When Microsoft has a new product they want to make perfect before release – all of their products, that is – they work with a testing model they call dogfooding. With dogfooding, they feed themselves the product, the product here being Windows 8, before they send it out as a final iteration. An update from Patrick O’Rourke of Microsoft IT revealed this week how they deployed Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 to their staff well before they did to the general public to test the builds in real world situation on the regular.
With this update we learn that Microsoft is confident enough in their products to test them on their own staff – that’s something that not just Microsoft does, but it does instill a sense of confidence and trust no matter who says it. They noted that they also used a forum called “//pointers” for early adopters which thrived due to users who not only wanted to get help working with Windows 8, but wanted to help others in the online community as well. With a release like this based even in part on a community that’s willing to help itself, Microsoft has a winner on its hands.
It was reiterated that some of the most important points that were tested again and again nearly endlessly were Security, User Experience, and Support. The support element appeared to never have been a problem as not just Microsoft was able to work easily with early adopters, but early adopters were able to easily help one another as the software was tested. The user experience was pushed from the installation process to the assurance of software compliance to data migration – and that’s all right at the start of the experience.
Microsoft has been clear that they mean business in security with Windows 8 with Trusted Boot – made in an effort to protect the boot process specifically from malware. DirectAccess has been updated with validation of virtual smart cards using Trusted Platform Module chips – complicated stuff – and Measured Boot for the testing of the health of any Windows 8 machine at startup. BitLocker is also at the center of the security world in Windows 8, with a new feature called Network Key Protector Unlock able to unlock a drive when the machine you’re suing is plugged into your corporate network.
Business owners should here be confident that their adoption of Windows 8 across their network will have a massive amount of support both inside the software and from Microsoft itself right from the start. This news bit was made more to assure IT users that they’ve tasted the food first before they send it to the restaurant, so to speak, and that it’s more than safe – it’s tasty.