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Ensuring that you get updated seeds of new operating systems – Part 1

For people who make software, ensuring that their software is being supported on the latest Operating Systems versions is really necessary. Why would this be so ?
– Well, there are a number of people who prefer to quickly upgrade to the latest version of an Operating System since they believe that the latest version would be improved over a previous version
– OEM’s (in the case of Windows) release new hardware only on the latest Operating System. Hence, if you are going to buy a new laptop, the changes are very high that the only Operating System you will be offered will be Windows 8. I was fairly happy with Windows 7 on a previous laptop and looked for a new laptop that would offer Windows 7, and did not find one. If you want your software to be installed with these new laptops, then you better have support for the latest Operating System.
– In the case of Mac, newer machines that are available keep on rolling out with the latest version of Mac OS, and if you want new Mac customers to buy your software, then you better have support for the latest version of the software.
– Most of the large software have cycles of release that are atleast a year long and many release after longer periods of time. If you don’t support the latest Operating System that is on the verge of getting released, then you will find yourself locked out of the market for a long period of time.

However, there are many challenges ahead. For example, there is no necessity that the Operating System will be on the market before you have released your software. I remember a case where we were releasing a software in May, and were able to determine that the newest version of the Microsoft Operating System will be released in July. So in effect, we had to support an Operating System that was still 2 months away from release, and support it in a very strong way in terms of complete functionality (also keep in mind that makers of Operating Systems may not release the final date of the product till the release is almost there – in fact, Apple is very frustrating for software vendors since they do not announce dates; so we used to look for dates of Apple events to get an approximation of the probable schedule by when the next version of the MacOS will be released).
Now, this may seem daunting, but there was still a large amount of support. We would have some members of the extended team in the organization who would interface with Apple and Microsoft to ensure that we got as much advance information as possible, and were added to their list of software vendors who would participate in their programs and get their latest seeds.
This brings us to the topic of seeds. Seeds are nothing but periodic releases of the Operating Systems with more fixes and in a more stable condition as time progresses. They are typically all that a software application maker has to ensure that his product works fine on the new Operating System.

Read more in the next post (Getting updated seeds of new operating systems – Part 2)

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