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Oct 02 2016

Not a Joke: Microsoft Seeks Senior Program Manager to Oversee Patch Days

Since its inception in 2003, Microsoft's regular monthly Patch Tuesday has garnered mostly positive reviews. Early reports about cases where it caused short-term malfunctions or even fried entire installations soon gave way to more favorable assessments as Redmond and its customers developed suitable update routines. As a result, patch days were no longer perceived as a threat. Then came the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

For many Windows users, July 30 and August 2, 2016, may not be dates to keep a fond memory of. On the former day, Windows 10 officially went on sale after a 12-month, free-of-charge test period. On the latter, Microsoft unleashed its Anniversary Update (aka Windows 10 Version 1607 aka Redstone) on an increasingly frustrated audience who found that hardware that had performed reasonably well under its predecessors suddenly needed some extra motivation or decided to quit altogether. Two more "cumulative updates" in September – one on the regular second Tuesday and the next about two weeks later – only added to the troubles as more users were either faced with stuck updates or the proverbial "Blue Screen of Death" and left with no proper method to bring their systems back up. For those affected, it was a bit of a Doctor Who experience; suddenly their computers behaved like the unreliable TARDIS vehicle in the TV series and catapulted them back to 2003 or 2004. Now they're waiting for Redmond to issue the required fixes. And as if that wasn't already bad enough, ISVs such as Sage have already warned their customers that the Anniversary Update may render their products or services unusable. In Sage's case, potential workarounds are provided with the warning.

Against this backdrop, it's not exactly surprising to learn that Microsoft's Windows Servicing and Delivery (WSD) team is on the lookout for a new "Senior Program Manager" who's supposed to help them with "enabling and unblocking key consumer and business scenarios by keeping customers up-to-date with the latest features, bug fixes, and patching security vulnerabilities for in market OS versions." The ideal candidate should hold a bachelor's degree or better in computer science or related fields, have 7+ years of industry experience, have an understanding of C/C++/C# codes as well as experience in server technologies used for enterprise IT deployments, and be familiar with TFS/VSO or other work tracking and bug management systems. Moreover, the new manager also must have the "ability to reduce chaos, increase simplification and reduce stress for the team."

The question remains whether Microsoft's new job offering is in any way related to the latest patch drama. If not, the WSD team would be well advised to hire a couple more Senior Program Managers to focus exclusively on delivering Windows-as-a-Service to SOHO customers and SMBs.


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