|Skype Journal: Skype 3.0 will be released on ... Friday 16th March 2007! : By pouring over the change logs for Skype for windows, I gathered these facts. First there was Skype release 0.9x (major revision 0), which went through 23 public versions, and the average number of days between releases was 15.0 days. Next was Skype release 1.x, which went through 25 public versions, and had an average of 18.4 days between releases. We're now at Skype release 2.0, which has so far gone through 7 public versions, with an average days between releases of 20.3 days. Clearly, Skype are slowing down!|
Now compare this with releases from MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, Google. Or Firefox or most of the OSS packages. My guess is that the majors are now so wrapped up in bureaucracy, quality control and management sign off that they've effectively forgotten how to ship early and ship often. What they don't seem to realise is that it's the only way they're going to stop Skype.
This does assume though that there's a constant stream of new features that can be added that is never ending. There will come a time when Skype simply has nothing more to add. The whole IM+VoIP arena will finally mature and converge on a single set of functions that everyone supports equally. but we're a long way from that yet.
Remind me again how long it is since the Google LibJingle announcement. 6 months? Where are the 3rd party products that support it? When are they going to appear?
And now reflect on IE6. We get a maintenance patch to IE about every month. And yet the core functionality hasn't changed in 4 years. I've just been struggling with implementing min-width and max-width in IE which still doesn't support this CSS tag. So why doesn't Microsoft roll out incremental enhancements that add support for things like this or fix the 1 pixel off bug as they go along and fix security problems? They've got the mechanism which is reasonably seamless. They've trained users to run updates once a month. Why does it take a whole major release to sort out the small annoyances?
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