Thursday, May 04, 2006

Vista Delayed - Where's the Outrage?

Recently, there was reportedly a statement released by Gartner indicating Microsoft would again delay release of it's Vista product. I didn't dig deep enough to figure out why, because it doesn't matter.

It used to be a big deal for me, as a Novell die-hard, when Microsoft effectively announced to the world that "this whole big OS development thingie is, well, darned tough to figure out, and, well, sometimes it kicks our little wet Seattle butts."

This was glaringly evident when you could set your calendars by Novell product releases. Every three months, roughly, you could count on a pretty significant product release.

Something interesting happened to all of us as we've matured in our profesisons. Quality started to matter - a lot - especially when we found ourselves without it.

Novell's insane rush to meet these ridiculous, blue-sky deadlines for product releases didn't result in better products. Quite the opposite - the quality of Novell products across the board has declined rapidly. All too often, product groups re-prioritize based on objectives that don't think nearly far enough ahead, and wind up releasing software that is a complete mess. NetWare. GroupWise. ZEN for Servers. BorderManager. Novell Portal Services. All of these products used to be great. Or at least full of promise. Now, some of them are either garbage, or soon to be deceased.

Only GroupWise is too stubborn to realize it's a dinosaur and needs to reinvent itself to remain relevant, but e-mail as a platform is one of the hardest for companies to replace. By rights, on it's merits, it should be a relic of a past long and thankfully forgotten. Sadly, it's not.

I'm surprised most of all by my own indifference to any announcement that the ship date for Vista will slip. I think to myself "Let it slip, if that means it'll be right when you finally ship it." This is a lesson Microsoft seemed to have learned over the past 10 years, and I'm glad they have. It's a lesson I wish very much that Novell would get through it's thick, old, dinosaur skull.

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