Shipping Windows Live Writer

It’s amazing how products make it out into the world these days.  I’ve been shipping products now for over 8 years and, for the most part, it feels like "the same stuff, different day"; every case-study on project management repeat themselves in recognizable ways within each release cycle.  And yet, each product release never seems to be predictable or go as planned no matter how strictly any team follows the teachings and philosophies of "Project Management".  And Windows Live Writer is no exception. 

The most interesting part is that Writer is the only product I’ve worked on where the release-date actually got MOVED IN!  That’s right, moved in.  You always hear about products "slipping out" their dates as they struggle to get out the door – trying to balance the right choices for the customer with product quality and business demands (ahem, Vista).  But rarely, at least in my experience, do you hear about product dates "slipping in" their dates.  That’s what happened with Writer.  Admittedly, we did "slip out" our release date early in the project when we revised what was going to be released in our first Beta.  After that initial adjustment, we stuck to that date and were on track.  So on track that when we had to adjust our dates in to accommodate an internal dependency – we did.  And then when Writer was leaked and we needed to announce even earlier – we did.  In all, the release date was moved in by nearly 4 days.  And in the world of web-releases, that seemed like a lot.

Like every product release, there is a huge sense of accomplishment now that Writer has finally walked out the front door.  Not every effort sees the light of day – so I feel honored to have worked on another project that actually shipped and one that I believe in so strongly.  I’m insatiable in my need to see all of the reviews and comments that are already out there and can’t wait to see more.  Please keep the feedback (good and bad) coming in!

And, like every product release, we’re already planning our next steps.  I already have a long list of items that we want to attack in the next version of Writer and, as we continue to get feedback, that list is only going to grow.  Now is when I have to contain my excitement and get back to work.

Happy Blogging,

Rebecca Levine
Windows Live Writer, Program Manager 

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