In software today tighter release cycles seems to be the tune. To release something early to a targeted group and then continuous releasing updates, fixes and features in short cycles. Take Visual Studio for example that had beta 1, beta 2, RTM and Service Pack 1 targeted for release in the third quarter of 2006.
Office 12 and Windows Vista are other examples of this. The beta 1 release is out and CTP’s (Community Technical Previews) are released with pretty small intervals. There is many examples of this.
I think this is great, I love innovation, I love new stuff! When it comes to software! What I don’t like is when you by an of-the-shelf product that’s not ready for usage. Let me exemplify, a while back my mother bought an iRiver mp3 player. She is one of the few people I know who actually buy her music legally on line. And the songs she bought sounds like crap on her iRiver. And iRiver’s answer to this is that sometime in the future they will release a firmware upgrade that fixes this problem. When I bought my iPod, everything I’ve tried so far worked.
When I download a beta version I know the score, when I pay big money for something of the shelf I do not expect a half assed product. Next you’re going to stand on you kitchen parquet flooring with water everywhere and someone telling you on the phone that in the next version of firmware for your dishwasher they have a fix for you problem…