Home » Uncategorized » Microsoft tells developers to ship production on beta products

Microsoft is encouraging developers to write productions applications with the new Beta 2 releases of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. From this press release:

“Together, the products provide a deeply integrated development and data management platform, enabling customers to utilize existing skills and familiar tools to harness data in powerful new ways that increase productivity and efficiency. Several early adopters such as ABS-CBN Interactive, ORF and Townsend Analytics Ltd. have deployed these products in their production environments to reap the benefits of close tool and database integration. Because of broad customer demand to work with these prerelease products today, Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Go-Live license program for customers interested in deploying Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition immediately.”

I for one would never deploy a production version of my custom applications with beta products at this stage of development, and I have worked with some rock solid beta versions in the past. What happens to your production products when Microsoft decides to pull a feature out of the product because it cannot be tested sufficiently or they decide it was poorly designed or implemented? Now you have to tell your users: sorry, we have to remove this functionality because Microsoft decided to pull it from Visual Studio or SQL Server.

I think this is a really bad idea for a product at this stage of development. Release candidates are usually buttoned down from a feature standpoint, but even those versions have been known to have show-stoppers in them. Early adoption is one thing, but I think this is pushing the envelope too far. The one upside for Microsoft, some of the best bugs are found in shipping products. Maybe this is just a better way to find those hidden bugs (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Add reply