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Inside The Development of Windows NT

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the making-the-monster dept.

Microsoft 707

mrpuffypants writes "Winsupersite has a 3 part series this month about the history and development of Windows NT all the way up through Windows Server 2003. The author goes fairly in-depth describing how Windows is developed, managed, and how all 50 million+ lines are compiled daily. Part One covers the history of NT from its early days at Microsoft and Part Two discusses how the deployment of the forthcoming server version of Windows is coordinated daily." *shiver*

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You know what toddlers love more than NT? (-1)

I VOMIT ON TODDLERS! (642865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335161)

Vomit! Yummytime! They love being vomited on!

Re:You know what toddlers love more than NT? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335194)

dude, I was thinking I was having some trouble being heard here on Slashdot (some idiots like to post under my name.. giving me a bad reputation), and I was wondering if you wanted to sell your Slashdot account to me.

Help me! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335165)

I'm trapped inside of Windows NT!!! Please, can someone crash it, or hack it so I find my way out? Where's a security hole when you need it?!

hmmm... (5, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335181)

The stuffed mascot [winsupersite.com] in the background looks an awful lot like someone else we know ;)

Re:hmmm... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335207)

Sorry, but I think that's Waddle, the Beanie Buddy (a larger version of Waddle, the Beanie Baby). Penguins are cool to a lot of folks - and not all stuffed penguins are Tux.

Re:hmmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335254)

don't you find it sad that you know that?

Plus, I think it was pointed out b/c it was the "war-room" and there was a penguin in it.

this is no fun (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335187)

How about the history we all wand to read chronicaling the "blue Screen Of Death" through the ages

NT compile script (5, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335195)

First line:

#!/bin/bash

the book 'Show-Stopper!' Ready to Buy? Sign in to (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335197)

This book, from around '95 I think, was a great read. I don't know how much overlapit has with the articles mentioned above, but I enjoyed it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/00 29 356717/103-3105313-8496655?vi=glance

Also available at your local library!

And this is useful.... how? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335202)

I read the articles. Quite boring and not unexpected. This is slashdot material...
beacuse? It's not like we have articles
describing the work on BSDs or Linuxes

Lines of code != quality (2, Insightful)

JPDeckers (559434) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335205)

Quote from site:
There are 5000 developers on the Windows team generating over 50 million lines of code for Windows Server 2003. It's an enormous task, the biggest software engineering task ever attempted. There are no other software projects like this

Accordig to this [win.tue.nl] , we should be getting them in a year or 5

NT == VAX OS? (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335209)

I thought the initial NT "heavily borrowed" (MS tradition) from the Digital Equipment Corp (now part of HP) VAX operating system. Then it gradually incorporated parts of the evolving Windows/DOS OS.

Re:NT == VAX OS? (5, Informative)

guy-in-corner (614138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335223)

No. Dave Cutler, who was lead developer for NT, was previously one of the lead developers for VMS. I don't think that MS actually took any of the source code from VMS for NT, however.

Re:NT == VAX OS? (1)

Drakonian (518722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335276)

NO, MS just hired a BUNCH of DEC engineers. As someone else mentioned, that included Dave Cutler, who held the whole thing together. I'd recommend the book Showstopper! to learn about the creation of NT. Facinating stuff.

Re:NT == VAX OS? (5, Informative)

scrytch (9198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335355)

I thought the initial NT "heavily borrowed" (MS tradition) from the Digital Equipment Corp (now part of HP) VAX operating system. Then it gradually incorporated parts of the evolving Windows/DOS OS.

That would be VMS (some VAXen ran Ultrix, poor things). IBM and MS started a collaboration called OS/2, then later decided to part ways. Whatever MS's other motives were in the split, MS was staking its entire future on what was to IBM a toy project, so MS wasn't entirely enthusiastic about development at IBM speed. IBM kept the OS/2 name, MS hired Dave Cutler from DEC, Cutler dubbed the new fork WNT: that's the letters after VMS, and any expansion is entirely a backronym.

NT does include some of VMS's heritage, including strong async I/O support throughout. The DOS stuff is really a matter of emulating the interface -- a whole lot of work went into making drive letters and backslashes work everywhere, believe it or not. Not surprisingly, it tends to share more in common with OS/2, with the supervisor design and the object manager for starters.

Re:NT == VAX OS? (3, Informative)

Marsala (4168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335384)

That's a pretty big oversimplification of the matter. Basically, David Cutler left Digital after DEC decided to ax a project he was working on to build a new chip and an OS to go along with it, Microsoft offered him a job to work on the chip and the OS, and Cutler managed to recruit most of his dev team from DEC for the new MS squad.

So saying that NT is just VMS part II isn't really accurate, but the same guilty parties are involved. If you can find it, there was a book called _ShowStopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT_ that does a pretty good job of chronicling the history of NT during its early days.

Know thy enemy, and all that. :-)

NT & VMS (5, Informative)

syr (647840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335211)

Here's more background information including VMS data [winntmag.com] .

GameTab [gametab.com] - Game Reviews Database

VMS + 1 = WNT (3, Interesting)

jjga (612356) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335258)

It is interesting how incrementing each of the letters in VMS gives WNT. It is something similar to IBM and HAL.

WinNT development cycle. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335214)


0) CVS checkout the latest net stuff from freebsd.org
1) Look at code and scratch head until "A-ha!"; enlightenment.
2) Merge code into Windows source
3) go to 0

Re:WinNT development cycle. (5, Funny)

ImpTech (549794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335328)

> 3) go to 0

Dijkstra is rolling over in his grave...

Re:WinNT development cycle. (5, Funny)

jeriqo (530691) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335385)

> 0) CVS checkout the latest net stuff from freebsd.org
> 1) Look at code and scratch head until "A-ha!"; enlightenment.
> 2) Merge code into Windows source
> 3) go to 0

Damn! They use gotos in the development of windows?!
I know understand why it keeps crashing..

Re:WinNT development cycle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335443)

s/know/now/
sorry.

There we have it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335216)

We thought, 'How hard could it be to build an OS?' and scheduled 18 months to build NT. But we had forgotten about some of the important stuff--user mode, networking, and so on."

Either this means that the NT team were actually fairly clueless...or incredibly cocky. Either way, that seems like a pretty stupid thing to say.

Re:There we have it (5, Insightful)

chrisseaton (573490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335252)

_All_ developers are cocky - very cocky. It's not just a Windows thing.

Did someone say cocky? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335308)

...the War Room is run by Todd Wanke...

Oh dear. Poor Todd.

NT development (3, Funny)

wiggys (621350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335221)

I always thought they hired a million monkeys, a million typewriters, a plentiful supply of bananas and left them to it...

No... (4, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335268)

No... you're thinking of Linux.

Re:No... (1, Funny)

wiggys (621350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335292)

Except with Linux they weren't hired, and the bananas weren't free as in beer, but only free as in speech.

Re:No... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335457)

how about free as in shut your bananahole.. or maybe free as in who gives a fuck.. or maybe free as in go play in traffic.. or maybe free as in eat shit and contract lung cancer.. or maybe free as in whatever

Re:NT development (2, Funny)

Dr.Enormous (651727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335289)

Of course not. That's not how corporations work. They hired a million monkeys, bought a million typewriters, and then hired five million more monkeys to intimidate the first million and eat all the bananas.

Re:NT development (2, Funny)

fredrikj (629833) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335311)

Nope, couldn't be, it would have taken billions of years for those monkeys to produce a system like NT. Sure, it's easy to achieve partial obfuscation through pure stupidity, but for complete, systematic retardation, you need hard working great thinkers that put their best effort into it.

No monkey ... (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335353)

could write code that poorly. Leave the simians alone.

Favorite Line (1, Funny)

apeleg (159527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335222)

"We thought, 'How hard could it be to build an OS?' and scheduled 18 months to build NT. But we had forgotten about some of the important stuff--user mode, networking, and so on."

Oh yeah ...

Book on the same subject (3, Redundant)

ggruschow (78300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335224)

Show-Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows Nt and the Next Generation at Microsoft [amazon.com] is a full on book on the NT development team, process, and timeline. I rather liked it.

Re:Book on the same subject (1)

MagPulse (316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335338)

This is the only interesting post I've seen here yet. The +5 posts are all cheap MS-bashing, none of them original even. I'll be checking this book out next time I'm at the book store.

Hmm (5, Insightful)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335232)

Both articles feel like "feel-good" articles. There is little mention about IBM and OS/2, and the relationship between the two in the beginning of NT.

It's just a big advertising piece about how NT is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sure, it has some entertaining facts, but I'm still not buying it.

Re:Hmm (4, Interesting)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335303)

Winsupersite is, for the most part, a very pro-microsoft website...however, even if their reviews and previews may be slanted a bit they still get very early releases of different products and write decent reviews of them...with lots of screenshots!

Re:Hmm (1)

cushty (565359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335361)

I remember the early days of OS/2 when, if you believe "independent sources", Microsoft counted every sale of OS/2 as a sale of Windows. The last graph I took any notice of had both on an equal footing. Everything these days is spin, whichever side you're on.

Re:Hmm (0, Flamebait)

t0ny (590331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335388)

Oh no, the whole world will fall apart now that they have failed to convice you.

Re:Hmm (-1, Flamebait)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335453)

Looking at the moderation of my comment, I'm probably not the only one that thinks this. So much for people that don't fall for hype huh?

Michael Landon Is My Cousin (3, Interesting)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335396)

I think that is because the articles are trying to give a very general overview of the life cycle of NT. The various corporate dealings of Microsoft aren't of consequence when discussing how a huge project such as NT gets off the ground and how new demands cause new solutions to be found. And the article did mention that the choice to go to Win32 rather than OS/2 helped to sour the relationship between IBM and Microsoft. What more did you want?

And while you're right that this article is a very happy view of NT, it's interesting from the standpoint of how a project grows and new versioning control systems are added to handle such growth. Sure, the articles are heavy on fluff and light on details - but Microsoft is closed source. They're not going to give you much more. I honestly am not sure why you're so upset with these articles.

Re:Hmm (-1)

omidk (3670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335463)

maybe it is the greatest thing since sliced bread...heheheheheh

Alpha (5, Interesting)

deacent (32502) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335243)

I see a lot of complaining in the article about how some architectures were not ready for NT on a timely basis (Intel i860, PowerPC), but I see no mention how they were so slow to bring NT to the Alpha. I recall that DEC actually ended up porting VMS to the Alpha because they were waiting on MS for their promised NT release. I'm a bit curious to hear from the developers about their perspective on that.

I've used both NT and VMS on the Alpha (as well as a Unix varient). NT is sooooo slow.

-Jennifer

Re:Alpha (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335281)

I have actually heard that NT ran better on the Alpha UDB than other OSs that run on it. The Alpha UDB was designed to be a small NT workstation.

Linux runs fine on mine but from what I hear NT also runs on it fairly well. I guess we would have had to be running it when the UDB first came out to make any sort of educated descision on that.

Anyone have first-hand experience w/NT on the UDB?

Re:Alpha (4, Informative)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335395)

Yeah. NT on the UDB was actually pretty tolerable. I ran NT4 Server on a 166 MHz 21066 (first generation Alpha). I found it to be quite usable. I didn't keep NT4 on the Alpha for all that long, as this was just an experiment. I had the NT4 disc, I had a UDB, and I had some time to waste.

You have to remember that NT4 was a 32 bit operating system, even on the Alpha. Therefor, you didn't really gain much by going to the Alpha, except for some nice speed boosts (it was definitely the fastest CPU on the market for years).

It was similar to running NT4 on a Pentium Pro 166 or 200.

The biggest problem I had was finding software. However, everyone's favorite telnet app, putty, comes compiled for NT4/Alpha.

The Register previously offered Windows 2000 for the Alpha, if you asked them for it. I never did, since my UDB was seriously underpowered (128MB RAM, 166 MHz).

Re:Alpha (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335310)

As I recall, Alphas with NT pre-installed were offered for about 25% less than the OSF/Digital-Unix/Tru64 versions because they SPECed about 25% slower.

Re:Alpha (3, Insightful)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335326)


how they were so slow to bring NT to the Alpha.

Really.

I was surprised to learn from the article how the early NT was so non x86 centric, shifting from i860 to R3000, etc. They even boast of the portability to different hardware because they weren't tied down to the x86 instruction set so tightly as were the 16 bit Windows developers at the time.

So, why, then, did the Alpha port of NT take so long? And, from what I understand, it relied heavily upon the ability of the early Alpha chip to run in some FX!32 compatibility mode to emulate the x86 instruction set.

The Alpha/NT story just doesn't seem to add up to me. There's some missing dark matter.

Re:Alpha (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335409)

And, from what I understand, it relied heavily upon the ability of the early Alpha chip to run in some FX!32 compatibility mode to emulate the x86 instruction set.

The compatibility mode was all in software; at that time Alpha had a sufficient performance gap to emulate an x86 at a tolerable speed.

What really happened was that the speed gap lowered, and AMD became a serious competitor to Intel in the high x86 space. Once that happened, the motivation for Microsoft to maintain multiple architectures went away.

Re:Alpha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335429)

"Jennufer" is a funny name for a man... are you a sissy, or a transexual?

I can see the round table discussion now. . . (4, Funny)

bplipschitz (265300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335246)

"You compile it today."

"No way--*you* compile it!"

"No way! Hey--let's get Mikey, he'll compile *anything*!"

Re:I can see the round table discussion now. . . (1)

theguru (70699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335278)

Acording to tradition, the last guy to break the build has to stay late and babysit the build process.

In my office, you break the build, you buy a round of beer for every member of the team. :) Build breaks go way down as teams approach 10+ members.

50 million+ lines (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335250)

if !strcmp(vendor.name,"microsoft") {

int i,j;

while (ij = (2*i)/2+(3*i)/3+(4*i)/4+(5*i)/5+(6*i)/6

}

if (rand()}

Re:50 million+ lines (0, Troll)

vb.warrior (242890) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335415)

Well I hope I never use a program coded by you mr fuck-nuts cause the first strcmp will cause it to break.. go back to html and masturbating to porn in your parents bedroom

Security? (5, Funny)

elliotj (519297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335266)

"By late 1989, the NT group began growing. They added a formal networking team and expanded the security team beyond a single individual who, incidentally, had also been previously burdened by file system and localization development."

You mean they've got more than one guy working on security for Windows? Oh come on, who's gonna believe that?

Re:Security? (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335321)

It's quite simple, really. They just had the rent-A-cop who makes sure everyone has parking stickers doing the file system and L10N at first, which explains quite a bit about NTFS, and then they added a night watchman to the roster as well.

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335407)

then they added a night watchman to the roster as well

What, like Goodwill Hunting? Are you trying to imply that the janitor fixed bugs in NT?

Actually, that could explain some things...

Re:Security? (2, Interesting)

t0ny (590331) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335434)

I think if you compare NT with the security of a lot of platforms that came out around the same time, you will see a very similiar set of holes.

I still remember all the programs all over the internet you could use to grab NetWare passwords, so its not like MS was the only one with holes.

What is a difference, however, is that people are still using NT4, whereas none of its contemporary OSs are around anymore (or at least, not around in a significant installed base).

Compiled? (5, Funny)

patvan (234768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335273)

I thought it was forged deep within Mt. Doom...

History of Windows (4, Funny)

Toasty16 (586358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335274)

Bill Gates: "We need an OS that doesn't suck."

Engineers: "No problem, we'll release betas every year and you can sell them to the public for the price of a finished product."

Bill Gates: "Good idea. What do you think Steve?"

Steve Ballmer: "Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...*wheeze* *hack* *cough*...."

Bill Gates: "It's ideas like those that will make you CEO in 10 years."

The voice of opposition. (-1, Flamebait)

MortisUmbra (569191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335283)

LINUX SUCKS!!!!

Hey I figure there are enough of you under-sexed wierdos running around screaming about anything MS regardless of the merit of your statements that maybe some of us need to run interference yelling insults about Linux, also regardless of their merit.

Rewriting history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335290)

Once again M$ is rewriting history. Now it is NT that killed OS/2. You guys in Redmond are such a joke.

Why do Microsoft reviewers always sound... (4, Insightful)

defile (1059) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335291)

...so full of shit?

To step around the topic for a second:

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows is dedicated to providing all of the information you need to evaluate Microsoft's current and upcoming Windows operating system technologies. These exciting products include Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows XP Media Center Edition (code-named Freestyle) Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Media 9 Series (code-named Corona), and Windows Server 2003, which will launch in April.

Sounds like it'll be an EXCITING, unbiased, hard hitting, honest review to me!

Maybe that's not the best example. But even when you read technical treatises on Microsoft technologies the authors always manage to pack in gushing, surrealist praise.

Wasn't there even a book? THE AWESOME POWER OF DIRECT3D? Amusingly enough, it was released several months after John Carmack and the rest of the gaming industry started bitching Microsoft out for pushing Direct3D over the clearly superior OpenGL.

I'd hate to be all conspiracy here, but damn it's either that or believing that all Microsoft reviewers/writers are really stupid.

Re:Why do Microsoft reviewers always sound... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335376)


why not both?

Re:Not stupid. . . (3, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335380)

. . . just naive and inexperienced.

You know how to an 8-year-old boy, his dad's favorite sports team is the greatest thing in the world, able to turn lepers to supermodels and bath beads into geltabs? It's basically the same phenomenon.

It stops being amusing after a couple years reading the /. GNU/Linux crowd do the same thing.

Re:Why do Microsoft reviewers always sound... (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335406)

Sir, if I had any mod points, you would get them.

Well put.

Re:Why do Microsoft reviewers always sound... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335426)

>> John Carmack and the rest of the gaming industry started bitching Microsoft out for pushing Direct3D over the clearly superior OpenGL.

Rest of the gaming industry? From my viewpoint it was Carmack alone.

Clearly superior OpenGL? Depends what you're using it for. OpenGL certainly wasnt (and still isnt in many cases) faster on consumer level cards. Direct3D was developed alongside consumer level hardware supporting features that actually exist, OpenGL was designed on paper.

By and large 3D gaming was being written for glide, and developers absolutely loved an open api specifically targetted for game development.

Re:Why do Microsoft reviewers always sound... (3, Interesting)

Alric (58756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335449)

I have had this thought myself, more often lately. I have come to the conclusion that it's probably not an active conspiracy by MSFT. Instead, I think it is a passive effect of a monopoly system.

My example:
Reviewer A writes a technical summary of some new MSFT product. Reviewer A invested months learning this new product and how it fits into MSFT's overall strategy. Reviewer A runs a consulting firm that specializes in MSFT products. That firm has invested time in training its people to know the new MSFT product. Reviewer A is probably not conciously being unethical, but he needs people to use this new MSFT product so his firm can make money helping companies solve the new problems that this product created. He writes a review/book that highlights the good points and downplays the bad points.

So, his review is biased, but it's not exactly a conspiracy by MSFT.

Punted to longhorn (3, Funny)

dracken (453199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335295)




"On the day I attended, one feature group had four of its bugs punted to Longhorn because they had failed to shown up for War Room. When someone argued that they should be given another day, Wanke simply said, "F#$% 'em. If it was that important, they would have been here. It's in Longhorn. Next bug."


Did one feature group have its *feature* postponed to longhorn or the *bug-fixes* postponed to longhorn ? hmmmmmm interesting.

Re:Punted to longhorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335345)

...Wanke simply said, "F#$% 'em. If it was that important, they would have been here. It's in Longhorn. Next bug."

With that attitude he sure does sound like a real Wanke[r]

best quote from the article (5, Funny)

babycakes (564259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335298)

"For Windows Server 2003, the War Room is run by Todd Wanke, who we eventually found to be an amazingly likeable guy. However, in the hour-long War Room sessions, Wanke rules with an iron fist" :)

Incremental build? (5, Funny)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335299)

"...compiling and linking it into the executable and other components that make up a Windows CD is a 12 to 13 hour process that is done every day of the week

So they rebuild Windows from scratch every day? Somebody send them a copy of make, please.

Re:Incremental build? (5, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335430)

If you look at other large projects of this type (eg Mozilla), both clean builds and dep builds using make are done on automated build systems. The two types of builds will find different types of issues.

Show-Stopper (0, Redundant)

paul.pieralde (130415) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335302)

I read this book years ago when I was just out of college. I found it to be a very good read and an insightful on the life of Microsoft engineers. Here is the amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0029 356717/102-2673393-2852914?vi=glance

Best Quote in the Article (0, Redundant)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335305)

"We thought, 'How hard could it be to build an OS?' and scheduled 18 months to build NT. But we had forgotten about some of the important stuff--user mode, networking, and so on."

Too funny.

Microsoft's original mission statement, perhaps? (0, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335314)

"We thought, 'How hard could it be to build an OS?' and scheduled 18 months to build NT. But we had forgotten about some of the important stuff--user mode, networking, and so on."

I think that sums-up Microsoft perfectly.

The NT Kernel Is Good (5, Interesting)

DakotaSandstone (638375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335315)

I know this is the equivalent of Flamebait on /., but the NT kernel (borrowed though it may be from other OS ideas) is actually darn good.

Passing IRP's (IO request packets) between drivers creates a much more well-defined interface that a bunch of globally namespaced functions just calling each other (like some other OSes we all know). It also lends itself to a layered driver model (Bus Driver, Physical Driver, Functional Driver) much better.

I really like the NT Kernel. What driver developers do with it isn't the kernel's fault.

Not Win NT again ! (1)

shamitbagchi (641092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335319)


Win NT being the backbone OS for 2K, XP and upcoming Longhorn needs a good reading to come up with the basics.
But memory management, driver support, file system mgmt and OS system utilities have changed way too much. And so I feel

IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE USEFUL/BETTER TO STUDY ABOUT THE BETTER FEATURES GOING INTO XP AND NEWER LINUX SYSTEMS.

Though the BSODs are still harrowing . . .

I just got rid of an NT system at workplace and got a Compaq Evo with P4-1.8MHz and XP + 2K dual-boot.

argument clinic (4, Funny)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335320)

If there are one or more bugs in IIS, for example, a representative of the IIS team needs to be present to not only explain the merits of the bug, but whether customers are affected, how the fix might affect other parts of the system, and how soon it will be fixed.

To be honest, I don't see why they just don't hold these bug fixing meetings around the IIS guys desk :o)

Re:argument clinic (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335454)

What about the MSSQL guy, and the ActiveX/COM project in IE, and the Outlook/OE teams, they are responsible for tons of bugs too.

Finally... (-1, Troll)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335323)

We'll be able to settle once and for all whether the suck was designed in, or if it was an incidental byproduct of lack of design.

Re:Finally... (3, Funny)

StressedEd (308123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335382)

Off topic but....

Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish.

Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.


My favorite...

Build a man a fire and he will be warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Interesting... (3, Funny)

tshak (173364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335324)

There are 5000 developers on the Windows team generating over 50 million lines of code for Windows Server 2003.

I think it's safe to say that they're most defniitely _NOT_ using VSS!

Re:Interesting... (1)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335387)

Yup. In fact, last article I saw re: this stated that their code is on *nix boxes.

Quality is Unrewarding (1, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335331)

"NT 3.51 was a very unrewarding release," Thompson said, contrasting it with Daytona. "After Daytona was completed, we basically sat around for 9 months fixing bugs while we waited for IBM to finish the Power PC hardware. But because of this, NT 3.51 was a solid release, and our customers loved it." NT 3.51 eventually shipped in May 1995.

I guess this statement neatly sums up the attitude behind much of their corporate culture.

50+ million lines of code? (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335341)


Remember a while back when Bill mandated a whole month of nothing but bug fixes? I find it highly unlikely that their people were able to go through 1.667 million lines of code per day (assuming a 30 day work month. I'm generous)..

Re:50+ million lines of code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335401)


TROLL? That's fucking insightful! Fucking MS astroturfing dinks.

Developer Count. (4, Insightful)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335446)

You forgot the five thousand developers.

Each person would need to review 50,000,000/(5000*30) = ~333 lines of code per day. Not quite so intimidating.

--grendel drago

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335342)

In Soviet Russia, Windows NT develops YOU! oh wait, that happens in the US too....

yeah, right. (-1, Troll)

fanatic (86657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335346)

Thompson elaborated... "Our core architecture is so solid, that we were able to take NT from 386-25's in 1990 to today's embedded devices, 64-way, 64-bit multiprocessor machines, and $1000 scale-out server blades."

Write once, blue-screen anywhere.

No, no! (1)

Grendel Drago (41496) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335464)

Write once, blue-screen anywhere. Is that the best you can come up with?! Even when faced with MS's abandonment of MIPS, PPC and Alpha with NT4? What about the Linux folks beating them to the punch with ia64 support? Come on, there are a hundred actual reasons why MS's porting strategy/porting support is a joke.

--grendel drago

LNUX: $0.93 (down $0.5) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335362)

If this trend continues, VA Linux will have a market capitalization of $0.00 in 18.667 days!

Dave Cutler's "Vision" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335368)

I have a copy of UnixWorld magazine circa 1993, all about Dave Cutler and the genesis of Windows NT.

According to the article, Cutler's only "vision" for windows NT was to 1) destroy Digital and 2) hurt UNIX. Nothing else. NT's foundation is built upon a personal vendetta.

And you know what? Davey failed at both. DEC died of their own incompetance. UNIX is alive and well, and GROWING despite NT and Dave Cutler's personal vendettas.

Sorry Dave, your drill seargant attitude isn't going to make UNIX go away.

Inside the Development of Windows NT? (2, Funny)

labratuk (204918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335424)

"My god, it's full of crap!"

NT source (5, Funny)

ptaff (165113) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335427)

Oh, so now we learn that NT is not from "New Technology".

So in a couple of years we'll learn that:
  • ME: Miserable Everytime
  • CE: Cramped Environment
  • XP: Xor Performance
  • Office: Other File Formats Imply Collaboration: Encrypt!

Re:NT source (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5335462)

and BSD: Big, Slow, DEAD

War Room (4, Funny)

The-Perl-CD-Bookshel (631252) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335444)

"Okay, Next bug: Clicking 'cancel' button at login circumvents the authentication process. Security team! what is this?!?"

"Uhhh Security Team isn't here today."

"Yeah?!? Punt that bug to longhorn!"

"Umm may-be we can give them ano-"

"F*$# Them! Punt to longhorn, Next!"

Flying swine? (0, Offtopic)

Slightly Askew (638918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335448)

Did Hemos even check out the link? This site gives a detailed, entertaining, easily readable history of the Windows operating system. No MS bashing, no conspiracy theories, no Linux glorification. What is /. coming to when Microsoft gets a fair shake? Next thing you know, we'll have unfair modding, bad math in figuring scores, and dupe [slashdot.org] articles [slashdot.org] on the front page...uh, nevermind.

Scariest quote: (3, Insightful)

pmcevoy (10501) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335458)

"The first two weeks of development were fairly uneventful, with the NT team using Microsoft Word to create the original design documentation...Finally, it was time to start writing some code."

Does anyone else design an OS in two weeks?

Microserfs find solid products "unrewarding". (3, Insightful)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335459)

The most amusing bit I found was this:
"NT 3.51 was a very unrewarding release," Thompson said, contrasting it with Daytona. "After Daytona was completed, we basically sat around for 9 months fixing bugs while we waited for IBM to finish the Power PC hardware. But because of this, NT 3.51 was a solid release, and our customers loved it."
How horrible for a monopoly software company to have its programmers sit around and do bug fixes! My God, how ever did they survive? Fixing bugs at Microsoft must be like... Hell.

Only Daily? (1)

sohp (22984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5335461)

Daily Builds are for Wimps [acm.org] ! And they only have one architecture to build for. Compare for example Mozilla's Tinderbox.
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