Are big software companies getting too big?

Here at LightWire we work with and are partners with all types of companies so we can offer the services that best fit the needs of our customers, but we have been noticing a trend lately.  The larger software companies seem to have trouble releasing quality products at the right time, and its not just bugs – its compatibility between even their own major products.  Most notably of late the two companies with snafus during launch were Microsoft and VMware.

Microsoft recently released Windows 2012 and Exchange Server 2013 – both major products for the company, the previous versions of these applications were Windows 2008 and Exchange 2010.  One major problem, if you were using Exchange 2010 and wanted to upgrade to Windows 2012 you couldn’t – they weren’t compatible!  These are products that are not even two years apart – if you were on Exchange 2010 you were stuck on Windows 2008.  Of course the obvious track would be to upgrade to Exchange 2013…but there in lies yet another problem – you can’t upgrade from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013!!  That’s right, at launch there is not a direct upgrade path, you would have to install Exchange 2013 as a completely brand new installation and migrate everything, that flies in the face of 10+ years of tried and true Exchange upgrades.  While Microsoft plans to fix this in a future “patch” for Exchange 2010 they should have had it ready for the Exchange 2013 launch.

Over the summer, VMware released VMware View 5.1 and vSphere 5.1 – sounds like they would be compatible.  In fact several KB articles and blog posts suggested that bug fixes for VMware View 5 would be addressed with Hardware version 9 which is the version available with vSphere 5.1, but like Microsoft, they launched the product before they were ready and it was several weeks before you could use View 5.1 and vSphere 5.1 together.  That’s not to mention several other bugs and problems introduced with vSphere 5.1 which caused early upgraders headaches.

Thankfully for our customers, this kind of thing is just another day in the life for a technologist and we have successfully implemented these technologies even though the vendors who released the software weren’t ready for them.