Vista Speech Bug: Larry comes clean

July 31, 2006

Last week, at Microsoft’s Financial Analysts Meeting, reporters poked fun at a demo bug with speech recognition, some going so far as to call it “Speech Wreckognition”. Slashdot had it, Neowin had it, Digg had it, Reuters had it.

Clearly this was a bug in a test build of Vista and it made for a good chuckle (you don’t hear about all the other demos that ran flawlessly of course). There must be someone responsible, to hold accountable right? That was probably a faceless, nameless developer somewhere in the “Echo Chamber” who would never admit it publicly right? When these things happen, engineers tear the demo system apart to learn from it but then keep that to themselves and quietly fix the bug, right?

Wrong. The owner of the issue, Larry Osterman is one of those developers I just admire the heck out of. He fessed up. “It was all my fault” he writes on his blog about the bug, noting what caused it, creating a shared learning with others. He could have said, “I spoke to the guy who owns the bug” but that would have been disingenuous. He held himself accountable. Kudos Larry. Subscribed.