Citrix is conducting an online survey addressing several areas relating to product release cycles. They’re asking most of the standard questions (how long do you test, how long before you upgrade, etc.) However, at the end of the survey, Citrix asks a few questions that reveal their thoughts about product versioning. Quoting directly from one of the questions:
Citrix is considering the concept of a minor release. A minor release is defined as a small and well contained release that is a vehicle for quickly delivering high priority functionality to the market place. Minor releases would be built as an upgrade solution to a specific version of a platform release (e.g. MetaFrame Presentation Server 3.0) and would not require a full install.
As you know, Citrix has historically released “Feature Releases” instead of minor versions. The concept of the Feature Release has been sort of confusing, especially since just about every other vendor in the world uses the “minor release” naming scheme. I think that changing the “Feature Release” concept into a “minor release” concept will make Citrix seem more normal and lessen the confusion all around. The only potential downside to this is that many people might expect to get minor releases for free when they purchase a major release, and this goes against Citrix’s traditional view.
Another major departure from the past that we can read about in Citrix’s survey is the concept of a Hotfix rollup. While not new to the industry in general, this would also be new to Citrix. Quoting again from the survey:
In an effort to improve the customer satisfaction of hotfix distribution, Citrix has introduced the concept of a Hot Fix Rollup Pack (currently with MPS only). Hotfix Rollup Packs provide customers with broader, cumulative updates on a regular basis – allowing customers to plan and implement all available hotfixes when it fits their schedule.
I think that most people agree that a Hotfix rollup would be a great idea, and I hope that you’ll share your opinions with Citrix. Like some of Citrix’s other recent surveys, this one shows that Citrix is interested in your opinions, and answering here will most certainly play into Citrix’s overall product lifecycle strategy.