Lucovsky: Building a Google OS

Via Emergic.org, a pay-attention post from Mark Lucovsky, former Microsoft distinguished operating system architect, now Google engineer, on what it means to ship software:
” I am not sure I believe anymore, that Microsoft ‘knows how to ship software’. When a Microsoft engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they “ship” that software to me? I know the answer and so do you… The software sits in a source code control system for a minimum of two years (significantly longer for some of the early Longhorn code)…(snip)..In many cases, particularly for users working in large corporations, they won’t see the software for a year or more post RTM…
When an Amazon engineer fixes a minor defect, makes something faster or better, makes an API more functional and complete, how do they “ship” that software to me? What is the lag time between the engineer completing the work, and the software reaching its intended customers? A good friend of mine investigated a performance problem one morning, he saw an obvious defect and fixed it. His code was trivial, it was tested during the day, and rolled out that evening. By the next morning millions of users had benefited from his work.”
In other words, speed of execution makes a huge difference in making a difference, and as Rich Skrenta so perceptively said, Google IS creating itself as a massive OS.
And now they’ve got the guy to do it.