Fun question: How many people work on Windows CE?

Posted by: Sue Loh

C’mon.  Give it a guess.  How many jelly beans are in the jar?  I want to know what you think.  A count of Microsoft full-time employees.  Oh and be specific whether you’re talking about *WINDOWS CE* or *WINDOWS MOBILE* as a whole.

People who work for Microsoft: hey don’t spoil the fun by answering if you have a good idea.  Guesses from eMVPs are welcome though.

I’m also curious about the reasons behind your guesses.  Your take on how big a team must be in order to produce this product?  Your perception based on newsgroup / blog participation?  How many people you met at conferences and trade shows?  Something else?

I guess the reason behind this question is my curiosity about the effectiveness and extent of our community participation.  How much of a “human” side we have.  Are we all the Borg Collective to you folks out there?  I know, it’s really a completely different topic but it led me to this question.  I’m interested in discussing it, though, if you are.

Eventually I’ll go walk through our org chart and post what I think the answer is.  I’m too lazy right at this moment.  =)  It will, of course, be an unofficial answer and has the potential to be wildly inaccurate.


Comments (4)

  1. ce_base says:

    Actually, that may be information Microsoft doesn’t want me to give to you. I may have to instead make my own guess, which will almost certainly be inaccurate. And to make it easier (since team definitions can be fuzzy), I’ll guess about the total number of people working on Windows CE plus Windows Mobile.

  2. Gursharan says:

    O wud like to make a rough guess walking through the dependency list of CE development…

    Platform Builder team:

    8-10 – developing and optimizing compiler related stuff

    around 20 people in remote tools dev teams, interspersed in various tools

    10 people in the UI of it

    Ooops, how many catalog components PB has? Then around 6 in the networking team, 6 in the inbuilt apps coming in win mobile.

    If I see the no. of .c files CE shared source has, and assume a group of 30 people worked over it(scheduler, etc). Then each of the critical system processes must have a team : shell.exe, explorer.exe, gwes.exe and yes the device.exe(driver dev team and the BSP guys) -in all around 30 here. I dun know the marketing and evangelists involves here. So, may be around 110+all those i didnt take into account:-)….?

  3. ce_base says:

    Hmm, few takers huh? Oh well, I guess that means I need to post more in order to draw more traffic to this blog.

    Well Gursharan, some of your guesses were approx. right and some were way off. 🙂 I think you probably guessed about right on the compiler team. Remote tools you guessed high. I think between the debugger and all the remote tools, between developers, testers and everything, there are still only on the order of 10 people. The rest of the Platform Builder UI, hmm, probably 10 is about right. The networking team is a little larger than you think. My own guess would have been more like 15-20 when you add up dev, test, everyone.

    Windows Mobile is huge though. Don’t forget they have their own custom shell, lots of applications like pocket mail, pocket IE, media player, etc. I think more people work on the WM side than on the OS.

    Overall my own guess would be about 200 people on the OS, and more than that on Windows Mobile. When I started in 1999 it was much smaller, maybe a quarter or a third of that. In fact the OS team might have been larger than WM then.

  4. Adi Nishandar says:

    Your blog is as popular among WM (I can vouch for one such group)developers as it is with Core OS developers. I guess in WM there are teams dedicated to different OEM’s which might justify their size. OEM’s like the one I work for customize OAL among other things and this is where we derive wisdom from your posts.

    Blog on !!!