Microsoft: What we do with a bug report

Today, Microsoft published an entry on their official "Engineering Windows 7" blog, that discusses how Microsoft goes about dealing with bugs - specifically the so called "showstopper" bug that was reported around the web, and here at Neowin last week.

The blog post discusses in detail the processes used to process major bugs at Microsoft during software development lifecycles, and is written by Steven Sinofsky himself. He says in the post 'Pretty quickly, I started getting a lot of mail personally on the report. Like many of you, the first thing I did was try it out. And as you might imagine I did not reproduce both issues, though I did see the memory usage" and that he was not the " ...first Microsoft person to see this. The file system team immediately began to look into the issue."

The post goes on to explain that Microsoft does take the problems seriously, "I did want folks to know just how seriously we take these issues. Sometimes blogs and comments get very excited. When I see something like "showstopper" it gets my attention, but it also doesn't help us to have a constructive and rational investigation. Large software projects are by nature extremely complex. They often have issues that are dependent on the environment and configuration. And as we know, often as deterministic as software is supposed to be sometimes issues don't reproduce. We have a pretty clear process on how we investigate reports and we focus on making sure Windows remains healthy even in the face of a changing landscape. With this post, I wanted to offer a view into some specifics but also into the general issue of sounding alarms", explained Steve.

The post offers a great insight into how Microsoft does its processing of bug reports and "major" bugs that are floating around the internet on major news websites and is an interesting read into how the team deals with these sorts of problem. Steve also politely points out where all the hype and fuss about the "showstopper" bug was, and how important it was that people didn't panic, and that they realized Microsoft treated it seriously.

Windows 7 has been Released to Manufacturing (RTM) - and is currently available on MSDN/Technet and will be publicly available on October 22nd, worldwide.

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19 Comments

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Epic fail, and it's barely out.

I remember all the Vista Fanboy's saying what a brilliant O/S Vista was, we are now getting the same for Windows 7.

Few companies will deploy Windows 7 until it has proved itself. I can't see that there is a great deal of difference between Vista and Windows 7, that group policy can not overcome. The two basically look the same to me. The Vista O/S is too complex, it is this that makes it so unpopular. Most ordinary end users just want to run their applications, they don't give a fig about what goes on underneath, they just want a computer that works - reliably.

boho said,
Epic fail, and it's barely out.

I remember all the Vista Fanboy's saying what a brilliant O/S Vista was, we are now getting the same for Windows 7.

Few companies will deploy Windows 7 until it has proved itself. I can't see that there is a great deal of difference between Vista and Windows 7, that group policy can not overcome. The two basically look the same to me. The Vista O/S is too complex, it is this that makes it so unpopular. Most ordinary end users just want to run their applications, they don't give a fig about what goes on underneath, they just want a computer that works - reliably.


Look, if you want to rant, use the forum. If you want to comment on an article, it's a good idea to read the article first, and have some relevance.

I'm going to read that article now. I'm glad they're looking into the issue, and never doubted that they would. I wouldn't be surprised if an update was on Microsoft Update upon release of Windows 7 or shortly after...

I think they actually worked pretty hard on ensuring Win 7 is as effectively perfect as it can be on release, especially after the Vista fiasco and sure there will be bugs and perhaps quite a number of them but that's with any release of such nature. They have made big strides in how they respond to bugs and fix them - credit has to be given where it's due.

MistaT40 said,
I think they actually worked pretty hard on ensuring Win 7 is as effectively perfect as it can be on release, especially after the Vista fiasco and sure there will be bugs and perhaps quite a number of them but that's with any release of such nature. They have made big strides in how they respond to bugs and fix them - credit has to be given where it's due.

What you said applies perfectly for Vista, but instead you choose to refer to it as a "fiasco". Maybe your experience with it was bad, but you didn't seem to apply to Vista what you called "sure there will be bugs and perhaps quite a number of them but that's with any release of such nature".

On this matter, Microsoft has been very open lately. I always thought that the memory usage was right as long as it didn't crash your computer, which only two or three people suffered from what I've read here.

Anyway, maybe they will try to lower the usage a little bit so users won't begin trashing it like many did with Vista.

Magallanes said,
is Microsoft the same company that sometimes took a year to patch a single issue?.

Have you read the article? It might help explain why this could happen.

Today, Microsoft published a blog on their official "Engineering Windows 7" blog...

They published a blog inside their blog ?

I find it hilarious that people are trying to poke holes in Windows 7 yet Microsoft did not receive one legitimate report of the "crash" in question.

to be fair, the reporting software isn't in and of itself error proof... expecially if the system had a catastrophic failure that such a crash could indicate on a drive-level...but if such a failure did occur, it'd likely be a hardware issue at that point, and beyond Microsoft's control.

very comprehensive look at how Microsoft has developed the tools for them to diagnose very hard to deal with bugs like the chkdsk /r crashes (not the ram usage)... would be nice to see more posts like this from Microsoft, puts a very human face on the situtation most people tend to forget when they think of Microsoft.