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Showstopper! the Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft Paperback – June 1, 2009
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Overall it is an enjoyable read and reminds me a lot of "Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder. It is interesting to see the personalities at work on the NT project and the various clashes between the various teams. Much like what happened at Data General with the development of what become the MV/8000.
As a former MS employee, many situations feel familiar to me, however, many things are different now. Teams are bigger, stock options are gone and the culture has changed dramatically towards Dilbert-style, however, there are still teams with great leaders who can rally people to deliver great products.
Finally, use of real people's stories and especially their conflicts to describe the process of building complex software is very valuable to anyone who follows MS since many of the young eager people who worked on NT went on to become big shots at MS - from Bob Muglia to Dave Treadwell. Also, this book finally explained to me why Dave Cutler's red jaguar was parked at the spot closest to the entrance of the building.
For the newer computer enthusiasts the book should be very interesting and fun.
Most of all there is a clear illustration of just how brilliant Gates and his people were then, a trend they clearly have maintained inspite of some very determined efforts against them.
I was disturbed by the updated authors comments at the end. He seems to have jumped ship and taken sides against MS at the end. Even though MS lost its way for a bit, it is WAY back in the game. A basic reality lost on the authors comments at the end. Pity, and sad, and shows what is really going on in the tech press today, and how the press in general can and will go out of it's way to shape the opinions of people that don't necessarily have good information to go on.
While the story is very interesting, the reading experience is marred by what appears to be the lack of even basic editing; as though the author submitted a rough draft to the publisher who printed off copies without even a cursory copy-editing review. Missing quotation marks, missing or extraneous line breaks, printed carriage-return characters, poor print quality, and duplication of material in various chapters make reading the book like hitting a speedbump at 50 miles an hour.
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I'm no computer geek but Zachary told the whole story in an accessible and easy to read way