I just ran across this CNET interview with Steven Sinofsky, the new head of the Windows division, while researching my previous post.
The three-year delta is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, Sinofsky came from the Office team, which prides itself on a rigid regimen of feature planning and two-year ship cycles. They’ve done a good job.
Thus, I thought the whole point of his new job was to do the exact same thing in Windows. Not that I thought he was going to be able to pull it off, but he was at least going try, by way of draconian measures, to ship Win 7 within two years. At some point in the past 18 months, he apparently gave up.
Second, that they’ve already announced a three-year ship cycle implies that it’s likely to be 30% longer than that. That’s a long time to let their flagship product languish, in the form of Vista, on the market. Again, a smarter strategy would have been to really push for a two year cycle. And then do it again. That way, we’d have had Win 8 by the time we’re actually going to have Win 7.