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Jeff Atwood wrote an interesting article recently Why Does Software Spoil?  In the article, he notes that most software becomes bloated with extra features over time to the point of absurdity.

I think that one of the most interesting things about software (and computer hardware) sales is the way it differs from other products. The word "New" has always been one of the most powerful words in advertising, but it much more powerful in the software industry.  A company that is using MS Access 95 is considered antediluvian by today's standards...  But a company with a building constructed in 1995 is not derided at all.

In my mind, the extra premium on newness in software customers comes from the phenomenon of Moore's Law that is so widely known in the industry.  When processing speeds are doubling every 18 months or so (and storage capacity is doubling even more quickly), all old hardware becomes obsolete very quickly. 

So customers expect that new software will be developed for new hardware, and with richer feature sets (after all, what good is all of that extra processing power and storage without new features)....

I expect that when processing speed improvements plateau, customer expectations for software will change as well...

Interested in your comments,

Jonathan
Technorati Profile Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:51 AM Critique , Software Design | Back to top


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