SuperSite readers will remember Todd Wanke as the guy who ran Microsoft's War Room for Windows Server 2003 (chronicled in Windows Server 2003: The Road To Gold Part Two: Developing Windows). Todd, you may recall, had pledged to never again run a War Room after the grueling Windows Server 2003 development process. "No way," he said, laughing, when I had asked him then if he would do it again. "No way."
But in mid-2003, Microsoft needed Todd again, this time for what would ultimately prove to be the most secure client product that the company would ship to date: Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2). Recognizing how strategically important it was that Microsoft get this release right, he threw caution to the wind and signed on for what he initially envisioned as a three-month project. Over a year later, Todd and a virtual team of Microsofties that worked outside of the usually strict hierarchical system at Microsoft delivered Windows XP SP2 to an eager audience. The SP2 product they shipped bore little resemblance to Microsoft's original plans for the release, but was instead a far more secure and stable product that, ultimately, made XP a better operating system.
In early December, I sat down with Todd, Ryan Burkhardt, and Jon Murchinson to discuss XP SP2 and the virtual team that made it happen. Here is their story.