Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Feb 2008 20:20 UTC
Windows Microsoft has flung open the door for anyone interested in getting their mitts on release candidate 2 of Windows XP SP3. The software giant had made RC2 of the final service pack of XP already available to several thousand beta testers a few weeks ago. Now, it feels brave enough to pump it out to the masses.
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RE: Methinks I'll wait
by chrono13 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 22:46 UTC in reply to "Methinks I'll wait"
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"Yes, an RC is very close to final production code, but it can theoretically still change."

Unfortunately, with Microsoft you have to shift all development cycles one step to the right, with RC falling right off the track altogether.

"Release Candidates" are released with the foreknowledge that there are still bugs to be fixed, and there will be code changes. An example was RC2, where the build number is placed in the My Computer's properties instead of "Service Pack 3".

This isn't just with their Service Packs either. This "release an RC as a beta" applies to almost all of their software. Then they change the code, and release the final without a real RC. The release candidate is the one you buy.

This shift unfortunately extends backward. Beta's are often very clearly alphas. Most of the software world uses RC to mean "Candidate for Release", and potentially, hopefully, no code changes.

Perhaps this is one of the primary causes of the release buggy, fix later problem* that Microsoft has fallen in to.

*Not really a business problem for a monopoly, as there is no need to compete.

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