Is it Just me or are there other niners who are increasingly being given the impression that Redmond is full of groups just doing their own thing!
The more I watch interviews with dev teams and PM's, the faster I'm coming to the conclusion that there is really no-one in charge of the strategy and direction of each of the main groups.
This is not mean't as a criticism of the dev's and PM's but of the 'Senior' Management (if it actually exists)
There is quite a bit of overall co-ordination of the different groups (more than our videos might sometimes suggest), but I know what you mean... I've been shocked many times to find several groups working on very related technologies.
It is the nature of the size of the place though I think, and it can lead to some really great results... if two teams produce something similar (look at the various HTTP stacks produced over the years), generally the 'best' one lives and the rest die off...
it is evolution mirrored into software
Actually, having different groups working on related technologies isn't necessarily a bad thing.
You could look at it as a kind of genetic algorithm:try multiple approaches concurrently and see which comes up with the best result. If there is some degree of oversight, you can also recombine the best ideas from different designs and continue from there.
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