Frequency and predictability of builds for Windows Insiders
Why it is a challenge to just tell a date for the next build
It is counter-intuitive, but doing this actually makes builds get published more slowly
and have less
fresh content than by leaving the date open ended. Why?
- If we announce a date, we’ll want to have a very high confidence of hitting it. It’s frustrating for you to hear a date and be let down if we miss it, and it’s frustrating and distracting for us too. Not only that, but it slows down our engineering since many of the same people who are scrambling after a missed date would otherwise have been making more forward progress on the product.
- Because we’d want that very high confidence we’d pick a date that was further out than if we were living on the edge. We’d give ourselves some time to deal with bugs and re-spin builds if we needed to.
- If we have a great build in hand, as often happens, leading up to the date we would hold on that build rather than ship it. We call this putting the build in ‘escrow’. Why not just ship it early? Well, some people get upset about the surprise, but also it sets expectations that sometimes we really mean a date and sometimes we don’t. We want people to know that when we say a date they can count on that date.
- In the worst case, if we’re chasing down a tough bug and run out of time, we may miss the date. This is of course way worse than being early. We’d have let down people who were counting on us to deliver on the date we said we would.