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Plea for help: The detriment of using Microsoft products

Given that I criticized Minasi rather severely for his horrendously flawed
"Inside OS/2" series of books, I find his emergence as a quality expert
rather ironic, to say the least.

I do not believe there are any CMM5 operations in India.  There may well
be places that claim to be at CMM5, but this is not like ISO9000 where the
main qualification is to write a big enough check.  I am quite certain
that the US DoD does not contract out critical software to India.

The fundamental problem with CMM5 is that its total focus is on task
completion.  When you build an aircraft, no one expects that major
features will be added periodically.  No one at Boeing marketing sits
around at meetings and proposes, "Hey, why not strap a couple of extra
engines onto each model, so that customers with the two-engine model can
upgrade to four engines and customers with the four-engine model can
upgrade to six engines?"  Yet this is common practice in the software
industry.  When you are doing the software for something like the Space
Shuttle or the firmware for a Boeing airliner, the project gets completed
and rolled out in a state that remains largely stable forever, and this is
what makes CMM5 possible in such environments.

Where the life span of a software product may only be a few months, it is
impossible to justify the kind of effort required to achieve CMM5-level
quality control.  By the time such software passed quality control, it
would be obsolete.  Further, the human costs are not comparable: no matter
what security vulnerabilities are seen in Microsoft Outlook, the
consequences of total collapse of the system do not involve fire,
explosion, or people being hurled out of the sky from thousands of feet.

My expectations are more realistic.  I do not expect Microsoft to bring
their mail software to CMM5 because, quite honestly, I do not think it is
worth paying for that.  On the other hand, I would like to see Microsoft
stop obviously stupid things, such as leaving security off by default.

-- Mike

On 2000-05-16 at 11:42 -0400, Jeffry Smith wrote:

> terms of speed to market, Minasi points out that CMM level 5 companies
> (most in India, by the way, despite SEI being sponsored by the US DoD.
* * *
> Minasi talks about the Shuttle SW.  Yep, they had a large budget.
> They also only had one customer.  How many customers does MS have to
> spread the cost of MS Office development over?

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