Software Houses Dumping Non-Y2K Compliant Appsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Software Houses Dumping, Not Fixing, Non-Y2K Compliant Apps
May 07, 1999: 2:54 p.m. ET
PITTSBURGH, PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A. (NB) -- By Sylvia Dennis, Newsbytes. Infoliant, the firm behind the Year 2000 compliance tracking database service, has revealed a worrying trend among software houses in recent weeks, that of simply dumping, rather than updating, those packages which are still not Y2K compliant. According to Infoliant, almost a third of the compliance status changes detected during April by the company's compliance tracker service were negative as manufacturers disclosed previously unknown Y2K issues or simply announced the discontinuation of support for non-compliant products. Although no single vendor dominated the April database report, several companies did change the compliance status for multiple products during the month of April. In total during April, the firm says, 604 products underwent a status change, slightly more than the number of changes recorded in the March compliance report. Kevin Weaver, the firm's co-founder and executive vice president, said that the firm was initially surprised by the sudden increase in the number of products changing compliance status during March. "The results for April and the products currently under review by our research team indicate that even more testing, patching, and disclosure is coming from information technology manufacturers at all levels," he said. According to Weaver, the changing information makes the task of preparing off-the-shelf products for the Year 2000 harder than the company initially thought. Infoliant found that another one-third of the changes logged in April were attributed to a product's re-designation as "Pending Evaluation."
-- a (email@example.com), May 09, 1999
Good catch, a. A number of us, you included, Yourdon, of course, have been predicting this outcome for over a year. Rotsa ruck, users.
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), May 10, 1999.
For additional tech info, search on Y2K or Year 2000 at the CMP Net -- The Technology Network -- TechWeb site ...
The quote from the above posted software dumping article ....as manufacturers disclosed previously unknown Y2K issues or simply announced the discontinuation of support for non-compliant products, ... recalled to mind this article ...
The End Of Customer Support As We Know It May Be At Hand
May 03, 1999
Section: Gray Matter
As the software industry consolidates, more vendors are betting the future (if not the present) on expanding revenues from customer support services. They shouldn't. It's a business that is about to implode.
Other industries need rich, ongoing feedback from paying customers to ensure quality and safety in complex products. Examples are the pharmaceutical and aircraft industries. Few, however, have the audacity to charge separately for the privilege of providing customer service. "Your 747 just crashed? Your patients are dying of liver failure? Please hold while we charge you $2 a minute." Though many customers effectively bet their business in a major software implementation, there aren't any clear industry standards, or thresholds, for what constitutes "safe" software.
Regulation-or lack thereof-helps preserve these differences between the young software industry and the more mature industries, such as pharmaceuticals. Having observed the Microsoft trial, few would argue for government to take a heavy hand in the details of software quality. And yet, vendors, driven by a desire to preserve goodwill and their brand, only offer thin assurances against a messy, expensive implementation.
But as support becomes a business-and often a bigger business than the product itself-vendors' incentives blur. A cynic (or an economist) would observe that vendors' increasing reliance on support erodes any financial incentive they may have had for easy, bug-free software.
Why make everything perfect when the beta release can be redefined as final product, bringing in needed revenue more quickly? Why make it simpler when feature-bloated software means more revenue-generating calls to support? In this regard, the industry has observed Microsoft and learned.
On the other side, however, users have been party to their own exploitation. Customers accustomed to substituting responsible investments in training for support are wading into the quagmire. When IT budgets are squeezed with Y2K remediation and Web development projects, what IT manager is going to propose, much less approve, the easily identifiable expense of sending users to training?
[snip -- to end]
IF you get lucky, and your software is marginally Y2K compliant, how will the technical support be, come 2000?
Then again, Y2K customer support might be the profit center that keeps a troubled company afloat.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 10, 1999.