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NOISE: Bill Gates view of SW Bugs and new releases - some quotes
Here is some signature fodder.
>FOCUS - is a German magazine
>FOCUS: Every new release of a software which has less bugs than the older
> one is also more complex and has more features...
>Gates: No, only if that is what'll sell!
>Gates: Only if that is what'll sell! We've never done a piece of software
> unless we thought it would sell. That's why everything we do in
> software ... it's really amazing: We do it because we think that's
> what customers want. That's why we do what we do.
>FOCUS: But on the other hand - you would say: Okay, folks, if you don't
> like these new features, stay with the old version, and keep the bugs?
>Gates: No! We have lots and lots of competitors. The new version - it's not
> there to fix bugs. That's not the reason we come up with a new version.
>FOCUS: But there are bugs an any version which people would really like to
> have fixed.
>Gates: No! There are no significant bugs in our released software that any
> significant number of users want fixed.
>FOCUS: Oh, my God. I always get mad at my computer if MS Word swallows the
> page numbers of a document which I printed a couple of times with page
> numbers. If I complain to anybody they say "Well, upgrade from
> version 5.11 to 6.0".
>Gates: No! If you really think there's a bug you should report a bug. Maybe
> that you're not using it properly. Have you ever considered that?
>FOCUS: Yeah, I did...
>Gates: It turns out Luddites don't know how to use software properly, so
> you should look into that. - The reason we come up with new versions
> is not to fix bugs. It's absolutely not. It's the stupidest reason to
> buy a new version I ever heard. When we do a new version we put in lots
> of new things that people are asking for. And so, in no sense, is
> stability a reason to move to a new version. It's never a reason.
>FOCUS: How come I keep being told by computer vendors "Well, we know about
> this bug, wait till the next version is there, it'll be fixed"? I hear
> this all the time. How come? If you're telling me there are no
> significant bugs in software and there is no reason to do a new version?
>Gates: No. I'm saying: We don't do a new version to fix bugs. We don't. Not
> enough people would buy it. You can take a hundred people using Microsoft
> Word. Call them up and say "Would you buy a new version because of bugs?"
> You won't get a single person to say they'd buy a new version because of
> bugs. We'd never be able to sell a release on that basis.
>FOCUS: Probably you have other contacts to your software developers. But if
> Mister Anybody, like me, calls up a store or a support line and says,
> "Hey listen, there's a bug" ... 90 percent of the time I get the answer
> "Oh, well, yeah, that's not too bad, wait to the next version and it'll
> be fixed". That's how the system works.
>Gates: Guess how much we spend on phone calls every year.
>FOCUS: Hm, a couple of million dollars?
>Gates: 500 million dollars a year. We take every one of these phone calls
> and classify them. That's the input we use to do the next version.
> So it's like the worlds biggest feedback loop. People call in - we
> decide what to do on it. Do you want to know what percentage of those
> phonecalls relates to bugs in the software? Less than one percent.
>FOCUS: So people call in to say "Hey listen, I would love to have this and
> that feature"?
>Gates: Actually, that's about five percent. Most of them call to get advice
> on how to do a certain thing with the software. That's the primary thing.
> We could have you sit and listen to these phone calls. There are millions
> and millions of them. It really isn't statistically significant. Sit in
> and listen to Win 95 calls, sit in and listen to Word calls, and wait,
> just wait for weeks and weeks for someone to call in and say "Oh, I
> found a bug in this thing".
>FOCUS: So where does this comon feeling of frustration come from that
> unites all the PC users? Everybody experiences it every day that these
> things simply don't work like they should.
>Gates: Because it's cool. It's like, "Yeah, been there done that - oh,
> yeah, I know that bug." - I can understand that phenomenon
> sociologically, not technically.