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Steven Sinofsky: Microsoft Has 35 Different Feature Teams Building Windows 8, Confirms Windows 8 App store

Steven Sinofsky is continuing to trickle out introductory posts on the new “Building Windows 8” blog. In his August 17 installment “Introducing the Team” — he stated “Windows 8 has new features across the full breadth of the product. It takes quite a team to build Windows 8, and so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the team structure–sometimes the “how” can help folks to understand the “what” and the “why”.”

Sinofsky also shared a list of the feature teams building the next version of Windows.

Microsoft organize the work of Windows into “feature teams,” groups of developers who own a combination of architectural elements and scenarios across Windows. And, that they have about 35 feature teams in the Windows 8 organization, each with 25-40 developers, plus test and program managers, all working together.

“For example, all of our kernel, networking, storage, virtualization, and other fundamental OS work is also part of Windows Server–that’s right, one team delivers the full Windows Client OS and much of the foundation for the Windows Server OS. And some features are built in the core OS but are ultimately only part of the Server product,” he said.

Here’s the Windows 8 feature-team list:

  • App Compatibility and Device Compatibility
  • App Store
  • Applications and Media Experience
  • App Experience
  • Core Experience Evolved
  • Device Connectivity
  • Devices & Networking Experience
  • Ecosystem Fundamentals
  • Engineer Desktop
  • Engineering System
  • Enterprise Networking
  • Global Experience
  • Graphics Platform
  • Hardware Developer Experience
  • Human Interaction Platform
  • Hyper-V
  • In Control of Your PC
  • Kernel Platform
  • Licensing and Deployment
  • Media Platform
  • Networking Core
  • Performance
  • Presentation and Composition
  • Reliability, Security, and Privacy
  • Runtime Experience
  • Search, View, and Command
  • Security & Identity
  • Storage & Files Systems
  • Sustained Engineering
  • Telemetry
  • User-Centered Experience
  • Windows Online
  • Windows Update
  • Wireless and Networking services
  • XAML

“In addition to these teams made up of development, test, and program management, there’re many others that’re part of the product development team.”

Sinofsky said that “Our content development team writes and edits our online assistance, website, deployment documents, and SDKs, to name a few things. Product planning leads customer and market research and also pays very close attention to feedback and telemetry around the pre-release software. Product design develops the overall interaction model, graphical language, and design language for Windows 8. Our research and usability team creates field and lab studies that show how existing products and proposed features perform with all types of customers. Localization brings Windows to over 100 languages (and localizes this blog). Our operations team runs services that are used by hundreds of millions of people and almost a billion PCs,” explained Sinofsky.

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