A refreshing and solid read about what went wrong with Vista, from the inside, from Microsoft’s Director of Development of 12 years.
“The bet on C# and managed code included a strategy that reduced investments in the core unmanaged Win32 layers. I remember long meetings trying to get Windows to commit to relatively minor investments in text and graphics features that Office needed. Pulling these C# components out of the release made it even more obvious that Windows would be going years with very little improvement in core user interface controls for developers (like Office) on their main Win32 API.
Also catastrophically, the bet on Avalon had been paired with a major disinvestment in IE. The IE team was gutted to staff Avalon and IE was left on life support struggling to address the torrent of security issues cascading in. The vision was that HTML would be a legacy technology and the kinds of applications our competitors were targeting for the browser and HTML would be built on top of the new Avalon infrastructure.