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  1. #1
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    James Bach versus Microsoft?

    this is just part of the article...


    The non-settling states told the judge that Virginia-based computer testing consultant, James Bach, had built his modular version of Windows using Microsoft's own technology.

    Bach, who has worked as a contractor for Microsoft, had created the new version using Windows XP Embedded, a commercial version of Windows designed for specialty devices such as cash registers and automatic teller machines.

    Bach will testify that his modular version of Windows was "robust and reliable," Kollar-Kotelly said, citing the states' submission.


    - http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104-901661.html
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

  2. #2
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    I don't know that that's a fair way to put it, necessarily. (I don't know James' views on Microsoft anymore in depth than anyone knows mine - I dislike the company and their business practices)

    But, I do think that in general, it is good to be careful not to confuse personal feelings and business practices - James was hired to do a job for the States, and he did. It doesn't mean it states his own opinion one way or the other (even if it ends up that he does disagree with MS) - does that make sense?

    Ultimately, I think it's tremendously good for our profession to find a "tester" doing something so high profile - and so not something that would normally be considered 'testing' in many people's minds.

    I mean think about it... he 'built' something using XP, etc., etc. to test it out?? People don't expect that from 'testers', and I have seen a few other articles that specifically include information on James' testing background and exploratory practices.

    Whether you like MS or not, I think it rocks.

    ------------------
    ** To affect the Quality of the day, that is the highest of arts ** H.D. Thoreau

    ~ Annemarie Martin ~
    annemarie[dot]martin2[at]verizon[dot]net
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  3. #3
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CCoulter:

    Dont stifle the best encourage others to strive to meet their standards. Hold the best accountable for their product. The only people who are going to be hurt by this action are the people whom it is hoping to protect.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But the point I was attempting to make is that regardless of whether one 'supports' or 'does not support' Microsoft and how they chose to do business, what James has done, and the press it's receiving is probably a 'good' thing for the Testing profession - it at least gets people thinking, and maybe researching some of James' writing and materials - and that helps educate people as to what testers can achieve.



    ------------------
    ** To affect the Quality of the day, that is the highest of arts ** H.D. Thoreau

    ~ Annemarie Martin ~
    annemarie[dot]martin2[at]verizon[dot]net
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  4. #4
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    Heh personally if I was Bill Gates I think id throw in the towel, Close up shop(taking my billions with me), Release the source code, and let all the little companies drive the OS back 10 years. Or better yet destroy the source code and let everyone come up with their own OS.

    I am not a MS fan nor do I think them the evil empire. They took advantage of a situation. The provided an easy to use PC and Server OS. They helped to train literally hunderds of thousands of technicians to keep the revolution in computers going. They leveraged their product though business agreements. The government didnt like it.

    Who cares wether the government likes it or not? If they want to improve software they need to limit the restrictions and limitations that can be legally enforced within the EULA of any software product. Start holding the manufacturer responsible for damages because of faults in its product. And provide incentives for companies that would come up with innovative products and ideas.

    Dont stifle the best encourage others to strive to meet their standards. Hold the best accountable for their product. The only people who are going to be hurt by this action are the people whom it is hoping to protect.

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  5. #5
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    Been thinking about this a bit -

    The other reason I think this is critical in terms of Testing and Quality Assurance is that James' testimony is going toward attempting to prove that Microsoft was not completely straightforward in their own statements that it would be technically impossible to create multiple versions of windows.

    There are additional arguments regarding feasibility, and personally, I agree with MS on that front, however, to state that something is technically impossible is something else.

    Their lead engineer even stated that they'd never attempted to do a feasibility study or testing to determine if it could be done - which I also do not blame them for, as they argue the feasibility of a solution.

    The points, however, go to show that what I am saying IS good is that it is a TESTER who is attempting to prove them wrong - a TESTER who built a version of windows that was (to quote the article) verified to be 'robust and reliable'. That is where I see good things for our profession manifest separately from the issues of trial.

    ------------------
    ** To affect the Quality of the day, that is the highest of arts ** H.D. Thoreau

    ~ Annemarie Martin ~
    annemarie[dot]martin2[at]verizon[dot]net
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  6. #6
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    Here's some of a discussion going on at slashdot:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=32265&cid=3481129
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

  7. #7
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    I have not read everything yet but I am curious. Since this was done with Windows XP Embedded, that is much different than saying it can be done with Windows XP itself. The Embedded operating system is made to be more modular by nature whereas the full operating system is not. I know Microsoft has claimed that Windows cannot be modularized as it currently is in the desktop format, which is probably true because of the horrible interdependence they use in terms of the library structure.

    I agree with QA Girl, though. It is good for the industry to see that someone who is primarily a tester or who works in the sometimes nebulous field of QA has the technical skill by which to do these things (thereby giving yet a broader definition of "testing" - as it "testing the claims of a vendor").

    Believe it or not, building OS's for QA and test purposes is not all that new, although it certainly is with Windows, even in the limited form that this article reports. There are a few operating systems that have been designed (as reported in IEEE Software that are designed to allow for maximum testability of the applications that are designed to run on those operating systems. Obviously that has limited application right now but it certainly suggests a few paths that could be taken.

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  8. #8
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    "Nine states seeking strong antitrust sanctions against Microsoft abruptly canceled on Thursday plans to demonstrate a version of the Windows operating system with removable features."
    http://news.com.com/2102-1001-904122.html
    Thanks,
    Tim Van Tongeren

  9. #9
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    Yep. That article says exactly what I said. To wit: "Microsoft says Windows XP Embedded is designed to work with specialty devices like cash registers and automatic teller machines, and is not the same as the regular home and office version of Windows XP."

    The article then says: "But the states had found a computer-testing consultant, James Bach, who believes he has developed a desktop version of Windows XP using the embedded program."

    What the "States" are not seeming to do is make the distinction between an operating system designed to be modular, and thus of course one can make modular components out of it like James did, and one that is not inherently modular in its construction, at least to the same degree. I am not necessarily defending Microsoft one way or the other. But the problem the government and the States have when they go up against technology companies is they often fail to make even the most simple distinctions. A great, relatively recent book on this whole case is U.S. vs Microsoft: The Inside Story of the Landmark Case by Joel Brinkley and Steve Lohr (Both authors are writers for The New York Times and covered the courtroom dynamics from an eyewitness point of view.)

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  10. #10
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: James Bach versus Microsoft?

    A followup...

    Looks like the judge decided that the states were rather late in their attempt:
    http://news.com.com/2100-1001-912128.html?tag=fd_top

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    - Joe (strazzerj@aol.com)
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

 

 
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