Microsoft’s Obsolete Process and Release Cycle

I made two posts recently that muddled serveral issues so I am creating a seperate post here to isolate them and provide a location for comments specific to this issue:

Microsoft is loosing the battle with its open-source competition in languages and web frameworks because of their obsolete processes and release cycles

In summary, it’s my belief that the processes and release cycle for designing, building and releasing developer tools as well as for attracting developers that worked so well in the 80’s and 90’s are now obsolute when compared to the process in use by the open-source community. Further I believe that if Microsoft doesn’t completely rethink how it manages it’s processes and release cycle for designing, building and releasing developer tools in a manner that is competitive with the open-source process that it will slip farther and farther behind until it’s developers tools become irrelevent. Of course as that happens Microsoft’s platforms will also slowly decline in relevence until it is simply no longer the main player but instead one of many.

That’s not to say they are not doing some things right, they are. But they need revolution not evolution to stay the major player in developer tools.

5 Replies to “Microsoft’s Obsolete Process and Release Cycle”

  1. I disagree. The open source model may work for those that don’t have a consistent deadline, but in the business world, the open source model is worse off. Planning release dates for releasing and patching software and setting EOL timelines makes the entire process much more organized. Open source has a tendency to release randomly and there is no clear EOL. That’s why companies like Red Hat, Novell, and Canonical offer a model similar to what Microsoft does.

  2. @Chris, thanks for the comment.

    When I wrote this post I cared deeply about the Microsoft tools and technologies having used them since before 1993. Since then I’ve moved on to use open-source developer tools for real solutions in the *business* world, and frankly I couldn’t be happier. So I don’t really care any more if the process is obsolete or not as it no longer negatively affects me like it did for so many years.

    Still I do want to cede your point when it comes to operating systems and other systems software (your examples are all o/s & systems.) However in the case of solutions and tools for developers I feel strongly that my point stands. For example, while PHP may be ugly, Apache cryptic and MySQL unrefined I’ve yet to find something that I can’t do with them unlike when I was working with Microsoft stack.

    Where the Microsoft stack has excelled is in providing larger corporations a throat to choke. That doesn’t make their process better, just more in line with the CYA culture prevalent in big companies.

  3. Right on mike ,what m$ users want is a place or someone phisical that they can scream at when something bad happens. unfortunaly we at this point cant do that with linux, and that, is all m$ is holding onto to claim that their programs are better than ours. All they have a centralize point of operation and the reliability of m$ users can pick up a phone and get their : questions, complaints, screams, insults and support answered and listened over the phone.(that is the only thing good they have, a good phone)

    thanks hanoy

  4. It sounds like a new adopter of open source: “all new, all good”.

    I do use MS “stack” and open source “stack” for 15 years and I must admit, open source is a nice thing, but not close to replace corporate solutions.

  5. @Joseph To say that Microsoft’s past processes can’t be improved by learning from open source is a bit naive, no? They already have, at least somewhat. They adopted jQuery.

    FWIW, I moved off .NET and onto open source 2+ years ago. I’ve been much less frustrated by it and have yet to regret the move.

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