Moving on down.

At the beginning of March of 2003, near the end of shipping Microsoft Office System 2003, I moved from the Office Release and Deployment team to the SDM Platform team in Windows Server.  That move was hard because I was leaving behind a great team and a great product.  However, I knew that my passion was doing platform work and I could reach more customers by moving to the Windows organization.  The SDM Platform team’s vision aligned perfectly with my desire to create a more manageable Windows platform.

Coming back to the present, some of the people who know me well have mentioned that I’ve been very scattered the last few weeks.  I’ve missed a few personal deadlines to a number of people, most of you on the wix-users at mailing list.  Even Michael Sanford called me out, questioning whether I was still “fighting the good fight” for setup.

Well, first of all, I want to apologize for not fully delivering on my recent commitments to the WiX community.  Second, I’m taking my “fight for setup” to the next level by joining the core Windows setup team to help deliver some key infrastructure in the next release of Windows codenamed: Longhorn.  I have to admit that I never expected to be working on code that would ship in Longhorn but a really incredible opportunity came up a few weeks ago that I decided I just had to go for.

What does this move mean to the SDM Platform?  Well, I can assure you that the SDM vision is still in very capable hands.  I still believe in the work that is going on the team and I am confident they will deliver over time.  There is also a very large part of me that is going to miss working on a distributed application problem.  However, the opportunity to work on issues that I believe need to be addressed at the very core of the operating system is just too good to pass up at this point in my life.  I’ll miss the people and I’ll miss the problem but I’m very excited about my new team and opportunities.

What does this move mean for the WiX community?  Well, it means that I’m going to have a little less free time than I was enjoying in the SDM Platform team.  Longhorn is on an aggressive schedule and there is much for me to get done.  So, I’ll probably be answering a few less questions, being a bit slower to respond, and probably reduce the amount of blogging a little bit more.  Also, the idea of writing a book is completely out now, for at least another year.  However, I’m still very committed to the WiX toolset and several members of the community have already stepped up to provide incredible support for those that continue to join.

So, what am I actually going to be working on?  Well, I’m not sure exactly how much I can discuss right now (just as I never could really say that much about SDM) but suffice it to say that I’m continuing to work towards my vision that there should be a single installation technology for the operating system, drivers, and applications in Microsoft.  I truly feel that the last 5+ years of experience have trained me for the opportunities I get to tackle next week.

Keep coding, soon, I will be too (on Longhorn).

Comments (6)

  1. Riko Eksteen says:

    Rob, I can’t imagine anything more exciting than you getting involved with the core setup infrastructure in Longhorn! From what I’ve read from you over the past few months, you are for sure the true authority on Windows setup, with just the right amounts of common sense (i.e. principles) and knowhow (i.e. technical details) thrown in!

    Looking forward to what comes out of the Longhorn setup stable! Good luck!

  2. Vagmi says:

    Good to know that you are back on your own turf. Orca was simply superb and WIX is all the more exciting. I understand that you would not be able to divulge much about setups on LongHorn, but I will keep checking the blog to know about some drops of information that manage to trickle down. I am sure that it would be quite a mouthful for most of your blog readers.

    BTW, I am moving to a different role, city and organization. It is going to be exciting. Read more about it here.

  3. subbu balakrishnan says:

    Rob, all the best with your move on to newer, exciting opportunities. I’ve seen a lot of posts from a number of capable people on the WiX list (Orion, Riko, Vagmi to mention a few) and feel assured of assistance. Do keep fighting the good fight and look in on us when possible to ensure we don’t stray from the one true path!!

  4. Adam Bell says:


    Sounds like you have a good challenge ahead of you. Keep up the fight, and good luck.



  5. Imagine a blog entry where I why I’m behind on blog entries and what I’d like to do about it.

  6. Apologies for the silence.  I’ve been transitioning to a new role at Microsoft.  Still in setup…