Shipping and release schedules

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…