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Microsoft Platform Vision in the Post Bill Era: Meet Craig Mundie

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As you may recall, last month Bill Gates announced his plans to step down as Chief Software Architect of Microsoft to pursue full time work at the Gates Foundation. If you watched that Channel 9 interview with Bill and Steve, you probably remember hearing about one of his replacements, Craig Mundie.

Do you wonder what Craig's thinking in terms of technical and platform strategy for Microsoft? Did you know he ran a supercomputer company before joining Microsoft? Who is this guy, anyway?

Sit back, relax, and learn all about Craig and what he's responsible for in his new role as Microsoft's CRSO.

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  • When will formal composition come to software engineering?

    In the next ten years, twenty year, ever?

    What about the common complaint heard from developers about Microsoft frequent "churn" of software development technologies?

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    raymond,

    Craig answers your "when" question in the interview... It's a very hard problem. We "churn" out new development technologies once every, what, 3-5 years? Boy, that's major churn... Also, you can still write applications in C and C++ that work great on Windows. What's your point, raymond? Please elaborate.

    C
  • rjdohnertrjdohnert You will never know success until you know failure
    Is this the Craig Mundie that Eric Raymond claims to have interrupted one of his presentations to declare himself Microsofts worst nightmare?  Great video guys, heard a lot about Craig its nice to finally "meet" him.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    rjdohnert wrote:
    Is this the Craig Mundie that Eric Raymond claims to have interrupted one of his presentations to declare himself Microsofts worst nightmare?  Great video guys, heard a lot about Craig its nice to finally "meet" him.


    There's only one Craig Mundie at Microsoft... Never heard of Eric Raymond. Sounds like a bonehead...

    Thanks. Stay tuned for Ray Ozzie... Trying to get on his calendar...
    C
  • Charles wrote:
    There's only one Craig Mundie at Microsoft... Never heard of Eric Raymond. Sounds like a bonehead...

    The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source

    The Art of UNIX Programming

    The New Hacker's Dictionary
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Ah. Eric S. Raymond... Boy, we're scared... Smiley
    C
  • Charles wrote:
    Ah. Eric S. Raymond... Boy, we're scared...
    C


    Have you not got the memo? It's totally the year of Linux "d00d" Wink
  • Charles wrote:
    raymond,

    Craig answers your "when" question in the interview... It's a very hard problem. We "churn" out new development technologies once every, what, 3-5 years? Boy, that's major churn... Also, you can still write applications in C and C++ that work great on Windows. What's your point, raymond? Please elaborate.

    C


    Regarding the "churn" question:

    Visual Studio 2002, 2003, 2005.

    .Net Framework 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, ...3.0, 3.5 or 4.0 (next year).

    I am definitely not complaining, but many developers are, and I would have liked to have heard Craig's answer to this common question or complaint. I am well aware that this is a sensitive subject with no easy answer.

    I for one would like a predictable schedule such as every two years for a new release of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework instead of  a variable and constantly changing one.

    If anything, my complaint is the very long wait for Avalon or Windows Presentation Foundation and the Expression Suite in particular Sparkle or Expression Interactive Designer.

    I am still curious as to his thoughts or speculations as to time frame regarding the first question. I do not believe he gave an answer to that question. I for one think we are at least ten years away, some think it will never happen.

    Thanks for a great interview!Smiley
  • Very long wait!?

    I'm sure you only think its a long wait because of the MS adoption of CTPs and such. The old MS wouldn't have made anyone aware of Avalon or Indigo untill 6 months to release...

    I am very happy about this new approch as it takes companies just as long to get them approved.

  • CusCus
    rjdohnert wrote:
    Is this the Craig Mundie that Eric Raymond claims to have interrupted one of his presentations to declare himself Microsofts worst nightmare?  Great video guys, heard a lot about Craig its nice to finally "meet" him.


    Eric Raymond mentions during the film 'Revolution OS' that he encountered Craig in an elevator and said 'I'm your worst nightmare' - not quite the same as interrupting a presentation.

    Given Eric's Open Source evangelism I can understand why he might think that his views would conflict with Craig's at the time as Microsoft was hardly Open Source friendly and Craig coined the term 'viral' with reference to the GPL in his May 2001 anti-OSS speech.
  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw
    raymond wrote:
    

    Visual Studio 2002, 2003, 2005.

    .Net Framework 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, ...3.0, 3.5 or 4.0 (next year).

    I am definitely not complaining, but many developers are, and I would have liked to have heard Craig's answer to this common question or complaint. I am well aware that this is a sensitive subject with no easy answer.

    I for one would like a predictable schedule such as every two years for a new release of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework instead of  a variable and constantly changing one.

    If anything, my complaint is the very long wait for Avalon or Windows Presentation Foundation and the Expression Suite in particular Sparkle or Expression Interactive Designer.


    personally i whould not call VS  "development technology"..
    its not like every version of VS is a new programming language Tongue Out

    also the .net framework..
    1.0 was released 2002
    1.1 witch was not a huge release in my oppinion (that is, not a very big tech change) was released in 2003
    2.0 was released 2005..
    and 3.0 isnt even released yet. its still in beta.

    3.0 is also an additive release, it only adds to 2.0.

    if ms were to release new "development technologies" any moe seldom then this they would be (and are still beeig) flamed for not beeing agile..

    on a final note it seems a bit contradictory to first accuse microsoft of "churing" out new techs (as if that were somethng bad) and then complain about the "long wait" for wpf..
  • niswilsonnissenniswilsonni​ssen Creating Passionate Users

    It shows that Craig Mundie has been working with Bill Gates for a long time. Both are equally quite boring to listen as they speak about technology. Always very very broad and vague in their statements and very very sparse on original insights and ideas. Hopefully it's just because they keep these things within the realms of Microsoft.

    Constrast this guy with Anders Hejlsberg or Jim Gray. Those guys are amazing to listen to. They (and others) are the real thought leaders within Microsoft. I only hope more of the top brass would step down and let the true innovators stear the ship.

    Cheers,
    Nis


  • Speaking of formal composition, it looks like this idea has been used more
    and more over the past few years. One might see this by taking a look at how
    the various SDKs have been built upon each others. From a conceptual point
    of view this is simple, and easy to deal with, but unlike mechanical engineering,
    where this is perfectly ok to build a simply layered model of a bridge and then
    build the bridge, a piece of software might encounter performance issues with
    this type of approach. In the early 90's Windows NT was laying out a great and
    clean layered architecture, but the following versions had to break and merge
    some parts of the layers for performance reasons. An example of this is how the
    video drivers were re-architectured. So a simple and formal composition model
    will certainly be more and more in use, but it will certainly have to break
    from time to time to avoid weight overload.

    Speaking of both concurrency and formal composition, one could remember
    ACTOR's models, and how neat clean and simple they were. Everything is an
    actor and then you build upon this. But for real applications this model
    was a little hard to use without a few changes. Even LISP the language were
    affectation was not supposed to be used, eventually introduced the setq syntax.

    The DNA architecture introduced a very sexy way of looking at software systems.
    Let's get some inspiration from biological systems. When a stimulus comes in
    it is normally processed through the central nervous system. This central system
    built using formal composition encompasses layers and layers of data processing.
    This takes a while to be processed, and when the response is ready, the biological
    system has to hope the environment has not changed too much. Some dinosaurs, cold
    blooded could have a small beast feed on their tail, as it would take about a minute
    for the nervous influx to propagate to the central brain. So some of those dinosaurs
    developed an intermediate brain at the bottom of their back that would preprocess
    incoming data, and, for example, would order a 'shake tail' when a bite feeling was
    coming in.
    Our brain also has some similar mechanisms, when some unrecognized pattern comes in
    it is processed by higher level, and slow (and much layered) parts of the brain. If
    an answer is found, and this pattern shows up several times, a couple stimulus / reflex
    is stored in the reptilian brain.

    I am a big fan of the dotnet framework, and started using it a soon as it became
    commercially available. But at the beginning, a few thing looked strange, until
    I figured out the whole framework was another layer on top of a number of existing ones.

    The feeling I have today is after having been a regular C-style procedural type of culture,
    at MS, some kind of internal revolution occured driven by academical formal approaches.
    I would be the first to salute this switch, and understand why this is happening, but
    I'd remain cautious about how some steps could have been ignored, and would not forget
    MS is building real-world applications, not academical try outs.


     

  • Charles wrote:
    
    rjdohnert wrote: Is this the Craig Mundie that Eric Raymond claims to have interrupted one of his presentations to declare himself Microsofts worst nightmare?  Great video guys, heard a lot about Craig its nice to finally "meet" him.


    There's only one Craig Mundie at Microsoft... Never heard of Eric Raymond. Sounds like a bonehead...

    Thanks. Stay tuned for Ray Ozzie... Trying to get on his calendar...
    C


    Charles, you need to bone up on the Open Source movement.

    I suspect more people know who Eric Raymond or ESR is than Craig Mundie.

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Raymond

    Eric S. Raymond (One Magazine photo shoot)


    Know your competition.

    For the record, I am not Eric Raymond and I detest Open Source or the syphilis of software.

    Raymond[H]

    P.S. While listening to the Craig Mundie video,  I kept thinking his voice sounds like someone I have heard on the radio.  Finally I made the connection. His voice sounds very close to former Congressman and Speaker of the House and Minority Leader, Dick Gephardt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Gephardt





  • Um about this video.. I liked it. I think Mr Mundie hits on some very good points as far as concurrency goes and how its going to affect os architecture. I also think that the CCR is going to make it a breeze for .net developers moving forward to really leverage these newer architectures. 

    and as far as churning out new features and new builds that extend the .net framework goes. Im all for it.  I started programming in vbscript for web and soon moved to .net when 1.1 was released (Fun Change Smiley ) and have really been pumped about the amount of push behind it at Microsoft. When .net 2.0 beta came out along with 2005 Express editions (for free none the less) It was like six months of christmas Big Smile! Im still just beginning to grasp some of the amazing possibilities that .net opens up and will continue to find new and interesting ways to explore it everyday for a long time.

    Cheers
    DrewG 
  • Haven't watched the video yet as I'm just surfing a bit to try and get to sleep again, but...  with regards to development technology "churn" I don't see it as a huge issue for developers, although I started going through the latest Windows SDK tonight to try and get a head start on WPF etc. and it is like staring up at a mountain...

    The bigger issue in my mind is platform adoption.

    Assuaging corporate IT department fears that .NET 2.0 is not "dangerous", .NET 3.0 is not dangerous etc.  There is some technology coming down the road in .NET 3.0 that is going to solve a lot of specific technical problems for us that I would like to use but I am already getting some resistance within my organization as there is a perception that it will be harder to sell an app that requires the new platform to large organizations.

    That said, I haven't felt much effect of "churn", and I like to see continued innovation on Microsoft's part.  Some of the stuff coming out is so radically advanced it is truly mind boggling how quickly they've managed to produce it.  But I don't see it so much as churn as extensions of existing technology, it seems Microsoft have been taking care to ensure there are "bridges" so you can preserve your investment in the previous version of the platform.

  • Speaking about cathedrals:



    Isn't it cute? Big Smile

    My opinion is I "massively" love those beauties.
    It takes an average 3 centuries for this type of work,
    so the people who started this did not get a chance
    to see it done. For sure, no one could have claimed
    ownership of the job...


    I wonder how a gantt diagram would have looked
    for this project, had it been invented Smiley




  • A question for Chaz,

    is it possible to upload images for the posts?
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    pierreleclercq wrote:
    A question for Chaz,

    is it possible to upload images for the posts?


    Nope. You need to ad img tags and point to external image sources.
    C
  • Any photographs or graphics of the Window Vista Cathedral?

    What about stained glass windows?

    Be careful, Charles the Hammer does not allow posts on religious subjects. He will lock them. Cool

  • raymond wrote:
    

    Be careful, Charles the Hammer does not allow posts on religious subjects. He will lock them.



    Hmm... religious subjects.... You must be talking about this "churn" thing?
  • pierreleclercq wrote:
    
    raymond wrote: 

    Be careful, Charles the Hammer does not allow posts on religious subjects. He will lock them.



    Hmm... religious subjects.... You must be talking about this "churn" thing?



    Churn is not a religious issue with me.

    I keep hearing the word churn from  current and retired Microsoft developers.

    For example, see a great video interview with Jason Zander on the various versions of the .NET Framework. He uses the word churn.

    I work in an Microsoft based enterprise shop that has its own ERP application and churn is an issue.

    However, for my own moon-lighting work, I need both .NET 3.0 and 3.5 or 4.0, Expression, and Visual Studio 2007 ASAP.

    I liked your photos!Cool

     

  • raymond wrote:
    

    Any photographs or graphics of the Window Vista Cathedral?

    What about stained glass windows?

    Be careful, Charles the Hammer does not allow posts on religious subjects. He will lock them.





    Microsoft's Stained Glass Windows


  • Your post was funny Smiley The stained glass windows was a good one.

    Pierre





    raymond wrote:
    
    pierreleclercq wrote: 
    raymond wrote: 

    Be careful, Charles the Hammer does not allow posts on religious subjects. He will lock them.



    Hmm... religious subjects.... You must be talking about this "churn" thing?



    Churn is not a religious issue with me.

    I keep hearing the word churn from  current and retired Microsoft developers.

    For example, see a great video interview with Jason Zander on the various versions of the .NET Framework. He uses the word churn.

    I work in an Microsoft based enterprise shop that has its own ERP application and churn is an issue.

    However, for my own moon-lighting work, I need both .NET 3.0 and 3.5 or 4.0, Expression, and Visual Studio 2007 ASAP.

    I liked your photos!

     


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