Andrew MacNeill – AKSEL Solutions says: . Too True: Microsoft has become the slowest moving beast in the jungle. Other vendors are shipping betas now, or have been shipping live products for years. Andrew notes “There’s a lot to be said about taking the time to get it done right.” Yes, that’s true, but in the immortal words of Susan Graham “Shipping is a feature.” Contrast this attitude with the Open Source idea of “ship early, ship often.” Agile organizations can cobble together a prototype, pass it around to interested parties, build a beta-quality product, circulate it amongst a large audience, use the feed back to add/drop/modify features, then Version 1.0 can kick butt, instead of just being a platform for delivering Service Pack One. Perhaps Microsoft does this within their closed, NDA-enshrouded beta process, but few products (with Visual FoxPro a notable exception) appear to benefit from the vetting. Either the testers aren’t giving MSFT good enough feedback, or MSFT is failing to act on it.
Microsoft has been this route already once with Active Desktop and Channel Description Format (CDF). Any bets that second time will be the charm?