I'm no mountain climber. In fact, someone had to tell me that Katmai was a mountain, and not just a National Park. For me, it was a lot easier to remember when the code names came from U.S. cities…. In fact, I’m still eagerly waiting the chance to work with Daytona. However, my apparent lack of mental capacity seems to have no effect on the product release schedule for major product teams here at Microsoft. As it turns out Yukon shipped three years ago, and now we have already announced the impending release of SQL Server 2008. How can anyone keep up?
Around here we spend quite a bit of time thinking about that very question…and basically we have come to the conclusion that every independent software vendor needs to hire about 30 developers, 10 testers and at least one architect and put them in charge of “staying current” with every new Microsoft release of the client, server, data store, and of course the framework itself. What? That doesn’t sound realistic…ok, well I guess we should move to plan B.
Plan B takes into consideration the fact that there is typically some type of payoff for ISVs who quickly embrace the next wave of innovation in the Microsoft platform. One must assume that people who had the first applications available for SharePoint (yes, I mean version 2.0 and beyond) benefitted from the time to market advantage. Microsoft partners who started work on Windows Server 2008 over two years ago have benefitted as well.
Just recently InformationWeek posted an article about the 1,000s of ISVs who got access to free training, all the builds, and free support through the Metro early adoption program. The same program is available for ISVs who are motivated to work on the upcoming release of SQL Server Katmai. Some of the partner names are already being marketed on the SQL Server blog. Dealing with pre-release software isn’t easy. It is usually the super-fun time when you really feel like you are working with a giant company. The Metro experience takes a lot of the pain out of the process. The program gives you access to things (like training, labs, and support) that will end up costing money after the software is commercially available. Almost all of the major product groups are adopting this model for introducing their betas to ISVs, and hopefully it makes the experience working with our software a little less like climbing a mountain.
Microsoft Director Platform Evangelism