095. Welcome to Windows 7, Everyone
I can see clearly now the rain is gone/I can see all obstacles in my way/Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind/It’s gonna be a bright (bright)/Bright (bright) sunshiny day/ — Johnny Nash, 1972
While it is incredibly fun to do a first demo of a big product as described in the previous section, there is something that tops that and even tops the actual release to manufacturing. That is providing the release, actual running code, to a product’s biggest fans. It was time to welcome everyone to Windows 7 and put the code that the team had been working on since the summer of 2007 out for the world (of techies) to experience.
Back to 094. First Public Windows 7 Demo
Seattle summers are notoriously difficult on product development. After a long spell of clouds and rains, the beauty and long days of Pacific Northwest summers arrive, neither are particularly conducive to coding.
Summer wasn’t why I ended up here, but it certainly had an impact on me. On my first visit in 1989 during a dismal February, I saw the outdoor Marymoor Velodrome down the street from Microsoft and thought, this is going to be great. On TV it didn’t look as difficult to ride as I eventually learned it was. I sort of rode it exactly one time and that was the day my bicycle arrived from Massachusetts.
But alas, product development demands don’t end even with 15 hours of daylight.
It was going to get busy for the Windows 7 team. Our planned schedule called for the third development milestone to be complete by the end of summer 2008.
We were making progress, but the schedule was slipping. The code was getting better every week, but the overall game of schedule chicken that often plagued a large project was an historical concern. This was our first time as a new team going through this part of a product cycle. While we had a good deal of positive progress building a team culture, Windows was notorious for groups betting against each other’s schedules and being less than forthright with their own.