This afternoon, I sat in on the IIS 7.0 preview session where over a thousand TechEd attendees saw live presentation and demos of the project that we (the IIS team) had been working on the past ~12 months.

In comparison to the IIS 6.0 product cycle, this is VERY early customer exposure/engagement for IIS 7.0. Literally, things are still fluid at this point:

  • Features are getting added/removed all the time
  • Default settings are not completely defined
  • The UI design and layout is still changing as feedback comes in

However, I like the idea of early customer engagement. At this point in time, customer feedback can still make a tremendous impact on the product by declaring whether they like what they see as well as additional product features based on how they intend to use the product... and we can still make any serious changes necessary to support such features.

So, if you ever have a pet peeve about a product/feature, I encourage you to give directed feedback. The product team DOES listen - certainly on the IIS team. I realize that there are a lot of channels for users to communicate with Microsoft and its product team, but I encourage finding the most direct route. The less aggregation and dilution, the better. So, posting comments and suggestions to blog entries of product team members is a good idea; finding and opening bugs with LadyBug is another.

Now, right after the presentation ended, a lot of attendees came up to the podium and showered the product team around the area with words like "thank you for IIS 6, and I look forward to IIS 7", "awesome job; you have been listening to our pain points", "when is IIS 7 shipping?", and "when can I get IIS 7 beta bits to test and deploy?"

As an IIS team member who worked on IIS 6.0 and am working on IIS 7.0, I cannot tell you how heartening it is to hear all of this. Most of my communications with IIS customers are in the context of solving a specific problem or a customer dissatisfied with some aspect of IIS/web-stack, so I rarely hear any positive words relative to the product that I work on. The media does not help, either.

So, I encourage you to give product feedback and give it often, both positive and negative. And those dialogs that pop up when something crashes in w3wp.exe and asks you to send a report to Microsoft -- please do send them. We definitely get those reports and will debug them to figure out what happened, though we do not currently have a way to give you any immediate feedback. We are working on that. :-)

//David