By early 2014, we knew that Microsoft was racing to replace Windows 8. But first, it had to continue fixing the OS no one wanted.
Recent Programming Windows Stories
In the aftermath of Steven Sinofsky's firing, the Windows team pushed forward to correct the worst mistakes of Windows 8 within one year.
For years, Microsoft had worked closely with its biggest partners to create a symbiotic PC ecosystem based on Windows. And then Steven Sinofsky happened.
With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview behind them, Steven Sinofsky and his lieutenants prepared for the final stages of the product’s journey to release.
On February 29, 2012, Steven Sinofsky stepped onto a small stage at the Hotel Miramar and introduced the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
When pushed on its Windows 8 design decisions, the Windows team simply dug in and ignored the telemetry data and feedback.
The Windows Runtime (WinRT) was a major departure from the .NET desktop frameworks that preceded it. Yet it was familiar too.
One hour into the Build 2011 keynote, developers got their first peek at the new WinRT development environment for Windows 8.
With Windows 8, Microsoft chose to “reimagine Windows from the chipset to the experience.” It was a disaster in the making.
In 2011, Microsoft began revealing its plans for Windows 8 via a series of announcements and public demonstrations.
2010 was a big year for Microsoft: in the wake of Apple’s iPad announcement, it had some high-profile product launches and some big failures.
On Wednesday, January 27, 2010, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, realizing his years-long vision of leapfrogging Microsoft’s Tablet PC.
Windows 7 couldn’t have arrived at a better time for Microsoft: 2009 was a terrible year for the PC industry and a down year for Microsoft too.
In January 2010, I visited the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington and interviewed Mark Russinovich about Windows 7.
Microsoft revealed the Windows 7 desktop at PDC 2008, spent the next year delivering the product, and then celebrated the accomplishment at PDC 2009.
Of the few developer innovations delivered with Windows 7, the new Scenic Ribbon and Jump Lists are arguably the most interesting.
In the same month that Microsoft launched Windows Vista for consumers, Apple launched a much more important product, one that would upend the industry.
After the first public demonstration of Windows 7 at PDC 2008, Steven Sinofsky ceded the stage to Scott Guthrie for a tour of new developer features.
Most didn’t appreciate it at the time, but the 2008 Professional Developers Conference (PDC) was an inflection point for Microsoft.
Apple’s “Get a Mac” TV ad campaign reached new heights when they began attacking Longhorn and Windows Vista, but it took Microsoft years to respond.
In 2007 and 2008, Steven Sinofsky and this team prepared the follow-ups to Windows Vista: Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows 7.
Though it was impacted by the same delays as Longhorn/Windows Vista, Longhorn Server targeted a market that was more than willing to wait.
While Microsoft struggled to make sense of Windows Longhorn in 2005/6, the Office team was busy doing what it always did: shipping on schedule.
The release of Windows Vista is now understood to be the time when Microsoft’s control of personal computing peaked and then began its inevitable decline.
On a cold morning in January 2006, I met with Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, who was then directly responsible for Windows Vista.
With Jim Allchin teetering towards retirement, Microsoft finally shipped Windows Vista after several more delays in 2006.
In mid-2005, Microsoft rebranded Longhorn as Windows Vista and set out to deliver monthly builds ahead of its late 2006 release.