I was working in building 50, the SCP project was clearly approaching it’s end-of-life, and I was casting around the company looking for new opportunities. When a project is end-of-lifed, the powers that be usually try to find a new home for all the people involved on the project.
I was in my office, and this guy named Dennis Flanagan stopped by my office and asked me if I’d be interested in taking on a new project in the group that would be known as WMDG (the Windows Media and Devices Group). You see, they had this wacky idea of building up infrastructure that would allow Windows to discover UPnP devices and create PnP devnodes for those devices (which would mean that the devices would show up in the Windows Device Manager). I started working right away and had a prototype working relatively quickly. The problem was that the project needed external evangelism, and I didn’t have the contacts or skills to move it forward. So the project sat on the shelf and the concepts were eventually integrated into the Function Discovery and the UMDF.
For whatever reason, I had been slotted into a team that was sort-of a mishmash of different functions. There was me, another developer who was working on something called “device discovery” (which later evolved into Function Discovery), a team of a couple of developers working on UI for audio for Windows Codename Longhorn, and a team of a couple of developers working on the supporting infrastructure for Windows Codename Longhorn.
My manager at the time, Frank Yerrace, had a bunch of work that needed to be done in the audio infrastructure team, and he saw that I had essentially been idled, so he asked if I would mind driving a chunk of the new audio infrastructure known as the policy engine.
Thus began my time working on the Longhorn project.
Over the past four years, there have been a number of memorable milestones. There was time when Alper Selcuk first got the new audio engine playing sounds. There was the whole Longhorn Reset and the birth of Windows Vista. And then there was my 43rd birthday present: We RI’ed the new audio engine into Vista. At that point we were 100% committed – we HAD to make the new audio stack work in Vista, there was no way to turn back.
Other milestones: Vista Beta 1 (July of 2005), the Audio team’s final Beta 2 push which included the final integration of the audio policy infrastructure I started back in 2002 (August 2005), the death of my father (August 15, 2005), Vista Beta 2 (May 2006), Vista RC1 (September 2006), and ultimately Vista RTM (November 2006).
Over the years, we’ve lost friends and family. Syon Bhattacharya lost his battle with stomach cancer in 2004. Steve Swenson, who designed most of the architecture of the Vista audio engine passed on September 11, 2005. My father passed on August 15th, 2005, other members of the team have also lost parents and other loved ones.
But after all was said and done, as of 11:00AM today, it’s official. You can put a fork in it, Windows Vista is finally DONE. That’s it, it’s off to manufacturing.
This one’s for you guys.