What We Can Learn From The Failure Of Windows Vista

When we look back at the history of Microsoft, as with many other large businesses, there are moments you can see where the company clearly got things wrong. Apple’s collapse, before the return of Steve Jobs was precipitated by the battle fought between the rival Lisa and Mac camps. And in Redmond, Windows Vista was a turning point.

Hackernoon, worked at Microsoft during the development and release of Vista on the Office team. His observations of what was happening inside and outside Microsoft and how those things affected the development of Windows Vista are fascinating.

For example, there’s Microsoft’s misstep in assuming processor architectures were going to continue along the single-core trajectory even though it was clear the amount of heat single-core systems would produce was not feasible. And there’s the constantly shifting timelines that meant hardware makers didn’t have drivers ready when Vista shipped because of an new driver model.

There were also significant failures in how the Vista and other projects were managed at the time.

The full article is well worth a read. I’d suggest anyone involved in project management gives it serious consideration.

It’s clear to me that a thorough application of some techniques such as a SWOT analysis might have been helpful. But, as the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head” and I suspect many of the issues come from the company’s leadership at the time.

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