In a litany almost as old as software development itself, a Windows kernel developer posted a scathing rebuke of the way kernel development is being managed. His observations have struck a resonant chord among developers in many disciplines: The problems aren't unique to Microsoft or to the Windows kernel, but the situation he describes is certainly damaging and desperately needs to be resolved.
It all started as a post on the Hacker News forum from ace programmer Marc Bevand, bemoaning the fact that the Windows kernel runs so much slower than Linux. "I can't even remember the number of times I have written a multiplatform program in C or Java that always runs slower on Windows than on Linux, across dozens of different versions of Windows and Linux," Bevand wrote.
An anonymous poster commented on Bevand's thesis. One qualification set this poster apart from the others: He claimed to be a Windows dev who contributes to the kernel, and he provided information about an as-yet-unreleased kernel file that seems to confirm his claim.
Windows is indeed slower than other operating systems in many scenarios, and the gap is worsening. The cause of the problem is social. There's almost none of the improvement for its own sake, for the sake of glory, that you see in the Linux world... There's no formal or informal program of systemic performance improvement.
He goes on to describe a work environment that's a developer's nightmare -- but the situation is one that I hear about over and over, both inside and outside Microsoft. In a nutshell, here's what the anonymous poster says: