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Windows 7: The cost of an additional function

12 Mar 2010   #1
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 
The cost of an additional function

I see many threads where people wish there was this or that additional function in Windows. I suspect that those same people do not realize the implications of such an undertaking.
For one, it would add additional bulk and errors to the operating system. But then it also adds significant cost.
I do not know the cost structure of Microsoft, but from my experience of developing and managing operating systems I recall that each line of code cost $1000. In that, the cost of the people that write the actual code is only 15%. The rest is management, architecture, planning and business management, publication, integration, release, maintenance, etc., etc.
A development group walks a fine line between the list of desirable function, the cost, the doability and the time constraints. I assume the windows developers do the best job they can, but they are not free to do everything they might like to do.
Maybe that is a thought to keep in mind next time someone asks for this or that function.


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31 Mar 2010   #2
MrJukes

 

Asking for features never hurts. You never know when a windows developer is lurking on your forums.
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31 Mar 2010   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrJukes View Post
Asking for features never hurts. You never know when a windows developer is lurking on your forums.
Not if you find at least 10% of the Windows users asking for the same thing - that is 100 million people though.
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31 Mar 2010   #4
MrJukes

 

A good idea is a good idea if there is 1 person or 1 million people asking for it. However if you can get 1 million people to voice the same idea it is much more likely to be seen. All I was saying is it never hurts to say "Hey feature X would be cool". A lot of people don't think about ways Windows can be improved but will enjoy it when new features are implemented.
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31 Mar 2010   #5
Little Darwin

Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
 
 

$1,000 per line times 1,000 lines of code... And you can do a lot with 1,000 lines of code... especially when all of the base libraries and system calls are already written and tested.

That could be a heck of an enhancement for $1,000,000.00 which is chump change to Microsoft. Also, in theory, there should be some benefit to scale, and I would hope that Microsoft has processes in place to minimize costs.
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31 Mar 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Also, in theory, there should be some benefit to scale, and I would hope that Microsoft has processes in place to minimize costs.
I don't think so. The bigger the organization, the higher the unit cost. My numbers are my own experience from 35 years of operating system development in a company with 400.000 employees at the time - that was not a small organization either.
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 The cost of an additional function




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