Here are some key take-aways from the Shawn Burke interview:
- Microsoft product features come from the bottom-up, and top-down. Product teams come up with feature ideas, and product execs define broad pillars for the next version. Features must align to pillars.
- Microsoft doesn’t open source some things like Windows because they’re concerned that code would get included that isn’t licensed properly to be included.
- Community Tech Previews are early builds of a products, released for download. These are designed to get community involvement and feedback early enough in the product cycle to affect the final product.
- Bugs submitted to Connect go into the same bug database as bugs submitted by internal testers and developers.
- Microsoft thinks hard about what to make extensible because there’s a cost to building extensibility points, and an even larger cost in supporting them. It’s necessary, but product teams are conservative about it.
- Security is the top priority. Each feature goes through threat modeling, security review at the code level, static code analysis for security, review by a separate security team, etc.
- Test matrices are massive, and include combinations of supported operating systems, other products, testing around clean install, upgrade, reinstall, etc.
- Performance optimization often happens around key scenarios (cold machine start to first form displayed, for example)