Windows Chief Bows Out

Sitting behind a one-way mirror, a white-haired man struggles to access a shared music library within Windows Vista.

"I'm lost," he says. "I'm in trouble here."

On the other side of the glass, several Microsoft executives try to talk him through the experience. Thousands of people have gone through similar tests inside Microsoft's usability lab. But on this day, February 1, 2006, the person inside Building 28 isn't just some random beta tester. It's Windows boss Jim Allchin.

And at that time, Allchin had plenty to grouse about. Windows Vista had been in testing for many months. The company had already drastically reshaped the operating system to try to get Vista onto store shelves by the holidays, but by Microsoft's own account there were still lots of bugs. While the latest versions of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer that Allchin put through their paces had improved since his last trip to the labs, other parts of Vista were still driving him crazy.

News source: C|Net

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