In the home stretch….

Wow! It’s hard to believe but we’ve completed 5 weeks of “Ask Mode”.  Every day for the past 5 weeks, representatives of each product team in the Division have met daily for 2 to 3 hours reviewing each change that is going into the product.  We look first at the customer scenario that is being fixed, we look at why the bug happens (regression, test hole, coding error, etc.), and then we look at the source code changes.  It feels like we’ve read every line of source code (Visual C#, Visual Basic .NET, C/C++/MC++, and even a little Assembly for fun!) across the CLR, Framework, and Visual Studio.  The teams have done a great job keeping the quality of the Beta 2 tree high and we’ve had excellent build just about every day for the past 5 weeks.

We’ve got about 3 more weeks in March and less than 400 Beta 2 bugs to manage.  For a product this large, a few hundred bugs is a very small number if you consider 30+ teams and each investigating (but not necessarily fixing) around 10 apiece.  It is all about maintaining stability for Beta 2 right now and driving our Stress programs to hit their criteria.  We are moving into “recall class” only bug fixing this week, except for Stress, which we want to continue to take fixes for. Once we do the final build we will need a little time to produce media and verify it across the various SKUs, formats (DVDs, downloads, etc.) and platforms. 

Overall, I feel good about our ability to get Beta 2 out by the end of the month, with Stress being the "wild card".  At the same time, my Inbox is full of questions about the InfoWorld article last week on the “slip” of Whidbey Beta 2. Unfortunately, it looks like the Microsoft person who made the comments about Whidbey was misquoted.  He stated that Beta 2 was on track for the end of March, with general availability in early April, which is completely accurate. Once you produce the media, it then takes time to duplicate it and get it out to customers, which means the first week or so of April. The Express SKUs and .NET Framework redist will be generally available within a day or so of signing off on Beta 2.  

Again, things are looking up, but we're still not hitting our Stress criteria yet, which we will hold the release for until we do.  More updates the closer we get to shipping Beta 2...

Comments (18)
  1. Eric K. says:


    Everything that’s using single-quote marks in your post has instead come across as several high-ascii characters. Something mucking up unicode conversions?

    Example: we’ve –> we’ve

  2. Eric K. says:

    Even odder: Cut-and paste showed me precisely what I was seeing in the post above, but once submitted, the odd characters were translated *properly* to the curvy version of the single quote character. Maybe it’s related to the style in effect for the post itself…

  3. Joe W. says:

    Congratulations! This is great news.

  4. Andy Mackie says:

    Misquotes – any thoughts on the validity of this eWeek article,1759,1777754,00.asp , which suggest that VS2005 RTM has slipped ? Or is it blatant mis-interpreting of vague information ?

  5. Klaus Enevoldsen says:

    This is great news. I’m wondering if there will be a new release of SQL Server 2005 and the Framework when Beta 2 is released? Or is it the February CTP of SQL Server 2005 with Framework that is used?

    If it’s the February CTP, I will start downloading it right away from MSDN…

    I’m looking forward to trying Beta 2, any news is anticipated…

  6. chris says:

    The eweek article is accurate, we have changed our estimated RTM date. We will ship when the product is ready, and this is a reflection of that. No one remembers the ship date, but they remember the product.

    It is disappointing to me that the bulk of the article (and the information Prashant released) is about the new pricing and SKU information but the title is that we slipped!

  7. Chris says:

    Yes, there will be another release of SQL Server 2005 and the Framework with Whidbey Beta 2. It will newer than the February CTP.

  8. Jeff Gilbert says:

    Understandable that you don’t want the quality of the product to be affected by inappropriate committments, but it’s what everyone has to live with. Microsoft produces some of the most complicated software on planet earth, but they’re also one of the richest companies. They have more than enough resources to stick to the promises it makes to its clients. It’s all relative.

    The community demands that someone must be punished for either a) doing such a horrible job of setting expectations, or b) doing such a horrible job of controlling features or allocating resources. These are project management 101 issues. Between Whidbey, SQL, and Longhorn, Microsoft is running between a 50% and 100% misjudgment of their respective release dates. Someone tell me this is acceptable?

    Microsoft will be and is being punished with a severe lack of faith in its commitments by the community in general, including yours truly who’s whole livelihood is based around Microsoft products.

    I’m not sure if there is anyone else who is as staunch a suppporter of the Microsoft vision as me, and my patience and my respect is waning.

    Figure it out, Microsoft.

  9. Lee Whitney says:

    To Jeff Gilbert’s comments – your comments are really misguided.

    Most of the people on the Whidbey team are devoting their life to delivering the product for you – long hours, missed family events, and everything that comes with it.

    Yes their doing the job their paid for – but as with many software teams their personal passion drives them far beyond the call of duty.

    However this all withstanding, the reason I say your expectations are misguided is that it’s simply not possible given the current state of software engineering to be so precise on such large projects.

    I’m not talking just Microsoft, Linux, NASA, you name it, the art of software engineering is not perfected. Moreover it’s not to the point where it scales linearly – you can’t double the development dollars and automatically cut in half the date.

    So give them a break ok, I have a feeling they are putting all the financial and personal resources possible to do the right thing.

  10. Arran says:

    RE: Jeff Gilbert’s Comments

    Quote "but they’re also one of the richest companies"

    You really think throwing more money at the project would do anything other than delay it even more? I am sure the VS, SQL2005 & Longhorn teams have all the resources they require. I am sure the delays will not be down to lack of resources but increased customer feedback, a urge to get the product right and the best it can be.

    As much as the community wants to see RTM i am sure its not as much as the developers working on the products.

  11. zack says:

    Hello. I have absolutly no clue on this; MSDN product feedback will NOT give me a strait answer.

    WILL VISUAL STUDIO 2005 PRO (or standard… whichever) BE AVAILABLE FOR ORDER?

    I do not want to be screwed by not ordering a DVD now. I want to get a CD but the product is at a crossroad, New vs. Oldish-New.


  12. Jason says:

    For Whidbey Beta2: only the VSTS kit will be orderable, not Pro.

  13. Eric says:

    The end of March has come and gone — is there any update on progress?

  14. Mike says:

    Complete conjecture on my part but the fact that there’s a lot of chatter coming-out of in the last day or os seems to indicate to me that people are coming-up for air again and that beta 2 is probably imminent at this point…

  15. Last I blog’d I talked to the Product Metrics/Release Criteria… and now we’ve released Whidbey Beta 2! …

  16. The Tips of the Day have been slow lately (mainly because we have been running out of content). However

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