Now, you are (still) the Chairman of Microsoft. You've got inside information on this issue. You can talk to the engineers, you can look at the source code, you can read reports from your managers. You've got people you pay (in aggregate) millions of dollars to estimate this kind of thing. You've spent $8 billion writing this crap.
I, on the other hand, am just some guy. I don't even read the news about Microsoft much, except when you guys get slapped with another antitrust lawsuit or fine, or when you try to buy your way out of hell by giving Windows software to another school or something.
Still, I'm willing to risk $10,000 of my money against $30,000 of yours that you do NOT ship Vista by January. (That's 1 to 3 odds, for bookie-types.) Since your stated "80%" means you think the odds are 4 to 1 against slipping, I'm giving you better odds than you asked for -- you should really be putting up $40,000 to make this fair, but I want to make it more attractive for you. I know you're famous for being
You ask why? Because you can't throw money at every problem to solve it, Bill. You can't just keep adding engineers and money to a giant, ugly mess and hope that, eventually, it'll become a polished, tight piece of art. No art was ever created by committee. Nothing great was ever designed by 4,000 engineers. Ever.
You said, "If the feedback from the beta tests shows it is not ready for prime time, I'd be glad to delay it." Glad? Really? Well, get used to happiness, I guess. Because you know that, if you're lucky, in January you're going to squirm and weasel and release a "limited version" that you "recommend" only for, uh, say, professional IT guys who only have one eye, and suicide kings. Then, when you get a bunch of press on how crappy that version of Vista is, you'll quietly cut more and more features from it until you end up with the "home" version, which will look mysteriously like XP with some new paint.
But what do I know? You're the billionaire, I'm just some dude with a blog and a fistful of design awards.
So put your money where your mouth is, big guy. I'm calling you out. I'm steppin' to you. You just got served. If you really believe what you said, this is a slam-dunk. This is money in the bank, baby. Unless, uh, you know full well there isn't a chance in hell you can ship that giant spaghetti monster to consumers "on time". (Where "on time" means "only six years late.")
On a personal and professional note, if you're not Bill Gates but you are
Because you know Bill Gates is going to want me to put the $10K in escrow up-front.
Labels: mac community