"According to an internal Microsoft memo, as reported by my
colleague Mary Jo Foley, the company has identified some 63,000
potential problems to be addressed in the next release of the
"That's a staggering number."
"To be sure, Win2K is staggeringly huge, and defect rates, not
absolute numbers, are a better measure of likely reliability in
practice. At less than two defects per 1,000 lines of code, Win2K
is 80 percent better than the threshold that software-quality guru
Steve McConnell suggests as the signal for a ground-up redesign.
Not that I find this entirely comforting, since McConnell also
observes that defect distribution is far from uniform; one IBM
study, he reports, found 57 percent of the software errors in only
7 percent of the studied modules."
"But it's Microsoft's stockholders who have the most reason to
be troubled by the notion that defects are acceptable in a shipping
software product and that fixing them in a subsequent release is a
viable strategy. One Microsoft comment on the 63,000-bug memo
was that "bugs are inherent in computer science," which is patently
false in theory and bad economics in practice."
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