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Why delay the VS2012 release, Microsoft?

The date is 10th August 2012. Developers have been wondering for weeks when the release of VS2012 and ASP.NET 4.5 will happen. Somasegar, cvp of dev div in Microsoft, has just announced that the final build version of VS2012 is complete.This means the product is ready for release. Dot net developers all over the world are eagerly waiting for the immortal words, “it’s available to download on MSDN”. Unfortunately they haven’t come. Instead, the download will not show up for another 14 days. This seems wasteful to me.

Tell me if I am incorrect, but I believe the delay is that the product has gone to tool vendors to make sure that their tools / plugins will work with the application. This to me seems a very strange thing to do. This product has technically been in the making for 18 months (since the release of VS2010) so giving it to vendors in the final 2 weeks is crazy. What will happen if the vendors report it doesn’t work with their tools? Would Microsoft stop a release for this considering it is so baked into the windows 8 release? I don’t think there is any possibility of that happening at all. Therefore why the delay? I understand that 3rd party vendors are customers that Microsoft have to satisfy, but technically so are we – the users of the product.

My ethos on software delivery is ship early, ship often. I hate when a feature is complete that it has to wait around for 2 weeks before release. Get the product out there, start gathering feedback and get planning to deliver more value to that customer. I understand that VS2012 is not easy to release often. Its a rather large download and there are pricing models around it. But changing the shape of the product to delivery in small chunks that are updatable more often would allow the product to get shaped by its user base. Faster feedback means delivering more customer value. It seems that other departments within Microsoft are now following this model (MVC team, EF team and Nuget team). Delivering like this is becoming more popular (and hopefully will become the standard). Its time to embrace this ethos Microsoft. Its certainly how I would be looking at things in the future if I were the product lead developer.

My $0.02

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