Last week, we posted another trial build of Windows Server "Longhorn" - so far there are about 3000 people who have downloaded it & we're pretty happy with the way it looks. There are more builds coming out in the near future. Personally, I would like to give props out to Alex Hinrichs who is the prime mover for this release. It is unfair to ever call one person out, but that's life.
One thing I have spent a load of time working on over the last couple of years is the end game of a release. By end game I mean final Beta to Release*. Being a Server guy so I spend very little time worrying about whether we can make back to school or Christmas selling season. Betsy [for the moment it will just be Betsy - as in Madonna, Prince or Nene] says i steal all her jokes & has said that the joke that there are not many people who wake up on christmas morning wanting a new Windows Server is possibly the lamest of all time. Of course if the only jokes I tell are hers, whose joke is that?
But I digress, we really thnk the end game of Windows Server 2003 was the best we did. We kinda mirrored that for the releases of WS03 SP1 & kinda for WS03 R2. We're running that playbook again. I would also hope that the regularity of releases we've shown with WS03, R2 & now Longhorn will show we're pretty serious about this regular release thing.
The end game of Windows Server is sort of like landing a 747 - you uneed a load more run way & frankly you need to spend a lot more time just waiting for something to go wrong after the systems are in production. Generally we like have somewhere around 150 servers in microsoft in production & around 5 times that at other companies before we release - usually those servers go into production 3-4-5 months earlier & we're just sniffing around. Admittedly we could probably do the base parts of the system a little sooner but where is the fun in that - the Directory takes time, NPS will take a little time, TS gateway will take some time. Every day of the week (& old battle scars warm up here) I would take a slip of a week to fix a bad bug over shipping the wrong thing.
I am going to pop back in regularly & talk about some of my favourite features of Longhorn Server, things customers are talking about, embarrass team members, etc. If you are at WinHEC LA, Tokyo, or Beijing, pop by & say hello - I will be talking about Longhorn at all of them.
/i* admittedly in WS03 we drank some funny drinks & called the last beta RC1.