Windows 8 Not a Beta but a Consumer Preview
Windows 8 Not a Beta but a Consumer Preview
Written by Ian Elliot   
Thursday, 26 January 2012

The official line at CES was that the "consumer preview" of Windows 8 would be available "in late February". So what has happened to the beta? And what does this mean for developers?

Whatever happened to the software release lifecycle?

It used to be so easy - first there was alpha, then a beta and then a release candidate. OK, occasionally the process became confused by the issue of a pre-alpha, but that was more or less it.

Then along came community previews and other things that were difficult to place in any sort of development cycle.

Now Windows 8 appears to be breaking with tradition yet again and the reasons are, what else, commercial. Now the life cycle is renamed just to put a spin on what is going on.

You may have downloaded the Developer Preview of Windows 8 and concluded that this is just a name for a late alpha or at best an early beta. It is not so much that there are lots of bugs, there are quite a few, but there are a lot of missing features. Any software that is incomplete can't really be a true beta, but you can argue the point.

 

windows8active

 

Now a number of sources are reporting the words used at CES to describe the forthcoming Windows 8 "beta":

“We haven’t talked about the release date and we generally don’t. We are talking milestone to milestone, so for us right now we’re talking about the next milestone being the consumer preview happening in late February.”
(Source: PocketLint)

Notice the use of the term "consumer preview". So it isn't a beta but something that is good enough for end-users to play with. It makes it sound as if the code is much closer to being finished and a release candidate than the term "beta" would.

So now, according to Microsoft, the release lifecycle goes:

  1. Developer Preview - let developers play with it and produce early prototype applications that probably won't work on later releases.
  2. Consumer Preview - let consumers play with it while the developers try to catch up with the changes to the APIs.
  3. Then what? Do we move to an OEM Preview or straight to the shipping version?

This has more to do with spin than anything else and it damages the communication between Microsoft and its developer community.

What are we to expect of a Consumer Preview?

Is it a buggy beta, feature complete or an almost ready to go code base? Are we to treat it with care, look out for another major release, expect changes, or what?

There are some real advantages in sticking to old fashioned well understood jargon.

 

win82

 

 
 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

To be informed about new articles on I Programmer, subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Google+, Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

 

Banner


TypeScript 2.2 Adds More Code Actions
27/02/2017

There's a new release of TypeScript with more code actions, a new object type, and easier string indexing behavior among its improvements. TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to [ ... ]



Android Studio 2.3 - In Need Of Direction
03/03/2017

Android Studio 2.3 is out and it is an improvement. Even so its users probably would like it to have a better sense of direction and to be given the impression of a project that knows where it's going [ ... ]


More News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 January 2012 )
 
 

   
RSS feed of news items only
I Programmer News
Copyright © 2017 i-programmer.info. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.