First I want to thank the many people that have sent me warm wishes on my move to Microsoft directly and via comments on my last blog post. I didn’t make it clear, but both Bryce and I have relocated to Microsoft’s Redmond campus and I’ve just finished my first week as a Microsoft employee.
The week started with a day and of half New Employee Orientation (NEO), which Bryce and I attended with 180 or so other new hires. The attendees included people from all over the US and the world, including the Netherlands, Germany, China, and India. All of Microsoft’s groups, such as legal, finance, and of course development, were represented, as were all levels in the organizational hierarchy.
NEO starts with an overview of Microsoft’s mission statement (to help people reach their full potential) and an introduction to Microsoft’s various divisions and senior leaders. The second part of day one concentrates on human relations (HR) topics like employee diversity and interest groups, payroll and benefits. The morning of day two is entirely occupied with legal information, like the importance of security, definitions of patents, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets.
The amount of factual information delivered could probably fit in a two-hour presentation, but there is a heavy emphasis on Microsoft’s culture threaded through every module. I was impressed by the conveyed importance of diversity, Microsoft’s encouragement on giving to the community through matching contributions, and most surprisingly, the effort to cooperate with customers and partners and to promote a positive image of Microsoft both locally and globally. Nevertheless, I was familiar with much of the information through my many interactions with Microsoft throughout the last 10 years and so was a bit bored.
With NEO behind me I spent the rest of the week meeting with many different people in the core operating systems division (COSD) and attending various meetings. For the near future I’ll be working with the client performance team analyzing and addressing Vista performance issues. While features such as Superfetch, a scenario-based memory management system, and I/O prioritization help to improve the performance of the operating system from an end-user perspective, the addition of constant search indexing, the side bar with its gadgets, the defragmenter, and regular volume snapshots all conspire to erode their gains.
Comprehensive performance instrumentation of everything from disk I/Os to context switches and hard page faults is active on all Vista builds deployed internally and end-users can simply open a desktop shortcut to submit a trace of any sluggish system behavior they experience. The team’s job is to determine the cause of the behavior and make recommendations to other teams for improving their design or avoid multi-component interactions that lead to pathologic situations.
The performance team consists of some amazingly talented people and the tools they’ve developed internally for visualizing and exploring the trace data provide a powerful view into the minutest details of the system’s operation. I’m having fun using them to look at what happens when I do something as simple as open the start menu and I hope to show them in an upcoming blog post.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the first week is that I still have no working Microsoft email account. For apparently legal reasons Microsoft doesn’t create an email account until the first day of employment, and after that everyone is resigned to the fact that “it takes a while for information to propagate through the system”. In my case, I didn’t fill out a form on the first day because I didn’t have two forms of ID with me, and I didn’t realize that it would hold up a bunch of things. Once I found that it was holding things up on Wednesday, I got it turned in it looks like things are moving and I’m hopeful that the email will start working. I just wonder if all the emails that people have sent to the account will be sitting there waiting for me when I access it.
Probably of most importance, however, is the outcome of the various meetings I’ve had with the Sysinternals/Winternals integration team. I’m pleased to report that Microsoft’s number one priority is not only keeping the tools freely available, but preserving the Sysinternals community including the newsletter, the forums, and my blog. While we’re still brainstorming how to make this successful in the long term, I’m pleased to announce the first step in the transition, which is the introduction of a new Sysinternals EULA, that I believe is even more permissive than the EULA in place before the Microsoft acquisition, since it allows for wider use of Sysinternals utilities within a company.
In the near future, the next step will probably be to move the tools to the Microsoft download center, which will increase download capacity. (No, they won’t be wrapped in .MSI files). I, and Microsoft, believe that this also demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to keep the tools freely available. I’ll keep you posted as the rest of the transition plan unfolds, but rest assured that Sysinternals, though it might end up looking different, is here to stay.
Originally by Mark Russinovich on 7/31/2006 10:33:00 PM
Migrated from original Sysinternals.com/Blog