Iain McDonald - What is the war room?

Download this episode

Download Video


Iain is one of the most colorful characters at Microsoft. He ran the "war room" for Windows XP. Basically, any changes to the operating system had to go through him and his team -- and it all happened in this small room over in building 26.

Paul Thurrott wrote about the Windows war room in this article on the process of building Windows Server 2003.

Over the next week you'll get to learn a little bit more about Iain and his approach to building a product of the size of Windows (XP is now used around the world by hundreds of millions of people). We filmed the interview in the war room.

The role that Iain played in the development of XP can't be overstated. He was the guy you'd need to convince to get changes included (a new feature addition, or a bug fix, would need to be "sold" to Iain and his team).

Iain, by the way, is one of the people who came up with the code-name "Longhorn" for the next version of Windows. He admitted that it was named for the bar that's between the Whistler and Blackcomb ski resorts in British Columbia, Whistler.



Available formats for this video:

Actual format may change based on video formats available and browser capability.

    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      right..i remember that meme about the origin of longhorn. wasn't whistler supposed to be the code name of XP and blackcomb the name of the next full win os. so longhorn was chosen as transition since its between the two?

    • User profile image
      not only is in a colorful character, he is an aussie. how good is that!

      aussie aussie aussie
      oi oi oi
      aussie oi
      aussie oi
      aussie aussie aussie
      oi oi oi
    • User profile image
      The Channel 9 Team wrote:

      The role that Iain played in the development of XP can't be understated.

      I suspect you probably meant to say that his role can't be overstated.  Otherwise you're belittling his contribution, no?  Smiley
    • User profile image
      Oh, damn, what was my brain on yesterday? Thanks!
    • User profile image

      (first post on ch9)

      1) Whistler was what became xp & ws03.  Blackcomb was the next - it became huge, the idea was we do a little release in the middle, longhorn.  not so little...
      2) frank is the king.  the picture is a surprisingly good likeness.
      3) i never get no respect, so i am used to the intentional slight from scooby. <inserts lame smiley emoticon here>


    Comments closed

    Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to send us feedback you can Contact Us.