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PC Week: Analysis: Win2K rollout asks 63,000-bug question

Feb 16, 2000, 23:25 (23 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Coffee)


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"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 product."

"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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