Windows XP Beta 2: Only 106,500 Bugs

A senior programmer high in Microsoft’s Windows XP development team has written me with details on many additional improvements WinXP packs that were previously unknown to testers of XP Beta 2. The focus of the email was on the bugs in XP Beta 2.

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Windows XP Beta 2: Only 106,500 Bugs

Paulo Rodrigues – 2001.04.01

Windows XP splash screenA senior programmer high in Microsoft’s Windows XP development team has written me with details on many additional improvements WinXP packs that were previously unknown to testers of XP Beta 2. The focus of the email was on the bugs in XP Beta 2.

Microsoft’s release of the NT-based Windows 2000 was plagued with an insane amount of known bugs, especially compared to its predecessor, Windows NT 4.0. Luckily, XP, Microsoft’s next-generation NT-based operating system, sports the fruits of Microsoft’s new bug-reducing policies.

Windows NT 4.0 has around 10,000 bugs, while 2000 has a lot more – about 63,000. This was an incredible 530 percent increase. However, Microsoft’s “It’s a feature, not a bug” campaign was offset by many industry analysts complaining quite irrationally that bugs were more detrimental than good. Windows 2000 sales suffered as a result.

Microsoft therefore took great pains to reduce the number of added bugs in Windows XP. Whereas Windows 2000 sports around 63,000 bugs, XP has, according to my source, 106,500 bugs. This is actually a quantum leap for Microsoft.

Not only is the percent of bugs added only 69 percent (down from 530 percent), but the Gross Added Bugs (known internally as GAB) is less as well, only 43,500, compared to 53,000 with Windows 2000. This means that Microsoft has actually created fewer new bugs with Windows XP than with Windows 2000, and since XP is much more complex than 2000, this is a major coup for Microsoft as an innovator in the operating system field.

In the wake of many buggy Apple releases, including Mac OS 9.0, the (software-based) Apple DVD Player Preview 2.0, and most recently the new RAM-disabling Firmware updates, it’s amazing to see Microsoft coming on top for bug-control! Connectix Corp. must be seeing nothing but dollar signs for Virtual PC with Windows XP.

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