Zune and Vista: compatibility is hard

I almost feel bad piling on, given how poor a reception the Zune is getting in the press: first CNN does their story on Zune which ends with the anchor and the reporter enthusing over how much cooler the anchor’s new iPod Shuffle is, then all the guff Microsoft is getting because the new Zune isn’t compatible with Windows Vista yet.

But my primary purpose in writing this isn’t to pile on, but to point out how difficult it is for developers to make their software compatible with Vista in a timely manner. Adobe just released Acrobat 8 a few weeks ago, and it too isn’t compatible with Vista or Office 2007. This isn’t because we don’t care about those platforms: rather, it shows how sometimes software release schedules make compatibility difficult. We could have delayed the Acrobat launch by a few months to wait for Vista and Office 2007 to go final, then do all of our testing and so forth, but doing so would have been risky. We didn’t really have any way of knowing that Vista and Office would really hit their RTM dates, and every day you delay shipping costs your company revenue. So it goes.

That probably won’t stop others from pointing at this lack of support as proof of incompetence or nefarious intent, though. (I’m actually surprised no one has accused the Zune team of omitting Vista incompatibility on purpose yet.)

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~ by Andrew Shebanow on 15Nov06.

 
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