I want to expand on the Microsoft support lifecycle policy I mentioned before. To reiterate, VSS 2005 gets “mainstream” support for quite some time while 6.0 will enter “extended” this July. I won’t repeat everything in the support doc (read it!). Bottom line, the bar for non-security hotfixes to 6.0 is a lot higher. Furthermore, there are no more service packs planned beyond 6.0d. Not a lot happens in that codebase without an Extended Hotfix Support Agreement and a lot of prodding.
So what the heck did I mean by “full Vista support” then? Well, if a blocking issue surfaces, you can be sure one of the customers who paid good money for their Important Contract With Long Name will call us up and request a fix. Once a “QFE” has been released, anyone can get it from CSS at no charge. With luck, we’ll even be able to post it to the web. As for non-blocking issues…I will never say “never”, because every situation is different. Suffice to say if the transparency of some 6.0 control under Aero is a little bit off, that’s going to be a tough sell.
2005 is a different story. I encourage everyone to file bugs — Vista compat and otherwise — early and often, because until we ship the first servicing release “the bar” is as low as it will ever be. Personally, the developer in me wants to see every last niggling bug fixed, and right now is the best time for that to happen. We will also continue to take QFEs from customers that bubble up through the support process, as well as participate in the Developer Division’s ongoing development & stabilization processes. For instance, we’ve already had to fix one major compatibility issue with Orcas…if you take the January CTP for a test drive on a Vista box and try to Open From Source Control, you’ll see what I’m talking about 🙁
I can’t promise to fix every last bug, obviously. As we draw closer to actually delivering these improvements to you, we’ll make the inevitable tradeoffs between releasing everything “someday” vs releasing “enough” on time and thoroughly tested. (Granted, managing a product that’s in servicing mode strikes me as a rather unique POV among the myriad SDLC writers out there. A future blog topic, perhaps.) Still, that only underscores the need for us to know about the issues ASAP, in order to make the most informed decisions. In addition to Connect bugs, feel free to post to the forums or the comment section on this blog. Don’t be shy!