Wednesday, 3.7.2012, Baton Rouge, LA.
It has come to our attention that major updates* (changes) are being made to the two most-used OS’s in the Audio Industry, which got us thinking about the past and all of the issues that have been experienced by our user-base after every OS update that we can remember. Often, customers will not wait for confirmation that drivers, hardware, and software will all work well together on these new OS versions and are out of commission until drivers and software can be updated, tested, verified, beta tested, qualified and then finally released to the public. There are some popular misconceptions about the process of developing and releasing these products that feed the perception that when an OS is released, products will automatically work with that OS:
1) It is commonly believed that Developers get feature-complete versions of OSX and Windows before it is released to the public. On the contrary, no-one sees the “Feature Complete” version of the software until the day it is released. OS pre-releases are often so buggy during the beta-test period, that actual development cannot start until the Feature Complete version is released publicly, giving us a proper base on which to write code.
2) It is also commonly thought that Driver Development is fairly simple and straightforward, that we can just whip out a driver in no time.
Again, the opposite is the case. Imagine for a moment that our developers are working to update a single driver for a single OS (not 3 drivers for 2 OS’s, which is the upcoming case with Win8 and Mtn. Lion). Here is basically how the process works, with time estimates being purely subjective and not indicative of any actual times that it might take:
-Development Team gets early version of OS
-Development Team gets with Product Manager Team to flesh out ideas for the update, decide what new features to include if any, and make decisions based on what the new tools the OS is giving us to work with.
-OS is released
-Development Team takes 4-6 weeks to get out a good “version 0.1” of the driver
-Q&A (testing) Team tries the driver out, Logs Bugs, and sends the driver back for further Development
-Repeat the above step, until a good Beta Driver is established
-Q&A Team initiates a Beta Test of the new Driver (which lasts from 2-8+ weeks)
-During the Beta Test, Bugs are Logged and Fixed by Devs until a good 1.0, Public Release, is created.
-Q&A Lead posts driver to our website, Other team members like myself get the word out about the driver, etc.
By the above example (which isn’t too far from an actual use-case), you’re looking at a minimum of 6-8 weeks and it could even be as long as 14+ weeks before a proper, vetted driver is available. Thats almost a Quarter of a Year!
I cannot speak for everyone, but I for one cannot wait 3+ months to be able to Create, Record, Edit and Perform Music.
The Bottom Line: If you are serious about using your Computer with any manufacturers products, you want to wait a MINIMUM of 6 months to update your OS, and only after you’ve researched every component that is being updated and KNOW that it is going to work with your setup. If you make your living with your DAW, Mixer, etc. You should wait even longer!
I didn’t write this to deflect any criticism or blame, but rather to inform everyone of the process and try to proactively take care of those who might be getting excited about taking the plunge! We are nearly all musicians here at Presonus, and know what its like to be down and unable to record/mix/edit/etc. We would like to save you from having to experience this first-hand! Take our word for it