Microsoft has pulled together 35 “feature teams” to build its Windows 8 operating system, Windows president Steven Sinofsky has revealed.
Between 25 to 40 developers, test and program managers were dedicated to building each “feature” of Windows, giving it a total talent pool of up to 1400 staff.
How Microsoft defined a feature was tricky to explain, said Sinofsky on the new Windows 8 blog, designed to give its partners better insight into the process.
“Some folks think a feature is a broad architectural component like the user interface or networking, and other folks might think a feature is something more specific, like the start menu or IPv6. So the term is a bit overloaded,” he said.
How Microsoft defined each feature for Windows 8 was governed by pairing off architecture elements, such as code, components and subsystems, with how users experienced them, said Sinofsky.
“We long ago stopped trying to count new features because of the difficulty in defining a feature," he said.
People were usually surprised at hearing how many staff it took to build Microsoft's operating system.
“We usually hear one of two reactions: ‘wow, that is a lot, and there is no way that can work,’ or ‘wow, you build a product for a billion people with a pretty small number folks'," Sinofsky said.
Microsoft also re-used much of the work on its desktop operating system to build the Windows Server system.
“One team delivers the full Windows Client OS and much of the foundation for the Windows Server OS,” he said.
These included all the work on Microsoft’s WIndows kernel, networking, storage, virtualisation and “other fundamental OS work”.
The 35 teams contributing to Windows 8 covered:
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