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When Software Leaks (and What Really Goes Down)

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the buzz-and-critique dept.

Microsoft 179

Bryant writes "The Windows community is somewhat notorious for leaks from upcoming versions of Windows (obligatory link to this guy since that's most of what he does), and while the official PR word from Microsoft and many other companies with regards to leaks is a simple 'no comment,' no one has really gotten a candid, inside look at the various things that go down when word, screenshots, or builds of upcoming software leak. I managed to get some time with a senior Microsoft employee for the sake of discussing leaks, and the conclusions reached (leaks heavily affect communication, not so much the product schedule) as well as what these guys actually have to deal with whenever someone leaks a build, breaks an embargo, etc. may actually be a surprise given what most companies try to instill in the public mind."

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I always had the impression (4, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866539)

the Microsoft leaks were a calculated way to build public interest in new products. But what do I know.

Re:I always had the impression (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866571)

I think they still are, this guy was talking about unplanned leaks, which would mean that there are also planned leaks.

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867273)

Maybe, but I would imagine that those are complete and of a decent stability/quality, not the in-between builds that seem to leak out intermittently.

Re:I always had the impression (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868301)

Yes, planned leaks.

Also known as beta versions.

Re:I always had the impression (5, Informative)

Foredecker (161844) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866759)

I'm a relatively senior development manager in Windows and no, they are not calculated or deliberate. There is no super secrete leak committee. Leaks are a big hassle.

Toby Zeigler on leaks (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866865)

Re:Toby Zeigler on leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867051)

Uh, business plans for hardware (and services, I suppose) are not software bits, and you have no clue about either industry if you're confusing the two.

Re:Toby Zeigler on leaks (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867147)

There is a larger point here about leaks. First of all the HP reaction to the leak was all out of proportion to what happened. Their reaction was about control, not about protecting the company. Secondly, leaks are about showing off and are corrosive to building trust. When you leak you are working for the reporter and their publication, not your company or your company's customers. That is what my blog post was about.

Re:Toby Zeigler on leaks (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868481)

No, leaks are spin control, pimping products, and controling the 'conversation'.

They're like the proverbial flags run up the pole to see who salutes. If they were serious, like Apple, they'd jump right down the throat of the leak and drop a grenade.

Leaks done by a few are designed to make them look good somehow, as though they're kewl or trying to assert some 'creds'. Mostly it's random BS.

Otherwise, it's a marketing department decision, and they know exactly what they're doing. It's calulcated and it works. Disinformation can also be useful to see who and what gets more traction. It's a game. Some play it for keeps, some play it like it's a game.

Re:I always had the impression (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866873)

secrete leak

Heh.

Re:I always had the impression (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866977)

Never show a child or a fool a thing half-finished.

Re:I always had the impression (5, Funny)

larkost (79011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867075)

Never show a child or a fool a thing half-finished.

Then how exactly are we supposed to show management that we are actually getting something done?

Re:I always had the impression (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867153)

That's what PowerPoint is for. You have to speak to them in their own language (i.e. pictures and text so simple as to be inaccurate) ;)

Re:I always had the impression (2, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866999)

That's above your paygrade.

Re:I always had the impression (5, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867071)

There is no super secrete leak committee.

See, this statement is logically flawed.

If you knew about it, and told us it existed, then it would not in fact be "secrete" and thus not exist. Your absense of knowledge of this "super secrete" committee is similarly in no way prove of it's nonexistance. Furthermore, if the the committee does in fact exist and you are aware of it, then you denying its existance would be expected.

Re:I always had the impression (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867107)

You must really like people talking trash about the work you do, to hang around here.

Re:I always had the impression (1, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868001)

You must really like people talking trash about the work you do, to hang around here.

Imagine the sheer joy of writing /. post that exalts the virtues of Win7, lambasts Apple, pokes fun at Google, and has a well-hidden pun on Linux, and getting it modded to "+5, Insightful" - because it really is that well-written.

It's as rare as you think it is, but it does happen.

~

Re:I always had the impression (0, Troll)

swieler (1297791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868729)

winedows does gaymes

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867239)

But it's like a big distraction, and you can't do your day job! Right?

Re:I always had the impression (5, Funny)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867427)

That's exactly what I'd expect the Secret Leak Committee to say.

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29868775)

*Nobody* expects the Secret Leak Community. Our chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear!

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867923)

I'm a relatively senior development manager in Windows

There is no super secrete leak committee.

I take it a good grasp of basic written English wasn't a job requirement?

Re:I always had the impression (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867117)

Leaks have a lot of different causes. They can be someone trying to get their 15 minutes of fame for the leak, or a disgruntled employee trying to make things look bad. They can be communication from the devs to management that things are not in a good state and the leak forces the issue. They can, as you describe, be intentionally done by marketting types (though it's unlikely MS would need or want to do this, since anyone really interested in MS products can get in on various builds that actually work). They can be from hackers trying to find a new malware vector, or just some hacker showing off where they got into. They can also, like closed beta's or the like (or any 'secret' information that say, everyone in the Army knows) be something sufficiently widely distributed it isn't public - but you know it's not perfectly final either.

Re:I always had the impression (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867997)

They can also be bogus, as in where a reporter just makes stuff up, but not in the case of the article cited above.

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867527)

Betas, technical previews, and release candidates are the mechanism to building public interest in new products. Betas/TPs/RCs are planned, announced, and ensured to meet a minimum quality bar. Leaked builds are none of those.

Re:I always had the impression (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867771)

Or to bullshit the press and the competition when your product doesn't cut the mustard, see The yellow road to Cairo [roughlydrafted.com] as an example. No matter what you think of MSFT you really have to give them credit, because their early 90s products compared to the competition (NextSTEP, OS2, even System 7) were really pretty shitty, but by throwing enough BS and a few well placed leaks with the press they made everyone think they had a super OS waiting in the wings just getting the finishing touches put on it.

To be able to kick the competitor's asses without actually having a product is pretty damned impressive in my book, and proves that in the right hands with careful planning leaks can be a powerful tool. What was it old Jack Trammell said? Business is war? Well it is pretty impressive to me to kick your competition off the battlefield by just the illusion of having the bigger gun.

Re:I always had the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867893)

It's free advertising. After a leak, the marketing department deals with it by spending their now surplus advertising budget on champagne, blow and hookers.

Calling jcr. How was this handled at Apple? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866563)

John C. Randolph, how were leaks handled at Apple?

Does their method of handling leaks reflect the vastly different culture at Apple versus, say, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM?

Re:Calling jcr. How was this handled at Apple? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866645)

In the '60s, no such agency believed homosexuality caused leaks. Since it had the brightest minds and an almost imaginary budget to effect their will, we can assume everyone in Apple leaks, so no-one can cast the first stone.

Moderators, if you're unaware of the references within the post, research first.

They are effective even if they aren't quality (1)

psnINsplPL (1664145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866569)

Microsoft is very effective at marketing in a fashion that gets many people interested in their products.

It also gets people that would normally dislike their products curious about what's going on and trying them.

I've watched it happen for so many years now that I know it to be a fact!

Re:They are effective even if they aren't quality (-1, Flamebait)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866653)

Microsoft is very effective at marketing in a fashion that gets many people interested in their products.

It also gets people that would normally dislike their products curious about what's going on and trying them.

I've watched it happen for so many years now that I know it to be a fact!

I see that, yes.

I've observed a lot of M$ brainwashing in business. It's unfortunate that businesses just jump right into MS products because of the pretty colors, pictures, advertised capabilities, and "history repeating itself" repetitiously. In a repetitive fashion. :)

Since the management thinks that it is a guaranteed success, they often (not always, but often) disregard the knowledge and ability of the software engineers and hardware/software integration experts. It's all about the $$, yo!

I suppose it costs too much money to possibly fail, even though MS software CAN, and does often fail. But it's not viewed as a failure; it's the thing that helps them come out with the first service pack, the patches, the second service pack, more patches, ad nauseum! So you, the company, are a famous helper to the software giant by finding all of these problems and reporting them!

I digress. Smartass comment was in agreement, not disagreement ;)

Re:They are effective even if they aren't quality (-1, Offtopic)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866885)

Aww, I ticked off a M$-brainwashed fan. What a bummer. *tears tears more tears*

LOL

Re:They are effective even if they aren't quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867367)

Use "M$" more - it makes you appear even more intelligent!

M$? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867647)

Fail. There were several instances of 'MS' in there instead of the mandatory 'M$'. You also failed to mention LookOUT!, did not mention BSOD and left out the words shill and astroturfer. All these have reduced the effectiveness of your point that you had achieved so well with the original use of M$.

Mod parent up - using M$ == insightful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867905)

Parent uses M$ in post - obvious +5 Insightful post!

Re:They are effective even if they aren't quality (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867047)

It has nothing to do with marketing "in a fashion", that is the definition of marketing period.

Apple could be viewed the same way.

Re:They are effective even if they aren't quality (0, Offtopic)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867633)

Microsoft is very effective at marketing in a fashion that gets many people interested in their products.

Windows 7 Party [youtube.com]

Bill and Jerry in the shoe store [youtube.com]

Now, you'll excuse me while I brush the floor off of my shoulder - evidently stuck there from the fact that I'm ROTFLMAO.

But then again, I wonder - how has Microsoft's most successful marketing worked? Ah - here it is:

Microsoft forces DELL to deliver Windows [telenet.be]

'Surprise' (3, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866585)

Was the surprise the lack of surprises?

I would summarise that interview as "When builds leak they might be incomplete or old, and people may get a wrong impression of what the product will be like. This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass"

No real surprises there.

Re:'Surprise' (5, Funny)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866739)

This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass

I suggest you don't sit on it when it's set on "Power-vibrate".

Re:'Surprise' (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866747)

This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass

Well, he shouldn't sit on his phone.It wouldn't be a pain in the ass then, would it?

Geeze!

Unless, he's kinky and well I won't go there.

Re:'Surprise' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867341)

"This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass"

Just store it somewhere else.

Re:'Surprise' (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867587)

``I would summarise that interview as "When builds leak they might be incomplete or old, and people may get a wrong impression of what the product will be like. This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass"''

Also, if the issue is that leaked builds give people wrong impressions about your product, why don't you release builds that give the right impression? I can see the argument for wanting to keep things under wraps, but if reality is that builds get out there, you might as well ensure that they are the builds you sanction. You know, "release early, release often", and people won't get the wrong impression about what is really going on.

I'm not surprised (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867611)

I would summarise that interview as "When builds leak they might be incomplete or old, and people may get a wrong impression of what the product will be like. This causes my phone to ring which is a pain in the ass"

No real surprises there.

Well I'm not surprised at all. He must actually like leaks, otherwise he wouldn't keep his phone shoved up his ass.

Re:'Surprise' (1)

tehniobium (1042240) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867677)

Yeh, I was hoping for the MIA (MS Internal Affairs) who are a CSI type outfit to come in and kick the hell out of everybody ;)

Or at least something more surprising and "insiderish" than this BS.

Then again I should know not to RTFA ;)

I was so confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866587)

I though they were talking about memory leaks at first. I was a bit confused, and the title does not make it any more clear

Re:I was so confused... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866641)

What kind of fucking retarded dickwipe are you, then? Your parents must hang their heads in shame that you ever sprung from their ill-fated loins. Fuckwit.

Re:I was so confused... (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866673)

What kind of fucking retarded dickwipe are you, then? Your parents must hang their heads in shame that you ever sprung from their ill-fated loins. Fuckwit.

You tell him!

I gotta tell you this though. It was the shittiest article on leaks in boat hulls I've ever read! I mean, WTF does Microsoft have to do with it?!

Re:I was so confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866695)

What kind of fucking retarded dickwipe are you, then? Your parents must hang their heads in shame that you ever sprung from their ill-fated loins. Fuckwit.

Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111

Re:I was so confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866991)

I love the internet.

Poster 1: Says something.
Poster 2: Ludicrously over-the-top reaction from someone who probably never looks anyone in the eye or speak above a whisper.

Leading to...

INTERNET FIGHT!!!11one!!

You know (5, Informative)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866595)

It's suprising how many times one person can, you know, say "you know" in one interview. For the record, it was 22 times, don't you know...

Re:You know (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866627)

It's suprising how many times one person can, you know, say "you know" in one interview. For the record, it was 22 times, don't you know...

Well, you know, it can, erm, you know, act as a very effective, er, space-filler, you know, when you're, erm, trying to think of what to say next, if you know what I mean.

Re:You know (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866987)

Another thing was the constant "Right." answer from the interviewee.

Re:You know (2, Funny)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866663)

It's suprising how many times one person can, you know, say "you know" in one interview.

For the record, it was 22 times, don't you know...

Don't you know is from Minnesota, don't you know? :>

Re:You know (0, Redundant)

psnINsplPL (1664145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866769)

Bobby's World. The mother. Haha good reference.

Re:You know (2, Insightful)

sixteenbitsamurai (1070810) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867191)

Minnesotans will vehemently disagree and tell you Canadians speak like that, then Canadians will turn around and cuss you out in French. Really though, nobody talks like that except old folks of Scandinavian descent and no one else in Minnesota does unless you are an asshole tourist looking to get your ass kicked. As a matter of fact, the actual "accent" or "dialect" we possess, or rather the lack of an accent or dialect, is often emulated by television and movie actors because the quality of our spoken English is the most clear and easily understood in the United States.

If you really want to make fun of Minnesotan speech, try slurring like a drunk. The town I grew up in, population not exceeding 2,000, has about a dozen bars. The town I live in now has about twenty, with over a dozen of those on main street, as well as three liquor stores on main as well, with a population of about 8,500 people. Drinking and driving isn't an issue around here, it's a competitive sport. So basically if you talk like you've had about a case of beer in one sitting, you'll sound like a Minnesotan, or rather, an Iron Ranger. Beyond that, we really don't have any obvious speech deficiencies, permanent effects of prolonged alcohol abuse notwithstanding.

Either way, I'm not so much proud of where I live (I'm really not) as much as I can't stand the ridiculous idea that everyone in Minnesota "speak like dat stupid woman from dat Fargo movie, oh ya doncha know. Uff da!"

Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29868039)

You are too far north to claim the One True English dialect. Clearly it exists in Nebraska and Kansas, not Minnesota.

Re:You know (4, Insightful)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868325)

As a matter of fact, the actual "accent" or "dialect" we possess, or rather the lack of an accent or dialect

Yes, after all those thousands of years English has been evolving and mutating, it finally finds perfect expression without accent or dialect in, of all places, Minnesota, USA. Coincidentally, where you were born and raised. What are the chances? How lucky you are!

p.s. when your bridge gets fixed, consider a road trip.

Re:You know (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868485)

You betcha!

Re:You know (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866729)

Try listening to people in casual unprepared (speech, not text) conversation. You'll be surprised how many nonsense syllables people use because their thought can't keep up with their speaking.

Re:You know (3, Funny)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866757)

Try listening to people in casual unprepared (speech, not text) conversation. You'll be surprised how many nonsense syllables people use because their thought can't keep up with their speaking.

You know, sometimes things just make sense. You know? I mean, there are some things that I don't, you know, think a lot about, until, you know, I see a good comment on, you know, the issue I, well, you know, missed.

Good one, selven! :)

I have the opposite issue. Mind races, mouth tries to keep up. Words get dropped from the middle of sentences. ;)

Re:You know (1)

psnINsplPL (1664145) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866811)

I have the opposite issue. Mind races, mouth tries to keep up. Words get dropped from the middle of sentences. ;)

I hear ya on that one! I've been made fun of constantly because of the dropped words. Jumping from thought to thought requires too much vocal time for that kind of communication.

Re:You know (3, Informative)

dj_tla (1048764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867129)

It's common practice for a journalist to strip those nonsense syllables from an audio interview transcribed to text. Just sayin'.

Re:You know (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868331)

Also the "right" every other paragraph where the blogger felt he had to insert something he said so he could remind the reader that it was actually an interview and not a guest blogger.

Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867077)

It seemed like the "you knows" were silence fillers to keep the interviewee from interrupting the brilliant interviewer.

Here's a hint: the guy you are interviewing should probably talk more than you do.

Re:You know (2, Interesting)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867097)

As someone who often speaks publicly, I have trained myself to replace "ummm" with "you know." It works very well in verbal communication because it buys the speaker time and doesn't make either party uncomfortable or appear dumb. I guess it doesn't translate well to print, I'll have to remember that should I be interviewed.

Re:You know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29868753)

"you know" is just as bad as "ummm" if it's repeated too often

Re:You know (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867331)

Like, totally....

Oh, THOSE leaks (4, Funny)

domulys (1431537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866651)

It took me a few minutes to realize that we were't talking about memory leaks.

I've been spending too much time with Valgrind lately...

Re:Oh, THOSE leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866731)

Wait, we're not?

Re:Oh, THOSE leaks (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867131)

It took me a few minutes to realize that we were't talking about memory leaks.

You're not alone. I blame the editor. Software can *be* leaked (dispersed before official release), but software doesn't leak by itself except as memory leaks (and maybe software that controls hydroelectric dams or sprinkler systems). The title should be "When Software is Leaked", but it's not as "actiony" sounding.

Re:Oh, THOSE leaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29868161)

I thought they were talking about the Pampers kind of leaks.

I don't believe the article. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866661)

I think the "anonymous softie", the over use of colloquial communication's - "you know", shows that this interview was entirely made up.

Re:I don't believe the article. (3, Interesting)

Foredecker (161844) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866773)

I'm a relatively senior development manager in Windows. Your right, this sounds made up. If the anonymous person is a real MSFT employee, then it doesn't sound like someone from the core product group (COSD or WEX).

Re:I don't believe the article. (2, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867083)

I'm a relatively senior development manager in Windows.

Not any more!

Re:I don't believe the article. (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867113)

I think that the misuse of "your" shows that this post was entirely made up. If this slashdotter is a real MSFT employee, then it doesn't sound like someone from client performance team of the core product group.

Sorry, I just fail to see how overuse of the phrase "you know" signifies much of anything. You know?

Re:I don't believe the article. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867267)

I think that the misuse of "your" shows that this post was entirely made up. If this slashdotter is a real MSFT employee, then it doesn't sound like someone from client performance team of the core product group.

Uh, check his posting history. I think he's the real deal.

Re:I don't believe the article. (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867295)

I don't doubt it, I was simply pointing out the absurdity in his reasoning.

Leak concern? (3, Insightful)

cpattersonv1 (1664205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866709)

It's odd that they would be concerned with the perception of quality in leaked software... Microsoft customers have come to expect the final release to be buggy anyhow. The only people who are going to install the leaked software probably wouldn't buy the final build anyhow.

Re:Leak concern? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867023)

You're assuming that the guy the interviewer talked with actually wants to ship buggy software. He doesn't.

Management does. Because they're interested in the shareholders, not the customers.

Re:Leak concern? (1)

cpattersonv1 (1664205) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867595)

Not really.

I'm assuming the person the interviewer spoke with isn't a developer at all. Developers know their work is in progress and don't care if people get copies of the code before it's released... unless it's a private developer... then it's their personal code. All the developer wants is the paycheck.

The interviewed is more than likely a PR person. The developer's phone wouldn't ring off the hook because the company would secretly investigate his terminal for proof of leak.

Since it's a PR person I'm assuming, then the "they" in my statement refers to the company. Not the interviewed.

Management is worried about the leak. They're worried about the bugs that pose a risk to the project and someone releasing an RC version. They will also try to minimize risk of failure for a release candidate so the software will not fail when it's sold.

The shareholders aren't worried about anything because they know they're still going to have a monopoly on software anyhow.

Re:Leak concern? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868053)

I'm assuming the person the interviewer spoke with isn't a developer at all. Developers know their work is in progress and don't care if people get copies of the code before it's released.

What makes you think the developers don't care at all about perception of their work?

A leaked build can be one of the daily builds. As such, it can have some pretty major bugs in it, if the last few commits didn't play well together, or one was just fscked up - in fact, such a build might as well just crash on startup. When it gets leaked with that stuff, you can be sure that someone, somewhere, writes a witty blog post along the lines of, "Microsoft is nearing RC, and yet the product is full of major bugs; apparently, the release is totally rushed by management. Remember Vista?". Next day, it ends up on Slashdot front page as a story titled "New Microsoft software released with major flaws".

And then you get IM'd by a friend who sends you a link to that, and have to explain what actually happened.

So, yeah, I do care.

Re:Leak concern? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868713)

New software released without major flaws.

--

Whom the Mods wish to destroy, they first drive mad.

weird tag line (3, Funny)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866711)

The header says "Aeroexperience Blog: The forums are over there."

That's not very catchy, it seems like some sort of advisory note, as if Windows enthusiasts were so clueless that-

<smug>Ah, I get it now.</smug>

Windows 7’s biggest threat: journalists (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866789)

As Microsoft's launch of Windows 7 continues to attract small amounts of attention, it today issued a plea through its network of objective opinion-shapers: Don’t let the journalists near it. [today.com]

“We understand that many journalists use Macs,” said CNet marketing marketer Don Reisinger. “This means they necessarily suckle at the Satanic rear passage of Steve Jobs. We cannot countenance their bias and 'reality' leaks. Journalists are responsible for all those signs outside computer shops offering to replace Vista with XP. When was the last time you saw the entire technology field stop and wait for an announcement from any other company besides Apple? It’s so unfair!”

Smears and slanders also come from obsessive overweight nerdy Mac-using Linux geek troublemakers who run “benchmarks” and “tests.” “It’s horrifying leaks and bias from the ‘reality’-based community,” said ZDNet marketing marketer Mary Jo Enderle. “We understand that, just because Vista was 40% slower than XP and Windows 7 is the same speed as Vista, the nattering nabobs of negativism are already writing press releases condemning it as ‘not enough of an improvement’ - based entirely on unauthorised leaks of the official beta and RC. It’s so unfair!”

“Mactards are like concentration camp guards,” said Guardian marketing marketer Jack Schofield, “brutalising ‘I’m A PC’ users and” [This comment has been removed by a Guardian moderator. Replies may also be deleted.]

“The only reason Vista failed was because Microsoft planned for it to fail,” said Reisinger in an earlier ad-banner troll post. “It was a fantastically subtle double-bluff! They did the honorable thing in the face of the vile calumnies spread by Apple. It’s so unfair!”

Microsoft debuted Windows 7 on a new 17 Asus Eee Ultra-Portable Mini-Netbook with 8GB memory and a 2GHz quad-core processor. Battery life is up to twenty minutes in preliminary tests.

Real security slows things down too much. (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29866859)

Real security slows things down too much, so companies get by with "good enough" and then get litigious if things go wrong.

Leeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29866907)

Side note (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867143)

Speaking as a web developer (and admittedly a Mac user, FWIW) - shouldn't a website named "AeroXperience" work a bit harder at having a halfway decent web site design? While I personally think the graphics are ugly, what really stands out is how the page doesn't scale - and it's not like there's some overarching design that requires the amount of page width the styles seem to be enforcing.

Aero is all about the visuals, right?

Re:Side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867563)

The site won't last long. We're replacing it with www.winjade.net prior to Microsoft's PDC (Nov. 16)

-Bryant

Old news - leaking Windows since 1983 (5, Insightful)

linebackn (131821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867145)

It's not like Microsoft's "leaks" are anything new. I have even found references on old archived newsgroups to people discussing pre-release Windows 1.0 as early as late 1983 (although perhaps not "leaked" if they were meant to have it). Late 1983 was when Microsoft was promoting this vapor-ware product in magazines such as Byte in order to upstage the now forgotten VisiCorp Visi On and this little product about to be announced from Apple called the Macintosh. Of course it was not officially release until 1985. There is even a late 1984 pre-release still floating around.

Microsoft wants people to get their hands on their software. They make it available to developers, testers, and reviewers. And if they wave their hand to others and say "ah-ah-ah you aren't allowed to have that" then people start drooling over this tempting forbidden software rather than seeing it as just another pile of bits. It is an inexpensive way to produce publicity.

Re:Old news - leaking Windows since 1983 (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868791)

I completely agree. Before the widespread use of Internet, in a time when torrents were still a dream, I was using daily an early build of Windows 98 dubbed Win'96 by the press. It was massively copied the old fashioned way and spread. Tough beast to use, but pretty stable compared to a legit Win95 if you absolutely barred yourself to put a picture in the background of the explorer.

It's perfectly fine to edit an interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867317)

When you write up an oral interview, it is perfectly
fine to edit for clarity, patch together half sentences,
and generally make it so neither you nor your interviewee
look like marble-mouthed morons.

Yes, it's important to not change or add meaning. But
simply transcribing a conversation is lazy, crappy
journalism. And in this case, you've failed.

There's an exception. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867635)

In some cases, it's perfectly fine to keep some verbal mannerisms intact in an interview. It's usually done to preserve a human component which would otherwise be lost.

My interviews are often done on video and via audio. Our audience is typically used to seeing that human component. Therefore, I preserved it (for the most part). I did clean it up to an extent, but I only removed bits which would have otherwise compromised the meaning of a particular statement.

-Bryant

Re:There's an exception. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29867671)

We are not your audience. Nor do we have access
to the video you are transcribing. And even if we did,
we are used to reading competently-edited transcriptions
(except on /. of course).

As the "you know" side-discussion above demonstrates,
you need to work a little harder if you expect to
make it very far.

Re:There's an exception. (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868399)

I for one think it is idiotic to edit what the interviewee said. Even with grammar corrections, who is to say you won't accidentally change the subtle meaning of what they said?

I say you did it the right way, and should not listen to grammar Nazi trolls. Grammar and spelling only really matter when it would cause someone to misunderstand something.

So what do we take away vis a vis open source? (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867603)

Compare to Linux, for example, where "leaking an unfinished build" is a total non-issue. Even expected, in fact. So whether the leaks are intentional or not, if they are a problem, then it sounds like they're a problem of Microsoft's own making.

gcc 2.96 - Re:So what do we take away vis a vis... (2, Insightful)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868329)

Sometimes it is a problem for Open Source. gcc "2.96" [gnu.org] for example. A distro took an experimental version of gcc, called it "2.96" (the previous version was 2.95.x) and released it in their distribution. This version of gcc had a number of serious problems and incompatibilities with other versions of gcc.

This caused quite a few headaches. If you ever see a version of gcc marked 2.96, DO NOT use it. It is screwed up.

This is partly why I don't like to use distros who modify projects. Yeah, they may improve the crap script kiddie ones, or the ones written by universities where they are based on sound concepts, but were programmed by non-programmers--scientists and the like.

But, many of the very popular core projects are written by programming experts who are the best in their field. For example OpenSSL and Debian: did the maintainer really think he was more of a cryptography programming expert than the OpenBSD guys? No frakking way!

Re:So what do we take away vis a vis open source? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868405)

Yeah Open Source doesn't have any sort of image problem with being "Half baked" or "constantly in beta". I'm sure Microsoft wishes it had Linux's desktop market share.

My software doesn't leak (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29867833)

I use Java, so my software doesn't have memory leaks.

Re:My software doesn't leak (1, Flamebait)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29868113)

"I use Java, so my software doesn't have memory leaks"

But its slow as a donkey :)

Re:My software doesn't leak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29868357)

Java is just trading one pitfall for another. Instead of remembering to delete unused objects, you have to make sure they're not reachable from the roots.

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