— blending the mix

Windows Updates vs. Beta Testing – the great programming anomoly

Business 2.0 runs a great article on how [tag]Steven Sinofsky[/tag] is being charged with changing the way Windows may be programmed in order for it to sustain its market share.

It suggests that continual product development in the shape of the Google-perfected “permanent-beta” is a way in which Windows should go. The benefits are that users feel involved with the testing of the concept, that their opinion counts and ultimately are shaping the direction the software goes. It suggests a degree of exclusivity and can even result in the trading of invites.
In true Web 2.0 style, the buzz about the product is greater than the product’s benefits! But would it work for [tag]Microsoft[/tag]?

Consumers balk at yet more [tag]Windows[/tag] updates, whilst others expect Old Mother Microsoft to protect them and provide them with as many updates as neceessary to ensure their software works.

So could Microsoft really expect its existing customers to want a partially-finished Windows product in order that it is perpetually improved? I think not.

I would bet only 15% would be keen to be part of something that makes them feel important enough to be “trialling” Microsoft software, whilst the remaining 5% would thrive on the illusion that they are special (I know because I do!!).

The remaining 75% of Windows either do not care about Beta or are scared of it (scary geek-terminology) – they want something that, to coin an Apple phrase “Just works”.

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