This week’s Leopard update from Apple sparked a thought in my head that’s been brewing for a while now. Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie seem to have been on to something when they sang Every OS Sucks a few years back (lyricsvideo).

[tags]Leopard, OS X, Mac, Apple, Vista, Microsoft, Linux, Three Dead Trolls and a Baggie[/tags]

Lets look at the latest Microsoft offering, Vista. I was so late it stopped being funny to make joke about its tardiness. It had most of it’s cool features dropped in repeated failed attempts to get it out remotely on time. It’s an absolute HOG when it comes to hardware. And the cherry to top off the turd is that it was still half-baked on release.

Are things much better in the Linux world? Yes and no. Silly bugs that should never have made it into release versions seem all too common in the RedHat Enterprise releases I use in work. My collegue’s recent battles with Fedora Core 9 and Ubuntu seem to suggest that things are no different on desktop Linux distributions. However, at least Linux is feature-rich and very easy on hardware, running happily on just about any old box you have lying around.

Then we come to Apple. The sheer number of bugs Apple were still patching at version 10.5.3 shows that Leopard was every bit as half-baked as Vista when it came out. Granted it’s more feature-complete and much less of a resource hog but that doesn’t change that fact that Apple let sold it before it was ready. It should not take three bug-fix releases to beat the main bugs out of any software, let alone commercial software that people are expected to pay for!

The annoying reality is that it seems to be standard practice now to use end-users as un-suspecting beta testers. Maybe we’re even partly to blame by that I mean both ‘we the users’ and ‘we the bloggers and podcasters’. We’re exceptionally impatient. We want new toys NOW. Not in six months, NOW. In fact, we’d like them yesterday please! We’re putting insane amounts of pressure on companies to set early release dates. However, the companies should take their fair share of the blame too. They should set more realistic deadlines so that it’s actually possible for them to deliver a good product on time. Delivering beta-rate crap late is not good enough.

What can we do? We need to learn not only to accept longer development times, but to expect them. And we need to give companies hell when they abuse us by charging us for beta software!