John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Ballmer at Build: Microsoft Moving Windows to Rapid Release Cycle


Asa Mathat /

Microsoft’s annual Build conference rolled into San Francisco Wednesday morning, bringing with it the latest version of the company’s Windows operating system, 8.1, and a new developer-friendly vision of the company itself, pitched strategically at that crucial audience. The cornerstones of that vision? According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, they are rapid innovation and accelerated product release schedules.

“We are moving to an absolutely rapid release cycle,” Ballmer said, adding, “Rapid release, rapid release, rapid release,” in a sort of “developers, developers, developers” refrain.

“We’re transitioning from a software company to a company that’s building software, devices and services,” Ballmer said. “And the only way we can do that is to adopt a rapid product release cadence. This is fundamental to what we’re doing, and what we must to do to mobilize our ecosystem and our partners.”

Great news for Microsoft developers, and for the company itself. Microsoft’s three-year OS release cadence might have been great a few years ago, and a good tool for nailing big corporate contracts. But these days, with rivals like Google and Apple iterating so much more quickly, it’s significantly less viable.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work