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7/7/2006
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1 In 5 Vista Bugs Still Unfixed

Most of the unresolved bugs are from the Beta 2 time frame, one researcher says. According to his accounting, only about 250 of the unfixed bugs are over two months old.

Although 1 in 5 bugs logged to Microsoft's semi-public database of Windows Vista problems haven't yet been fixed, a Windows developer and consultant who analyzed the listing said Friday that his research showed the company was quickly addressing bugs as they were submitted.

Robert McLaws, who hosts the Longhorn Blogs site, fed the nearly 28,000 bug reports from the Connect site's database -- open only to Microsoft-chosen beta testers -- into Excel. Of the 27,479 bugs (as of July 3), 5,743 remained classified as "open." The remainder had either been tagged as "closed" or "resolved."

"They have a lot of them fixed," said McLaws, "and of the ones which haven't been fixed, most are [from the] Beta 2 timeframe." According to his accounting, only about 250 of the unfixed bugs are over two months old. (For reference, Microsoft released Vista Beta 2 in a public preview a month ago.)

"Based on the numbers [of bugs] closed, it really does look like they're pushing for quality," McLaws added. "It proves that they're doing a good job."

But McLaws admitted that his analysis was based on incomplete data. Bug status information from the database is limited, he said, and wouldn't let him determine the number of duplicates or those not reproducible.

"It's apparent that Microsoft is not accurately differentiating between closed bugs and resolved bugs. If Closed = 'Can't Reproduce' and Resolved = Fixed,' that means that only a little over 1,000 customer issues were actually addressed. That can't be right," he wrote on the Longhorn site.

McLaws also graphed the number of posted bugs against the various Vista build release dates, and concluded that testers are quick to log problems: within 24 hours of build's release, an average of 200 bugs are submitted. The number of bugs has also been increasing, particularly since the debut of Beta 2 and the associated CPP (Consumer Preview Program) in early June.

"One might look at all this data and think that the builds are getting buggier," said McLaws. "But I don't think that is a correct assumption. I don't think there are more bugs, just more people with access to the builds."

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