A Brave New World – The changing pace of Microsoft Product Release Updates

In the new post-Azure launch world of Microsoft we are seeing many, many more updates to our favourite pieces of software. Now I don’t mean the normal Tuesday Windows Update  but releases of new point versions to the core software we all love and use. At Build this year we will see ‘Windows 8 Blue’ or Windows 8.1 released – a substantial update less than a year since Windows 8 launched. I’ve just installed Visual studio update 2 and news of update 3 is just around the corner and news is just filtering through of an office update later in the year.

Not only is the core changing but many of the constituent parts are also reving at various rates. Now freed up from the shackles of Visual Studio we are seeing ASP.Net, Entity Framework and the like all updating at various rates. The introduction of Nuget as a distribution method exemplifies this approach.

Now this is great stuff in one way but also quite destabilising in an other way. A 6 month+ development project can easily be damaged by an over zealous update that delivers more problems than it fixes. Is Microsoft sticking to the common practise of Major releases delivering new and substantially changed features and point releases being more a kin to refinement and bug fix? With Azure we are now already understanding that all releases seem major! So is this good or bad. For me it is good as I am no longer waiting 2 years for fixes to software, the various components that make-up the developers tool box are keeping up with the changes in the world and the pace of the mobile world is being matched.

So as the title says – A Brave New World and one where we need to embrace this change and adapt our processes to meet the challenges it gives us. It does mean we really need to be aware of all the changes going on and monitor the blogs and news items for the announcements.  Even more need maybe for an 8” surface tablet to replace my mini iPad for my ‘in bed’ early morning research with my cuppa!

Written by Andy James at 10:30

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