Probably, most of you have already seen the update on our roadmap (http://www.telerik.com/products/aspnet/roadmap.aspx) and have noticed that telerik will be changing the release schedule as of 2007 – we will have 3 releases of our UI suites for Windows Forms and ASP.NET per year instead of four. I thought it would be a good idea to share some further insights into why we took this decision and to make a point that sometimes "less is more".
Perhaps the major reason for the change is the administrative overhead around releases. As you all know times around every launch are very hectic: all regression tests are running on the control libraries, all supporting materials (examples, documentation, etc) are tested and polished, a lot of content on the website is updated, customer inquiries are handled for all upgrade procedures etc. It's hard work that is important but simply does not bring much value on the table. Cutting down on these costs will leave us with more time and resources for work that delivers value to our customers.
The move to 3 Qs (yes, we will keep the Q naming as "Q" stands for "Quintessential" and not for "Quarter":) will also allow us to benefit from an extra 1-1.5 months per year for development, tech content writing and QA. We strongly believe that this productivity gain will result in more products, more features for existing products, improved usability, better documentation and even more technical materials. Last but not least, the extra time will allow us to continue our efforts in the QA and UX space and to deliver components like no other - UI controls that work as expected and which are extremely well tested.
We have also received feedback from some customers that they can hardly keep their release cycles with telerik’s fast pace of updates and they often do not need to upgrade until a couple of months after our release. This seemed like a good indication that the benefits of having less releases with more features and higher quality will be better appreciated by the majority of telerik customers.
The reduced number of major releases will in no way compromise the benefits that subscription customers are receiving. Just the opposite, we believe that we will be able to offer more value on a yearly basis in terms of both quantity and quality. We will still be having interim releases whenever there is something major we have to be compatible with like a new major browser versions, ASP.NET AJAX updates, etc so you can expect to be up to date with any new platform/browser updates.
What's your take? How will this change in telerik’s release schedule likely to affect your projects and development? We will be happy to hear any comments you might have.