Deciding the release date often gets turned into a control issue rather than a functional one. Don't let this happen. The right date is an agreement between the members of the technical team, who know when the product will be ready, and the marketing side, who know when the world can receive it. Releases go wrong when ill prepared software is forced out. Conversely, programmers aren't allowed to look towards infinity and beyond for the time that they guarantee the product will be both perfect and bug free (it will also be extinct). For new products, Release is more a strategic decision than a technical one. WordPerfect, the world's most bought DOS word processor, made a serious tactical error during the early 1990s when they put their graphical user interface (GUI) developments in the OS/2 version of their product and looked upon Windows as the number two. The Windows versions of WordPerfect came out 16 months after its Microsoft competitor and was badly bugged. That was bad strategic planning. WordPerfect was relegated from the greatest name in word processing to a footnote in under three years. Remember, dates aren't just practical considerations—if you mistake an opportunity you can jeopardize the entire firm.
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