Too many chefs
Joel on Software writes about a stupid feature in Windows Vista. One of the guys who worked on that stupid feature explains how bloated and process-bound Microsoft has become.
My favorite quote:
My team had a very talented UI (user interface) designer and my particular feature had a good, headstrong program manager with strong ideas about user experience. We had a Mac that we looked to as a paragon of clean UI.This last line is really important. The lesson is, if you want to do it right, see how it's done on a Mac.
In an sort of related post there's this comment about Zune development.
A striking thing about that little section of Microsoft (the Zune team): pictures of Steve Jobs on doors, walls, bulletin boards, each with a quote from Steve below it. The pictures were there, I was told, to motivate them, and to remind them of their goal. The usual thing for Microsoft, a taillight chase.