Today is the day that the Windows Phone team has been driving towards, and we’re very excited to say that we’ve reached the biggest milestone for our internal team – the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Phone 7! While the final integration of Windows Phone 7 with our partners’ hardware, software, and networks is underway, the work of our internal engineering team is largely complete.
Windows Phone 7 is the most thoroughly tested mobile platform Microsoft has ever released. We had nearly ten thousand devices running automated tests daily, over a half million hours of active self-hosting use, over three and a half million hours of stress test passes, and eight and a half million hours of fully automated test passes. We’ve had thousands of independent software vendors and early adopters testing our software and giving us great feedback. We are ready.
September 1, 2010
Windows Phone 7 – Released To Manufacturing
[If you climb high enough on my work food chain you will find Myerson.
I can’t vouch for the exact numbers but they sound about right. We have some amazing automation. And if you think the half-million hours of active self-hosting is implausible think again. I first used a Windows Phone 7 about a year ago and started carrying one as my primary phone early this year. When I went on vacation to Missouri last May I took three (the rest were loaned out to co-workers for testing) of them with me and used them for navigation (I’m on the “Location Team”), traffic, lots of email, web browsing, pictures, video, and of course phone calls. Everyone I know on the team has a minimum of two phones and some have five. That adds up to a lot of hours. I actually suspect the half million hours is an understatement.
I am more proud of this product than anything I have worked on since Direct X 1.0. In terms of my primary reason for wanting to work for Microsoft (to change the world) this is, by far, my largest contribution.
Technically it is great. It’s not perfect but it is much more than “good enough” to compete. Market acceptance is a question in our minds though.
Most of the people I associate with are engineers. We understand the technology but not people who are different from us. Will this phone be compelling for non-engineers? I’m sure I can configure one such that my wife (who always insists she just wants “a simple phone, nothing more”) can and would use it as a phone, camera, and for occasional navigation but I’m not so sure she would be interested in spending the money on one if I didn’t “twist her arm”. In many ways it is simpler to use than her current phone. Son James (also a software developer working at Microsoft) will get one. I’m not so sure about his girlfriend. I think my daughters and their spouses will give very serious consideration to one. But how does this translate into the market at large? I think it will be at least “good”. With a little bit of luck and a lot of awesome Microsoft marketing (I’ve seen some “concept ads” that look really good) it will do great.
We have some “ship parties” (not really my thing but it is nice to see others have a good time) in the next few days then we have to deliver on the next version. Yesterday I took care of four bugs on our next deliverable so don’t think we are sitting around to see how well this version does before deciding what to do next.—Joe]
It’s an interesting market to be moving a new phone OS into, but I sure like to see the competition.
I think it would be cool to see someone using a phone in WalMart and realize, “hey I did that!” I’ve had some very successful programs, but none that I could potentially just come across someone using.
I, for one, have no reason to be excited over this, because I’m an open source person myself. (I received a message from a headhunter who was seeking to recruit me for Microsoft…but I’m not sure how Microsoft would feel when I’d insist on using a Linux desktop…) From the sounds of things, though, you have a product you ought to be proud of.
As for me, if I were to get a smart phone of any sort, I’m unfortunately stuck with Android. Why, oh why, did they have to limit the platform to Java and friends?!?
But then, the only reason I care about the operating system is that I hope to be able to write programs for it…and I’ve concluded that such a platform would likely have to be Open Source.
There are several jokes here.
Well, I just wrote 800 words of eloquent comentary on computers and marketing with strong references to Disneyland, but when I hit “Save Comment” the whole bloddy thing vanished, which is exactly the sort of thing you would have read about if it hadn’t happened. I’m not going to rewrite it. As it is, I was able to save this much from a Word document (because this XP machine doesn’t spell check in browser comment boxes I have to paste into Word);
To stray from the subject only a teeny bit; I’ve seen for many years a huge hole in computer marketing in general. The competitive push seems to be nothing more than taking the other guy’s business, rather than getting the millions of non users to become users. We call it taking the other guy’s piece of pie instead of “growing the pie”. All the talk in ads about spam, spyware, worms and viruses seems frightfully ominous to the non user, for example. What I do not see is someone touting the benefits of all the wonderful things that can be done with the technology, aimed at the total non user. For mobile devices, it seems to be all ads about minutes, rollovers, texting (as if everyone already knows what that means) dropped calls and dead zones. Not exactly inspiring to the potential newcomer. Quite the opposite, it sounds complicated and scary. They’re going to want to hear how beneficial the technology is, how simple, easy and fast it is to get into it, without worries or commitments.
That was just the introduction.
Congratulations! Shipping something this big is a real achievement. I saw a recent version at the Product Fair and was impressed; the general interface feel and capabilities I generally prefer to my iPhone 3G. I guess the trick, though, is that it has to compete against iPhone 4 and Android 2.2 on the latest Droid…
As always in recent years, MSFT is playing catch-up. We’ll see how it goes…
Looking forward to playing with one in person!