We have not seen too many former colleagues publicly speak out about Jon DeVaan or George Grant outside of Steven Sinofsky. But as it turns out Hal Berenson has worked with both DeVaan and George Grant. Of course here at MSNews we are fans of Hal’s who writes a great blog entitled Hal2020. For those not familiar with Mr. Berenson, he is a former Microsoft distinguished engineer and worked at the company from 1994 – 2002 and spent decades at the Digital Equipment Corporation before that. Due to his experiences Hal often provides a unique perspective and earlier today he shared his thoughts on DeVaan and Grant.
Hal on Job DeVaan:
I interacted with Jon a little in his time in Online Services and then we worked together extensively (on Quests) when he was running the Core OS group during Windows 7. Steven Sinofsky got the public credit for how good Windows 7 is, but most of the improvement that you see (over Vista) is because of Jon. The quality improvements, the focus on improving memory usage and boot time, bringing the relationship with OEMs on OS support back from the dead, etc. are Jon. Even the Service Pack work that made Vista usable is Jon. I’ve rarely found executives in our industry that were as devoted to producing great software as Jon.
Hal on George Grant:
I never worked with Grant though we met back in the 90s when we were teammates as part of one of Microsoft’s leadership development offsites. Grant lead the two largest and most critical test organizations in his career at Microsoft, and the results were obvious to any observer. The quality of Office and then Window 7 and 8/8.1 were outstanding. With my limited visibility I’d say Microsoft has lost a great test leader. But it is also clear that having lead the organizations he did there were likely no roles of similar scope available in the current org structure.
Read Hal’s full post, well written and thought out as always: Hal2020: Jon DeVaan and Grant George