Excuse me… your corporate culture is showing… (alternate title: Naming/Versioning of your pre-release software is only there to make you feel better… not your target audience)

If the ASP.NET MVC release strategy of putting out a new code drop fairly frequently and getting early feedback was an indication that Microsoft’s culture was moving toward a more "release early, release often" <insert semi-relevant, but still interesting link here> mentality, today’s release of SQL Server 2008 RC0 is an indication that not all product groups within Microsoft are comfortable with that same strategy.

*In your best parent to small child, calm, supportive voice*
Why not just give it an RC1? Scared? It’s okay… I won’t hurt you. I’m here to help. I’m part of your target audience. Still scared? Go with "Beta".. I’ll understand. It’s not ready for full release. Again, I am here to help by giving you feedback so that, if your target audience (read: "me") thinks its a flop, they (again, "I") can let you know earlier than your actual release date. See? … We can work together to get you to where you want to be.

Anyway, the point is that your target audience knows its not yet supported. They don’t care whether it’s "beta", "release candidate", "alpha", "pre-alpha", "eap". That’s just there to show the world how comfortable you are with getting pre-release feedback from the target audience. Isn’t getting early and frequent feedback a good thing?

Oh yeah, by the way, SQL Server 2008 RC0 was released today.

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2 thoughts on “Excuse me… your corporate culture is showing… (alternate title: Naming/Versioning of your pre-release software is only there to make you feel better… not your target audience)

  1. I should have added "version 0.x" to the list of version names that make software releasers feel better. (intentional misspelling).

  2. Sounds like when it comes to ‘customer data’, they don’t want to risk anything even if it means hiding behind a silly label.

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