista for weeks beyond the current projection of Nov/Jan, and that's much needed. "You say the CPP members have no incentive to submit bugs - I disagree. CPP members have a chance to have something they don't like about Vista fixed." How in the world do you know that? How do they know in any micromolecular sense that anything they submitted got any attention whatsoever? Be sure and put that up. I don't doubt your two friends actually love having the ability to submit their comments any more than my grandfather actually loved having the ability to yell his recommendations to government leaders at the TV. He got the same feedback that CPP bug reporters are getting from a succession of US Presidents, rock stars, movie stars, NFL Quaterbacks, coaches, umpires/refs and assorted characters as your CPP friends get. Also do you really think that the 2 million public Beta testers are uncovering novel problems or have novel suggestions that TAP, CTP, TBT don't uncover? CPP gets no feedback whatsoever that bugs they report are being read. If MSFT were serious about the bug reports of CPP, they'd include the same videos and the same detailed instructions for them and the same bug reporting tool that they extend to the closed Betas. If as you seem to imply that the unwashed masses in the CPP are as important to MSFT as TAP (of course they aren't because TAP means significant enterprise adoption and moneyh) or TBT's than why is their such a dirth of an effort to educate CPP users of the Beta in comparision to what is avaiable on the monthly calendar for TBT's. I am including all Technet Public, ISV public, MSDN public, ect. chats and web casts as well in this assessment. So submitting bugs for CPPs is as easy as it was for my grandfather to yell at the television set, and in both situations, the concern and regard of the recipient of the respective messages is precisely the same. I think I've explained how it is significantly less. Much more information is made available to non CPP beta testers, and much more care is focused on the handling of the bugs those Beta testers (about 25,000) are invited to submit versus about 2 million CPP users of Beta 2. Additionally there are scattered interspersed exchanges between members of certain Vista teams on problems in real time for the closed Beta testing, and next to none in any other vehicle--namely the public newsgroups or ocasssional interviews of PMS, ect. on the ezines or the Beta sites. That doesn't present them with the opoprtunity to ask questions of MSFT and get answers. Even for the closed Beta testers, that opportunity is severely foreclosed and limited. I hope I've made it crystal clear with precision "what I'm comparing here." I'm comparing substantive or at least a semblence of evidence that the bug has been read and processed versus none of that for CPP users of Vista. They'd also invite them to the same chats and the same Live Meetings where they could get a scrap of information on many issues that are not covered even superficially on the current MSFT web sits. I hope you don't get the impression I can't find or don't read MSFT web sites or don't know my way around www.microsoft.com which remains "search challenged" despite Dr. Gary Flake's initiatives: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/257460_software30.html http://labs.live.com/ http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060126-000450 BTW I don't think the numbers of people accessing various XP Beta builds is that significant because there are a broad spectrum of factors that would have exponentially increased awareness of Windows in the years from XP to Vista over the years from Windows 95 to XP. When Win 95 borrowed Mick Jagger to sing about it, that got those computers Steve Ballmer's mom questioned as worthy of anyone's interest on desktops. As years progressed out from 95, more people have gained access to them and the internet. "How about taking a look at the stuff that's there right now." Umm I have. I've been using Vista as a production machine for months. I've drilled it with a "deep dive" as MSFT likes to say. Some of the best features are features that are way in the background. Some need developer level experience to appreciate. Many are unrealized by your fellow TBTs because they have never mentioned them. I think Win FS was a very significant loss. The other two I mentioned pale in magnitude and will be available some way but were MSFT's back down from litigation from Adobe. They decided to cut losses there. They will be downloadable free--at least that's what I've been told by people at MSFT. Again, I claimed that MSFT has been defensive and vindictive and I can document it--and I'm going to venture that I have as much of a grasp of Vista as you do at the very least. It is not lost on me though that many TBTs are almost submissive and obsequious (Full of or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning) until it drips in the degree and tone with which they suck up to MSFT so as to ensure they will always be included on the closed Beta of the once every 6.5 year release of a new OS. (Yeah I know--Ballmer has sworn they will be more often now but talk is cheap and what Ballmer has not been able to promise is that if there is less interval when Blackcomb/Vienna/whatever name begins its beta that it will have significantly more quality although you'd have to guess time allows anyone to learn to improve their product. Major security enhancements--I follow the UAC blog and about 25 MSDN security blogs that softies have daily. I know what they are and I know people who run IT enterprise security--they can still be taught how to tweak windows--so I don't need the significance of security in an enterprise explained to me. You seem perhaps oblivious to the fact that the government in the US where Seattle is located has pushed for a backdoor into all routers of internet phone calls, and you failed to mention that MSFT has been completely silent as to what transpired at their meeting with the US Department of Justice on June 1 and June 2 when they were asked to turn over customer information in detail and save all searches or inquiries of their customers for two years. I also am betting you didn't follow the history of the MSN search turnover that was not devulged to the public for 9 months. There was a rather well known lunch room meeting on the Redmond campus with Gates and Ballmer fielding questions and some very famous former MSFT employees blogging on this and their disatisfaciton with the transparency. One of those bloggers, Rob Scoble has been the subject of numerous media articles in my country in the top selling newspapers and magazines. Try reading www.nytimes.com Since you are in such close contact with MSFT, ask them what the result was of that June 1 and June 2 meeting in Washington D.C. with the Department of Justice where MSFT, Google, and many telecom companies were summoned to allow the government unprescendednted spying on their cusotmers without any regard to the 4th Amendment because the public is passive about it. I suspect you're oblivious as well, and I only raise it to contrast it with the hype over UAC, Bit Locker, and security. I've been present at the presentations of some of the major architects and evangelists of UAC at Redmond who travel the world talking about it, so I'm aware of it. Typical of MSFT security blogs are this one: System Integrity Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/si_team/archive/2006/03/02/542590.aspx "The official line from high up is that we do not create back doors. And in the unlikely situation that we are forced to by law we’ll either announce it publicly or withdraw the entire feature. Back doors are simply not acceptable. Besides, they wouldn’t find anybody on this team willing to implement and test the back door." That's not what MSN did my friend as recently as last year for nine months. You stated: "That's a pretty big deal to Enterprise users and general consumers - more so than WinFS has ever been." I'm not sure that a seasoned panel of top developers would agree with that statement and there will always be a number of security vulnerabilities in Vista or any OS that uses IE. Gartner and other companies have published careful research studies that if you were to apply the appropriate hotfixes and use the appropriate NAT and software firewalls, you have a less than one percent chance of encountering a problem from malicious software. Again, I understand the significance of protecting the box via UAC and its ability to limit damage. I also understand that MSFT's UAC and other teams now realize that having permission Windows in your face at every turn with significant numbers of users not able to figure out how to go around UAC when needed via secpol or regedits or temporarily suspending it in order to install some programs that do not allow them to right click an executable such as those delivered via Win RAR or Win Zip compression formats for example, has caused a lot of pain for many users. If you doubt this, take a look at either your beta groups or the public groups on Vista. You won't need a magnifying glass--search the posts with the terms "permission", "UAC" or "access." So of your fellow TBTs have done some high quality explanations of why one can't access My Documents in XP on a dual boot from their Vista boot even though they can easily shortcut to the XP desktop from the Vista desktop. I never confused "bugs" with features. Not all bugs are on features, but some certainly are. And I read blogs extensively so I appreciate Brian Jones' explanation of .pdf publishing capability and there was a relationship between the dropping of .pdf publishing support and the .xps as dropping its own rival format XPS from the productivity suite and Windows Vista. http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/02/613702.aspx Finally, I did read the Product Guide. That's the only way I would have commented on it. It's a cheerleading document with many comments using the tone "Gee is Vista great or what!" comments. I also was able to figure out how to make it stable and readable from an XP box without any special .xps viewer when over 90% of your fellow TBTs seemed not to be able to do this. I see the section on SR on p. 187 of that product guide. It makes a fleeting connection of SR to Win RE, mentions filters, but not the major new infrastructure, its basis on Volume Shadow Services. VSS is explained in the most detail on Windows Server 2003 sites, Technet and MSDN. It fails to say that SR currently as of two intrim builds after Beta 2 cannot make restore points at the default scheduled times, and that the team cannot figure out how to allow SR to preserve Vista restore points in a situation that will be used a lot during the next two years--a dual boot of Vista and Windows XP. Some of us have learned to work around this in that Bit Locker seems to confer protection on Vista restore points if they have been made when booting to XP. If restore points were made at the default times they were supposed to be in Vista, then Previous Versions could actually be successful in "tracking changes at the block level." I understand System Restore in Vista and Windows XP, and it would be embarassing for me to say that the Product Guide lent a scintilla of understanding of SR to me --it's that superficially pathetic. If you can find anything substantive that discusses Windows Recovery Environment or System Restore that I haven't seen (nothing does I have seen including the discuusions in Vista Help or on the Vista Help site, anywhere on a MSFT site, please post it up here. That would be a detailed differential discussion of Startup Repair, Complete PC Restore, and whatever happened to the Fabricant Recovery utility often shown on slides in MSFT presentations including one by the PM of the SR team Eduardo Laureano. You need to reread what I typed. I did not ask for "bug stats" although they are advertised on Connect's splash page for many apps. I said "The 'focus' should absolutely include publishing the content and number of bugs fixed. The context and content is by far the most important aspect of bugs." I also raised a legitimate question that Paul said that 75% of the bugs are not fixed, yet 10% are still active. The reason for this wasn't clear on Paul's blog. Why didn't he quantify these categories? That was the context of my asking for numbers. I was talking about the gap between 25% of bugs fixed; 75% not fixed, and 10% active. It wasn't clear what the missing percents represented--it wasn't "bug stats are anything like that" as you phrased it I was requesting; it was to have Paul explain the discrepancy between the numbers more completely and most importantly if 25% of bugs have been fixed, everyone with an interest in Vista ought to know what those fixes are. Again, the only way that the CPP users of Vista would have anyway to know what happened to those bugs and features and suggestions they had an interest in would be by seeing a list of bug FIXES. You can show me no way that CPP reporters of bugs know that their bug reports have been touched or looked at; I can show you that's not the case for private beta testing.

  • Sidebar Geek-- 1) Not for a moment would I be as superficial and foolish as to say (like many airhead detractors those of us who have regularly helped on MSFT newsgroups for years see on those newsgroups) that there aren't a thousand to a couple thousand people at Redmond alone who are on various Vista teams working hard. I don't think I implied that anywhere in what I wrote and I have a very detailed sense of the work involved. 2) Microsoft absolutely does punish people who have worked hard to submit quality feedback and have helped many TBTs and they have. I don't "claim" Microsoft has been defensive and vindictive. I saw it up close. They'll punish people who have submitted "good feedback" who are thoroughly familiar with XP and Vista and its features to date and who have helped extensively on their newsgroups for years. This includes helping MSDNers and MVPs as well some of whom were as confused as newbies last July when Vista birthed and some who remain confused to date. There are certain types of criticism that they feel is "embarassing" and some of it goes directly to the ability of a huge segment of customers worldwide to be able to fix Vista when it is unbootable just as in 7 years that same segment of customers did not have the tools to fix Win XP when it was not bootable. It is embarassing because it leaves about 500,000,000 OEM preinstall XP and soon Vista customers in a lurch (the XP number is accurate, and I can only tell you that MSFT has a slide circulating entitled "The Windows Vista Opportunity" that says "Industry forecasts great than 475 million PCs in the first 24 months/Upgradable installed base of around 200million PCs. They are talking about OEM preinstalls there. Microsoft does not want to address or talk about the fact that the media does not work nor do the partitions that are shipped with that huge number of OEM preinstalls. And when the question is raised they do lash out, become very vindictive and very disingenuous to say the least. In doing so they kill the messenger who raises the question instead of giving an intelligent thoughtful answer to the problem that I have had several softies tell me they find personally abhorent but are not in a position to challenge, much like the people of Lebanon now find in their relationship with Hezbollah and Hamas. And this is an analogy of a power equation and intimidation--no one is comparing MSFT to those terrorist groups who are now seeing their infrastructure taken away from them like a dangerous tool from a naughty and irrational baby and indirectly getting the pawns to appeal for a measured response after killing hundreds of people for years and lobbing over 800 unprovoked rocket attacks into a democratic country whose accomplishements technologically in the fields of medicine and computer science are significantly better than those in the United States. 2) I appreciate your example, but I'm thoroughly familiar with the process of fixes you name, and the failures to fix and that at times the failures to fix are directly because of pressure to ship although I believe Jim Allchin, Paul Donnelly and hundreds of others are deeply and fiercely committed to the highest quality that the can obtain under their circumstances. This is not your ordinary "Dis Microsoft from a delusional perspective" post. Those are in the millions, have been, and always will be as long as there is the web. They are replete on "I hate MSFT" web sites only the four letter word is often not hate but another anglo-Saxon epithet, and they are seen frequently on newsgroups whose major purpose is for constructively educating people and enabling them to quickly fix problems with Vista/ XP and the related components of those two operating systems, and their features. MSFT puts that category at about 7% of people who comment on their products, and I'm hardly in that category--light years away from it. I can document items when I aim constructive criticism their way. A large segment of the "dis MSFT" crowd has little knowledge of the Windows OS--and I don't fit into that category. I actively help people with Vista on groups and forums including Microsoft communities including setup problems, dual boot problems, boot managers broken problems, ect. I have spent considerable time digging into Vista features including several that MSFT hasn't showcased are discussed anywhere yet on their sites and remain largely unappreciated to CTP, TAP, and CPP, and TBT users of Vista. I collect and read the content of most of the Vista sites in English and all the beta zines. I'm familiar with what has been fixed and what has not been and most probablynever will be fixed, as well as what has been deferred for Vista SP1 and later in a variety of areas. Surely you didn't think that escaped me did you?? Really!!! My focus wasn't on bug stats. I didn't to quote you "... ask why can't Paul just reveal everything about bugs etc" I am not that concerned about **how many bugs are processed** being made public (and besides some bugs are less time consuming than others and some people are more diligent to make information on the bugs easier for the people whose plates they land on to process), but I do appreciate that from Paul's teams perspective since time and productivity is essential that the quantity is a very relevant factor. My comment on secrecy was that (and I thought I made it clear) there is no reason on earth that MSFT can't share the content of the bug issues fixed--that's quality not quantity--that's what was fixed and how--on the web on one of the several Vista portals MSFT has available. Specifically those would be: MSDN, Technet, www.microsoft.com/windowsvista, this site a Technet Windows Vista team blog run by Nicholas White's successor now that he has moved on to "The Hive", http://www.msblog.org/album/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=1 The Hive, http://thehive.net Paul's Site, the MSDN Vista blog sites (19 currently), TechNet Vista blogs (10 Currently) http://blogs.technet.com/categories/detail.aspx?category=Vista and Technet Windows Vista blogs (19 Currently) http://blogs.technet.com/categories/detail.aspx?category=Windows+Vista or Microsoft Windows Vista Help and Support http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/default.mspx BTW--I'm going to bet that those two categories of Technet blogs for Vista both are on a Windows operating system format. Whaddya think? Would have been organizationally made sense to merge those two. ***All of these sites*** are venues where the individual bugs fixed could have and should have been listed and posted. It would not have been difficult to list them on a link, and while there may be 5000 bugs or so logged for many interim builds (Paul says the number is descreasing--but there is no evidence that means there are less significant featured bugs unfixed). If you read my post--I gave you more than "one good reason" why the subject of the bug fixed should have been made public. It educates and saves people having to report them through the three modalities that public testers have to report them--an icon on a desktop or a site that invites public testers to tell "someone" what they think of Vista, this web site http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/sentiments/default.mspx and public and very simplified Scenario Voting--i.e. http://windowsbeta.microsoft.com/vista/intro.aspx vs. the portal perhaps you're familiar with on Connect and you're urged to use and which has its own newsgroup. They receive no feedback as to how their input would have been used, or if in fact it was even read. As I said, there is a very simplistic, modified public "Scenario Voting" site rather pale in comparison to the one TBT's are encouraged to use via Connect. You sound a little like the Emily Litella character here that Gilda Radner used to play on SNL. http://scsu-scholars.blogspot.com/image004.gif Sending in feedback as CPP btw is a real waste of time. You have no idea if your input is read. I can assure you that there are a significant number of TBTs who post their satisfaction with the feedback they get or don't get on bugs closed of the small segment of total TBTs who have newsgroup posting involvement (about 5%). I have no idea how many of them read the groups and no way to know this figure. To post the bugs fixed would not detract one iota from developers,product managers, team members, and technical writers focusing on their jobs. Again, I wouldn't have suggested this be done if it didn't have considerable value. If one of the components for the CPP was so that MSFT could ascertain how a cross section of users who aren't as technically proficient as the bell shaped curve of the different categories of Beta testers who have had access to Vista since 7/05 (you'd be very naive to think that the CPP wasn't also a marketing PR tool to arouse interest) than CPP's deserve to know what bugs have been fixed; which are slated for RC1 fixing, and which are slated for RC2 and fixing beyond. BTW I personally expect you will see an additional delay of Vista for weeks beyond the current projection of Nov/Jan, and that's much needed. "You say the CPP members have no incentive to submit bugs - I disagree. CPP members have a chance to have something they don't like about Vista fixed." How in the world do you know that? How do they know in any micromolecular sense that anything they submitted got any attention whatsoever? Be sure and put that up. I don't doubt your two friends actually love having the ability to submit their comments any more than my grandfather actually loved having the ability to yell his recommendations to government leaders at the TV. He got the same feedback that CPP bug reporters are getting from a succession of US Presidents, rock stars, movie stars, NFL Quarterbacks, coaches, umpires/refs and assorted characters as your CPP friends get. Also do you really think that the 2 million public Beta testers are uncovering novel problems or have novel suggestions that TAP, CTP, TBT don't uncover? CPP gets no feedback whatsoever that bugs they report are being read. If MSFT were serious about the bug reports of CPP, they'd include the same videos and the same detailed instructions for them and the same bug reporting tool that they extend to the closed Betas. If as you seem to imply that the unwashed masses in the CPP are as important to MSFT as TAP (of course they aren't because TAP means significant enterprise adoption and moneyh) or TBT's than why is their such a dirth of an effort to educate CPP users of the Beta in comparision to what is avaiable on the monthly calendar for TBT's. I am including all Technet Public, ISV public, MSDN public, ect. chats and web casts as well in this assessment. So submitting bugs for CPPs is as easy as it was for my grandfather to yell at the television set, and in both situations, the concern and regard of the recipient of the respective messages is precisely the same. I think I've explained how it is significantly less. Much more information is made available to non CPP beta testers, and much more care is focused on the handling of the bugs those Beta testers (about 25,000) are invited to submit versus about 2 million CPP users of Beta 2. Additionally there are scattered interspersed exchanges between members of certain Vista teams on problems in real time for the closed Beta testing, and next to none in any other vehicle--namely the public newsgroups or occasional interviews of PMs, etc. on the ezines or the Beta sites. That doesn't present them with the opportunity to ask questions of MSFT and get answers. Even for the closed Beta testers, that opportunity is severely foreclosed and limited. I hope I've made it crystal clear with precision "what I'm comparing here." I'm comparing substantive or at least a semblance of evidence that the bug has been read and processed versus none of that for CPP users of Vista. They'd also invite them to the same chats and the same Live Meetings where they could get a scrap of information on many issues that are not covered even superficially on the current MSFT web sits. I hope you don't get the impression I can't find or don't read MSFT web sites or don't know my way around www.microsoft.com which remains "search challenged" despite Dr. Gary Flake's initiatives: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/257460_software30.html http://labs.live.com/ http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060126-000450 BTW I don't think the numbers of people accessing various XP Beta builds is that significant because there are a broad spectrum of factors that would have exponentially increased awareness of Windows in the years from XP to Vista over the years from Windows 95 to XP. When Win 95 borrowed Mick Jagger to sing about it, that got those computers Steve Ballmer's mom questioned as worthy of anyone's interest on desktops. As years progressed out from 95, more people have gained access to them and the internet. "How about taking a look at the stuff that's there right now." Umm I have. I've been using Vista as a production machine for months. I've drilled it with a "deep dive" as MSFT likes to say. Some of the best features are features that are way in the background. Some need developer level experience to appreciate. Many are unrealized by your fellow TBTs because they have never mentioned them. I think Win FS was a very significant loss. The other two I mentioned pale in magnitude and will be available some way but were MSFT's back down from litigation from Adobe. They decided to cut losses there. They will be downloadable free--at least that's what I've been told by people at MSFT. Again, I claimed that MSFT has been defensive and vindictive and I can document it--and I'm going to venture that I have as much of a grasp of Vista as you do at the very least. It is not lost on me though that many TBTs are almost submissive and obsequious (Full of or exhibiting servile compliance; fawning) until it drips in the degree and tone with which they suck up to MSFT so as to ensure they will always be included on the closed Beta of the once every 6.5 year release of a new OS. (Yeah I know--Ballmer has sworn they will be more often now but talk is cheap and what Ballmer has not been able to promise is that if there is less interval when Blackcomb/Vienna/whatever name begins its beta that it will have significantly more quality although you'd have to guess time allows anyone to learn to improve their product. Major security enhancements--I follow the UAC blog and about 25 MSDN security blogs that softies have daily. I know what they are and I know people who run IT enterprise security--they can still be taught how to tweak windows--so I don't need the significance of security in an enterprise explained to me. You seem perhaps oblivious to the fact that the government in the US where Seattle is located has pushed for a backdoor into all routers of internet phone calls, and you failed to mention that MSFT has been completely silent as to what transpired at their meeting with the US Department of Justice on June 1 and June 2 when they were asked to turn over customer information in detail and save all searches or inquiries of their customers for two years. I also am betting you didn't follow the history of the MSN search turnover that was not devulged to the public for 9 months. There was a rather well known lunch room meeting on the Redmond campus with Gates and Ballmer fielding questions and some very famous former MSFT employees blogging on this and their dissatisfaction with the transparency. One of those bloggers, Rob Scoble has been the subject of numerous media articles in my country in the top selling newspapers and magazines. Try reading www.nytimes.com Since you are in such close contact with MSFT, ask them what the result was of that June 1 and June 2 meeting in Washington D.C. with the Department of Justice where MSFT, Google, and many telecom companies were summoned to allow the government unprescendednted spying on their customers without any regard to the 4th Amendment because the public is passive about it. I suspect you're oblivious as well, and I only raise it to contrast it with the hype over UAC, Bit Locker, and security. I've been present at the presentations of some of the major architects and evangelists of UAC at Redmond who travel the world talking about it, so I'm aware of it. Typical of MSFT security blogs are this one: System Integrity Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/si_team/archive/2006/03/02/542590.aspx "The official line from high up is that we do not create back doors. And in the unlikely situation that we are forced to by law we’ll either announce it publicly or withdraw the entire feature. Back doors are simply not acceptable. Besides, they wouldn’t find anybody on this team willing to implement and test the back door." That's not what MSN did my friend as recently as last year for nine months. You stated: "That's a pretty big deal to Enterprise users and general consumers - more so than WinFS has ever been." I'm not sure that a seasoned panel of top developers would agree with that statement and there will always be a number of security vulnerabilities in Vista or any OS that uses IE. Gartner and other companies have published careful research studies that if you were to apply the appropriate hotfixes and use the appropriate NAT and software firewalls, you have a less than one percent chance of encountering a problem from malicious software. Again, I understand the significance of protecting the box via UAC and its ability to limit damage. I also understand that MSFT's UAC and other teams now realize that having permission Windows in your face at every turn with significant numbers of users not able to figure out how to go around UAC when needed via secpol or regedits or temporarily suspending it in order to install some programs that do not allow them to right click an executable such as those delivered via Win RAR or Win Zip compression formats for example, has caused a lot of pain for many users. If you doubt this, take a look at either your beta groups or the public groups on Vista. You won't need a magnifying glass--search the posts with the terms "permission", "UAC" or "access." So of your fellow TBTs have done some high quality explanations of why one can't access My Documents in XP on a dual boot from their Vista boot even though they can easily shortcut to the XP desktop from the Vista desktop. I never confused "bugs" with features. Not all bugs are on features, but some certainly are. And I read blogs extensively so I appreciate Brian Jones' explanation of .pdf publishing capability and there was a relationship between the dropping of .pdf publishing support and the .xps as dropping its own rival format XPS from the productivity suite and Windows Vista. http://blogs.msdn.com/brian_jones/archive/2006/06/02/613702.aspx Finally, I did read the Product Guide. That's the only way I would have commented on it. It's a cheerleading document with many comments using the tone "Gee is Vista great or what!" comments. I also was able to figure out how to make it stable and readable from an XP box without any special .xps viewer when over 90% of your fellow TBTs seemed not to be able to do this. I see the section on SR on p. 187 of that product guide. It makes a fleeting connection of SR to Win RE, mentions filters, but not the major new infrastructure, its basis on Volume Shadow Services. VSS is explained in the most detail on Windows Server 2003 sites, Technet and MSDN. It fails to say that SR currently as of two intrim builds after Beta 2 cannot make restore points at the default scheduled times, and that the team cannot figure out how to allow SR to preserve Vista restore points in a situation that will be used a lot during the next two years--a dual boot of Vista and Windows XP. Some of us have learned to work around this in that Bit Locker seems to confer protection on Vista restore points if they have been made when booting to XP. If restore points were made at the default times they were supposed to be in Vista, then Previous Versions could actually be successful in "tracking changes at the block level." I understand System Restore in Vista and Windows XP, and it would be embarassing for me to say that the Product Guide lent a scintilla of understanding of SR to me --it's that superficially pathetic. If you can find anything substantive that discusses Windows Recovery Environment or System Restore that I haven't seen (nothing does I have seen including the discuusions in Vista Help or on the Vista Help site, anywhere on a MSFT site, please post it up here. That would be a detailed differential discussion of Startup Repair, Complete PC Restore, and whatever happened to the Fabricant Recovery utility often shown on slides in MSFT presentations including one by the PM of the SR team Eduardo Laureano. You need to reread what I typed. I did not ask for "bug stats" although they are advertised on Connect's splash page for many apps. I said "The 'focus' should absolutely include publishing the content and number of bugs fixed. The context and content is by far the most important aspect of bugs." I also raised a legitimate question that Paul said that 75% of the bugs are not fixed, yet 10% are still active. The reason for this wasn't clear on Paul's blog. Why didn't he quantify these categories? That was the context of my asking for numbers. I was talking about the gap between 25% of bugs fixed; 75% not fixed, and 10% active. It wasn't clear what the missing percents represented--it wasn't "bug stats are anything like that" as you phrased it I was requesting; it was to have Paul explain the discrepancy between the numbers more completely and most importantly if 25% of bugs have been fixed, everyone with an interest in Vista ought to know what those fixes are. Again, the only way that the CPP users of Vista would have anyway to know what happened to those bugs and features and suggestions they had an interest in would be by seeing a list of bug FIXES. You can show me no way that CPP reporters of bugs know that their bug reports have been touched or looked at; I can show you that's not the case for private Beta testing.

  • I think that when you post a reply it should not be censored, but unfortunately that seems to be the case.

  • I was unaware of any censoring going on with comments of this blog.

    But if you wish to continue this discussion without any possibility of censorship, feel free to email me at brandonleblanc[at]hotmail.com. I'd be more than happy to continue the discussion.

  • Sidebar Geek--

    I did not imply that the thousand or so people who are connected to Vista at Redmond are not working hard or they are not making efforts to fix things.  But they are not making efforts to fix a number of significant features and bugs or take suggestions (and they are not always different).

    I only suggested that 1) bug fixes be reported and listed on a number of MSFT web sites 2) I pointed out that Paul wrote 10% are active and 75% had not been fixed; that evokes a discrepancy in numbers that should be explained. I clearly emphasized I wanted to see the description of what has been fixed made public--and this does not require effort to the degree it distracts team members believe me.  I did not use the phrase "reveal everything" or close; I was very precise.

    It could be posted by a secretary who has access to a list of bugs fixed to copy paste.

    Microsoft absolutely does punish people who have worked hard to submit quality feedback and have helped many TBTs and they have.  

    They'll punish people who have submitted "good feedback" who are thoroughly familiar with XP and Vista and its features to date and who have helped extensively on their newsgroups for years.  

    There are certain types of criticism that they feel is "embarrassing" and some of it goes directly to the ability of a huge segment of customers worldwide  to be able to fix Vista when it is unbootable just as in 7 years that same segment of customers did not have the tools to fix Win XP when it was not bootable.  It is embarrassing because it leaves about 500,000,000 OEM preinstall XP and soon Vista customers in a lurch (the XP number is accurate, and I can only tell you that MSFT has a slide circulating entitled "The Windows Vista Opportunity"  that says "Industry forecasts  great than 475 million PCs in the first 24 months/Upgradable installed base of around 200million PCs.

    They are talking about OEM preinstalls there.  Microsoft does not want to address or talk about the fact that the media does not work nor do the partitions that are shipped with that huge number of OEM preinstalls.  

    And when the question is raised they do lash out, become very vindictive and very disingenuous to say the least.  

    In doing so they kill the messenger who raises the question instead of giving an intelligent thoughtful answer to the problem that I have had several softies tell me they find personally abhorrent but are not in a position to challenge.

    I'm thoroughly familiar with the processes available to fix bugs in Vista.

    CPPs receive no feedback as to how their input is used, let alone as to whether it is so much as read.  There is a very simplistic, modified public "Scenario Voting" site rather pale in comparison to the one TBT's are encouraged to use via Connect.


    If,  as you seem to impl, that the unwashed masses in the CPP are as important to MSFT as TAP (of course they aren't because TAP means significant enterprise adoption and money) or TBT's than why is there such a dearth of an effort to educate CPP users of the Beta in comparison to what is available on the monthly calendar for TBT's.  I am including all TechNet Public, ISV public, MSDN public, etc. chats and web casts as well in this assessment.

    So submitting bugs for CPPs is as easy as it was for my grandfather to yell at the television set, and in both situations, the concern and regard of the recipient of the respective messages is precisely the same.

    I think I've explained how it is significantly less.  Much more information is made available to non CPP beta testers, and much more care is focused on the handling of the bugs those Beta testers (about 25,000) are invited to submit versus about 2 million CPP users of Beta 2/RC1.

    I hope I've made it crystal clear with precision "what I'm comparing here."

    I'm comparing substantive or at least a semblance of evidence that the bug has been read and processed versus none of that for CPP users of Vista.


    They'd also invite them to the same chats and the same Live Meetings where they could get a scrap of information on many issues that are not covered even superficially on the current MSFT web sites.  

    "How about taking a look at the stuff that's there right now."  Umm I have.  I've been using Vista as a production machine for months.  I've drilled it with a  "deep dive" as MSFT likes to say.  Some of the best features are features that are way in the background.  Some need developer level experience to appreciate.  Many are unrealized by your fellow TBTs because they have never mentioned them.

    Major security enhancements--I follow the UAC blog and about 25 MSDN security blogs that Softies have daily.

    Gartner and other companies have published careful research studies that if you were to apply the appropriate hotfixes and use the appropriate NAT and software firewalls, you have a less than one percent chance of contracting significantly malicious software.

    There was a relationship between the dropping of .pdf publishing support and the .xps as dropping its own rival format XPS from the productivity suite and Windows Vista.

    Finally, I did read the Product Guide.  That's the only way I would have commented on it.  It's a cheerleading document with many comments using the tone "Gee is Vista great or what!" comments.  

    I see the section on SR on p. 187 of that product guide.  It makes a fleeting connection of SR to Win RE, mentions filters, but not the major new infrastructure, its basis on Volume Shadow Services.

    It fails to say that SR currently as of two intrim  builds after Beta 2 cannot make restore points at the default scheduled times, and that the team cannot figure out how to allow SR to preserve Vista restore points in a situation that will be used a lot during the next two years--a dual boot of Vista and Windows XP.  Some of us have learned to work around this in that Bit Locker seems to confer protection on Vista restore points if they have been made when booting to XP.  

    If you can find anything substantive that discusses Windows Recovery Environment or System Restore that I haven't seen (nothing does I have seen including the discuusions in Vista Help or on the Vista Help site, anywhere on a MSFT site, please post it up here.

    That would be a detailed differential discussion of Startup Repair, Complete PC Restore, and whatever happened to the Fabricant Recovery utility often shown on slides in MSFT presentations including one by the PM of the SR team Eduardo Laureano.

    HKLM

  • So you're saying from day 1 when Microsoft launched the CPP, the CPP users should have had access to the same exact ways of submitting feedback/suggestions/bugs as the technical beta testers and TAP have and that the feedback and bugs CPP folks send in are just as important as say TAP users. By doing this also allows the CPP folks to see which bugs have already been submitted etc.

    I am have to go on and agree with you on that 100% but again it boils down to the same thing I mentioned above - Microsoft has a crappy way of managing and submitting feedback and bugs (Connect).

    If your subscribed to the 25+ security blogs (including UAC) then you should know that complaining about the drop of WinFS from Vista isn't really a big deal seeing as both Enterprise and Home users care more about how to secure Windows. Security in Windows is a different topic for a different day tho ;-)

    I think I understand what you're getting at here and correct me if I'm wrong but you want Microsoft to be more transparent in terms of problems/issues/bugs with Windows Vista. You want them to acknowledge it and tell us how they are going to fix it and if not, then why aren't they going to fix it etc. You want (the same as me) a standard high end way of submitting bugs that EVERYONE has access to.

    While I still disagree with you on Microsoft punishing folks who submit good feedback. I'd also like to note that the Product Guide isn't designed to be too technical and a step-by-step process on how to use features. Its designed to introduce users to what Vista will be offering and its technologies. Its intended to be basic to a certain excent. Heck, the latest release of the Product Guide was written based off Beta 2 which, by now, is out of date.

    So you speak of System Restore and a bug where it cannot make restore points for specific reasons etc - would you say that if Microsoft told each specific team (like the System Restore team or team associated with it) to make a much more serious effort of addressing these issues in the newsgroups and on their blog? Of course that would mean Microsoft needs to become much more transparents with its bugs etc. But is this something you're looking to see?

  • HKLM -- while anonymous comments are disabled, as is typical of many blogs, I do not edit comments on this blog.  Further, I'm the only one with access to the blog's back-end editorial functions.  

    It really doesn't do me much good to create an official MS blog and then to edit the comments, as those submitting comments will figure this out in short order, publicly destroy my credibility and then no one will visit the blog.  As you can see based on the number of comments received, that latter point in not the case, which supports my statement that comments are not edited (or otherwise censored).

    You're free to email me if you have further to say on this particular issue.

    -- Nick

  • "Public Feedback to MSFT on Vista is tantamount to yellin' at the TV during “American Idol”, your car,  or your IPOD."

    From HKLM to Nick--

    Nick--I'm sorry.  I think what triggered my original problem posting a reply was that there may be a word limit.  I edited it down and had no problem posting.  I think everyone appreciates the time and sincerity that go into creating the blog on your part.

    By the way Nick--this site gets added to the list of sites on a Vista box that MSFT says "doesn't have a certificate" and "may not be safe" and turns my url in the address bar red for a time.  I have seen that phenomenon with Connect, and several of us saw it with respect to an issue getting the FTP server to come up on Connect about 2 months ago.

    I see MSFT sites daily reached by Vista's IE7 that must have AJAX or Active X or certificate issues even when you make them "trusted sites" which seems to have had dubious value or efficacy ever since that dialogue box was born in whichever flavor of Windows OS.

    Thanks

    From HKLM to Sidebar Geek—
    "Public Feedback to MSFT on Vista is tantamount to yellin' at the TV during  “American Idol”, your car,  or your IPOD."  I typed it twice for emphasis.

    1) I'm saying from day one that the chats and Live Meetings should have been made public.  It is really compelling given Microsoft's dearth of information on key features anywhere on their site that after releasing Vista 5384 (two builds older than the one you're playing with now 5472 (and several builds longer in the tooth  than the one Nick and the Softies play with daily) that that content be made available to the public.  

    2) Chats were posted to the public until as recently as June 22 (I have no idea why) and maybe Nick could shed light.  The chats were released the minute they were over by Vista team members early on to the point that no one asked for a while.

    3) I'm not comparing MSFT's TAP program (to the extent I understand it), and who knows how many other acronyms/abbreviations they have that are thrown around (CTP testers--I know what a CTP interim non-landmark build is supposed to represent--without explaining what they are.  

    I'm not able to compare what TAP gives to MSFT versus the broad spectrum of experience in the population of CPPs.   If you're the Director of IT University of Texas Austin, then you're experience with a computer software and hew environment is a tad different than some of the precocious 10 year olds we help on chats and newsgroups, many of whom use Vista as well as adults, although that won't be the case a few years down the road.  The TAP IT manager in Austin Texas has consultation with MSFT’s  Tim Minter. as does Dell and AMD.  I suspect the ten year old and the other 2 million Vista customers don’t.
    So in that respect you compare Apples and Oranges, but not in their need to have comprehensive info that’s not being supplied.  
    TAP is more of a boutique program that works collaboratively with mostly companies, universities who can be as small as a few hundred people and maybe selected individuals who are MVPesque are known to MSFT to be knowledgeable and in an environment to contribute. (I've seen tap web sites named for unvisited mascots) who can represent enterprise volume deployment and I suppose have IT departments.  They go to Redmond and meet a certain amount of times suppose with their suggestions, problems, etc.

    I would imagine TAP testers get specialized info, and I have no idea if all of them are experienced developers but I suspect not.

    I would suspect TAP contributes to material that gets into the early on MSKBs on Vista and Vista related items.

    I am sure that when they talk through whatever vehicle MSFT listens.

    TAP runs in 3 different programs in live production environments with IT pro supervision.  It has 4 phases:

    Phase 1: Information gathering – completed

    Phase 2: Small, in-depth test involving 25 computers – Set for July 2006

    Phase 3: Larger test involving 100 computers – Tentative start in September 2006

    Phase 4: Microsoft releases Windows Vista to manufacturers – November 2006


    "Microsoft runs three different types of TAPs across its product line: one for product validation that was formerly known as the Joint Development Program, a rapid deployment TAP that was previously called the Rapid Adoption Program and a less rigorous product evaluation program that's more like an advanced beta for IT pros."


    I am positive that if the unwashed public makes a suggestion to MSFT you might as well yell at the TV during American Idol.  You have more impact in the skewed, and probably manipulated for maximal viewing American Idol voting than you would as a member of the unwashed public getting feedback to the Redmond campus to influence anything in any build on the road to shipping as Vista RTM.  I believe yelling at the TV or your IPOD really can influence Vista an exponential  quantum leap better than the little feedback icon on the desktop or the “y’all tell us whatcha think website.”



    Should the public and future CPPs have access to Vista Beta chats and Vista Live Meetings just as Vista and Office 2007 web casts and Live Meetings are starting to be archived on MSFT websites?  You betcha.  Downside--none.

    Upside--more knowledge disseminated to make more capable Vista users when it RTMs and Beta is just a semantic term from what I've seen with Windows XP or SP2 having had a few years and two years to view them respectively.

    As to Feedback I've looked at the pompous, pious and equally specious language Corey Snow blows out on his site, and how it works on the street in the real clinical world and they aren't the same at all.  I have no indication Corey Snow gives a rat’s ass about genuine feedback or that he's working hand in glove “with customers" and “for the customer.”  Connect could have worked a ton better from day one--it hasn't and it's not responsive to customers when they try to fix it.  The bug program has been systemically flawed from day one.

    I agree with you there.

    I'm not sure what Enterprise and Home Users care about totally, and probably not qualified to say I know what they're all concerned about, but I can tell you what I see day to day answering questions on the Vista newsgroups with every day issues.

    So to that extent, I think I'm in touch with what they care about and a great deal of them doesn’t appreciate some of the security features in UAC and most people won't 5 years from now.  I've had agreement from MSFT PMs though as recently as this morning that if UAC don’t deploy a ton better than a box in your face every time you want to rename  or drag copy a folder, then a lot of the public will soon learn early on to turn it off at msconfig shortly after it RTMs.  Not having access to some of their own folders and having a hassle installing programs--I just installed Office 07, One Note, and Visio and a gamut of apps  on some boxes by right clicking the .exe to run as admin.  Some people have problems with that at first try.

    On one dual boot I pulled up the music folder from XP and the music folder from Vista and found it ridiculously tedious to have to get permission for every ripped cut I wanted to transfer.


    I want Microsoft to be more transparent (you said it very well in that paragraph).  It’s ironic that one of the Security blogs boasts that never would MSFT build in a back door for the government as they have requested as well as that searches and persona information be turned over, and there has not been any discussion of this on a MSFT site.   And with all the rhetoric and philosophy from Gates on through to the TechNet and other evangelist why shouldn't they be an educational center getting as much info out as possible on Vista.

    I'm really puzzled as to why they're not.  I don't see any incentive for the public to report bugs to them, given that they haven't given one nanomolecule of proof that they do diddly squat with the feedback.  If Paul Donnelly indicated they do, it was sure between the lines.  I don't see jack on Snow's site that indicates they do.

    I'm not tackling the issue of more code being available to the European Union here.  I'm saying that if Johnnie or Susie desktop has a blue screen and can't boot Vista, there ought to be a good discussion of the differential points of Win RE.  I ain't seen one yet and I look hard.  I have everything on TechNet and MSDN and the help site that MSFT runs for Vista from a server.  

    I like some features of the Help Site/Server/ in Vista, and I like the fact that they are developing a feature where they can assist the user step by step in getting something done.

    I'm still trying to appreciate all the search aspects in Vista can do and compare it to the Google desktop experience that is pretty good and some of the features there are very useful--the more I use them.



    It's not clear to me whether the public can download the bug, the so-called MBC reporting feature or not.  If they did, how would they know they'd been considered?  And if MSFT were serious about quality bugs from the public, they’d put their several videos and instructions on how bugs should be crafted and structured (I used crafted because it’s such a popular yuppie/buppie over  used buzz word)—I think it means written.  I like that Office 2007 wants me to type bumpy, guppy, or puppie there.

    I would suppose (no direct contact--never met a real live Tap member) so what I know I've read and not made a research project out of it.  MSFT doesn't even mention TAP or minimally mentions in in public--secrecy confers exclusivity and (VIPesque euphoria I suppose).  

    I've never seen a MSFT site that mentions TAP.  I've seen them mentioned in chats and forums.

    I believe TAP is something ball park of this:

    Two Manufacturers TAP into Software Testing

    http://www.microsoft.com/business/momentum/content/article.aspx?contentId=1069

    I also know that for example MSFT has published next to nothing on how to use the facets of Win RE (the crash cart for Vista when it needs CPR--I'd consider that kind of important in the sense without a good crash cart you might lose the Vista patient--although of course many advanced users backup.  MSFT estimates that up to 80% of the unwashed public doesn't backup.  

    I once saw a mention that Win RE material was a portal in TAP according to someone on the TAP "team" for MSFT.  How appropriate that the unwashed masses (the 2 million who use Vista now have no clear instruction on how to use Win RE--yep I've read what is available on Help, MSDN and TechNet.  But to be honest I think if you said MSDN, TechNet to many of the 2 million Vista users for the CPP they'd say huh?

    If you have a comprehensive Win RE or SR article as I said a few days ago, please shoot a link up here or send it my way.  I'll bet you can't find one.  I'll bet you've had scant information with all you have access to as well.

    How about SFC in Vista with the advice that it doesn't work Vintage 5472.5?  Doesn't do you much good to run it if you can't replace corrupted files that are detected.

    If you have a good SFC or Win RE article, (none yet on a MSFT site anywhere), please shoot it my way.  I found SFC pretty useful since its inception in Win 98 and it's incarnation in XP although its bugs were never fixed at Redmond during the run of Win XP it's beta to present.

    Maybe the recently announced purchase of Winternals and Sysinternals by MSFT  (terrific work by guys who have done a lot to enhance and protect the Windows Operating system for the last ten years), will allow the creators of these programs to blog so finally information that the teams at Redmond haven't published can get out on recovery systems for the Windows OS.

    It is a very bright development that Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell now work with the Softies.

    Mark Russinovich blogs about his applications.

    MSFT seems to consider recovery of the Vista operating system so important that it has failed to publish any significant substantive information anywhere on Win RE, System Restore, or SFC.

    What is in the Product Guide is sure as hell not what is going to TAP.

    If MSFT has done such a stellar job of educating people on these recovery mechanisms why do Beta testers as well as the public make posts that reflect how little they understand about them daily?  It's not because they refuse to read/or are incapable of understanding what they don't have.

    I know the Product Guide wasn't designed to be technical.  I had it months ago.  I think it was analogous to something given to middle school cheerleaders in my country on how to boost team spirit--or why you should buy cookies from them to pay for the new uniforms.

    I don't think that the product guide which is so superficial it is difficult to tell if it's written keying off early Beta One or Beta 2--it was available I think in January to Beta testers, many of whom were having difficulty reading it on their XP boots where there were a number of workarounds that make that possible even without a reader, and once put on line briefly as are many things when one part of MSFT didn't communicate with the other.

    I think the PG suffered because it was written mainly as a PR document.  I see a number of good books on Windows' OS's and it's not one.  Go into your closest bookstore and the at least two books there clean the product guide's clock and they don't have all that much info in them yet either.  This is probably because the authors had a hell of a time scraping up the info *from MSFT, even though they no doubt had at least access to whatever TAP gets.

    So beyond the PG, and the cheerleading superficial articles on the www.microsoft.com/windowsvista site unless you go to the bits and pieces in blogs on Vista via MSFT, TechNet and other interested skillful writers like Robert McLaws and yourself, I don't see anything cohesive for someone who is interested in how these things work clinically on the street or under the hood as well.

    Hopefully Mark Russinovich will be able to show MSFT how they should have communicated information on these Recovery mechanisms that they have failed so far to do.  

    Ed Bott has more time now for Windows Vista Inside Out with the reasonable chance the joint launch of Office and Vista won't happen in January.

    3rd party authors already have books in stores on Vista that do a better job of discussing features than MSFT has on their site.  It's not that they don't have superlative talent in great abundance with many aspects of a well oiled research and development machine and a company that has made products that change the way people live and work profoundly.

    It's that the talent isn't getting the info out.

    With the panoply of significant elements of this OS that need fixing' every delay is a positive.

    MSFT absolutely does and will punish people that raise critical issues that are valid prescient, and relevant, and do it in the most vindictive of ways.  I know what constitutes "good feedback", and I know how to help people get Vista on a box when they can't, and how to get it back up and running when it isn’t; and to make a lot of things work that MSFT makes including Office, when it doesn't and to tweak it so it does a number of things it should have done.

    Sysinternals' blog and their applications are full of things the OS should have done.

    MSCONFIG and Task Manager Vista or XP do a poor job of communicating the processes and the services list could do a much better job of communicating what the services are for--and I mean aimed at the lowest level of user and the most sophisticated. They fail both.

    Vista msconfig and TM are an improvement but they could have been much more comprehensive--and clarified a lot more info for the user at any level.

    They definitely don't want to hear that in Windows XP they stranded 500, 000,000 preinstalled desktop users of OEM products with no way to recover the OS if they did not image their system or back up properly--no argument that they should or didn't purchase some of the $250 or so programs like the helpful ones from Winternals.Getting them to talk about it is like getting Alberto Gonzales to give a straight answer in the hearing I'm watching now.

    They will not take the challenge where ten of them in the room have what OEM brings them to dance with, and ten of them have a retail XP CD or a retail Vista DVD to fix a no boot XP or

    I don't think you or Nick wants to take that test either.  I'll bet Paul Donnelly won't be successful booting with what OEM brings him on a broken no boot Vista that won't let him reach Win RE with a worthless OEM recovery disc or partition.

    Let's see Sidebar--Joe Blow and Suzie desktop (500 million of 'em) who spend their hard earned bucks for a box from OEM named partners (300 of them) should spend between one to three grand and have no way to recovery the OS.  

    I want to be clear--those so called recovery discs and partitions ain't the way.  I've helped with 1000 of them. They don't work.  The retail media that MSFT gets made for them at Redmond onto CDs and DVDs does repair installs (XP) and does reach Win RE (Vista).  MSFT doesn't get this to their 500,000,000 OEM customers but they get paid for each OEM preinstall and get paid well.  There is a quote from an email from Eric Rudder now Senior VP Tech Strategy to Warren Buffett a few years ago trying to get him to invest in MSFT with Berkshire Hathaway money bragging on the profit.

    I think this captures the essence of why greedily MSFT and OEM's don't get the buyer of a box decent retail media from Redmond to recover that box:

    These are stats from MSFT's fiscal Q1 results:

    License sales to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) again carried the quarter. Windows desktop OEM licenses grew by 18 percent, while commercial and retail licenses fell 19 percent, or $106 million. OEM revenue grew less, only by 13 percent, mitigated by smaller mix of Windows Professional licenses and software piracy.

    OEM sales were up nearly 20%; commercial retail licenses plummeI understand that see-saw. Those were those boards kids used to climb on while one side went up and one went down.

    If you go onto the Vista public groups,  or XP or Vista chats in real time right now, you can see plenty of examples of this.

    I also see it in the peer section of scheduled chats and saw it for 6 years during the reign of XP.

    Additionally the little guy, the OEM partner who is making a small profit--the system builder out there is held to standards that the big guys --the 300 named partners are not.  I watched as a clown (usually no one from MSFT or associated with them) gets up at a presentation who is not an excellent speaker fumbled around when OEM builders began to question him about this subject finally grinning and saying to them with enthusiasm he thought made up for his lack of proficiency with MSFT products "If you guys are selling a minimum of 50,000 boxes you can do what you want just like the big guys."

    The little guys make sure their clients can recover.  The big guys deal recovery discs and so-called "PC restore" partitions like the one Platinum Partner Dell ships now even with their high end 4-5 grand Dell XPS dual core boxes.99% or greater of the time if you participate in a series of 1000 attempts you won't recover with those entities.  99.99999% of the time if you have a retail OS Vista soon or XP now, you can do a repair install in XP and barring rare circumstances like systemically destroyed partitions or say a Linux boot loader that blocks reaching setup for a repair install and after 35 minutes of the world's longest mundane MSFT commercial in setup you have back your XP.

    I'm excluding situations where people like you and many TechNet readers image their systems or otherwise wouldn't think of not backing up to media as easy as dual layer DVDs and DVDs with more storage capacity in the future make it, or as easy as Vista is commendably making things for backup as is the less substantial but admirable backup in Windows One Care.  One Care is not as stellar but it is sure a great idea, and I believe a great bargain considering it gives them 3 licenses, an AV app that updates seamlessly and compares with any of them, a defragger and a backup mechanism that involves checking boxes--browsing if need be to include files, and popping in media or easily backing up to a second HD.

    "So you speak of System Restore and a bug where it cannot make restore points for specific reasons etc - would you say that if Microsoft told each specific team (like the System Restore team or team associated with it) to make a much more serious effort of addressing these issues in the newsgroups and on their blog? Of course that would mean Microsoft needs to become much more transparent with its bugs etc. But is this something you're looking to see"

    I don't know how their days go.  I only think I'd have a decent understanding of what they do if I were there to watch for a while.   I get the idea that they consider the public "unwashed masses" very much like the Congress in my country and not worth the time.

    That's why their appearance on any newsgroup and any venue is quintessentially brief and a lot more like a drive by shooting than severe focused help.

    I think those of us who help on newsgroups do a job that is exponentially better with no real comparison but that our resources are limited by no decent info.

    There is info on XP; there are a couple hundred commonly circulated books and a number of sites. Sure it's been bouncing around for about 8 years and was launched October 25, 2001.  But there is no reason after a full year of Beta that people on teams and the writers actually hired to do this couldn't have picked up their tablet or laptop and knocked out some decent info and put it on line.

    MSFT is indifferent to providing high quality info on Vista on their sites.  Interestingly Office and the servers that run on top of it are doing a better job of this.

    If you or Nick or anyone thinks I'm missing sites from MSFT or sources of info from them, (I get the magazines that come from the as well) then be sure it and let me know where those might be.

    I've seen a lot of chats and the answers to questions are often comical.  They are so brief and laced with condescension often that I know the questioner didn't get any of what they were after.

    --HKLM













  • "Public Feedback to MSFT on Vista is tantamount to yellin' at the TV during “American Idol”, your car,  or your IPOD."

    From HKLM to Nick--

    Nick--I'm sorry.  I think what triggered my original problem posting a reply was that there may be a word limit.  I edited it down and had no problem posting.  I think everyone appreciates the time and sincerity that go into creating the blog on your part.

    By the way Nick--this site gets added to the list of sites on a Vista box that MSFT says "doesn't have a certificate" and "may not be safe" and turns my url in the address bar red for a time.  I have seen that phenomenon with Connect, and several of us saw it with respect to an issue getting the FTP server to come up on Connect about 2 months ago.

    I see MSFT sites daily reached by Vista's IE7 that must have AJAX or Active X or certificate issues even when you make them "trusted sites" which seems to have had dubious value or efficacy ever since that dialogue box was born in whichever flavor of Windows OS.

    Thanks

    --HKLM

  • A couple of days ago, an article was published over at TechWeb, stating that Vista will ship in late...

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