Earlier this month, there was a lot of discussion surrounding what many believe is a discernible decline in Apple's software quality. Among those who lament Apple's fall from software grace, especially as it pertains to iOS, a commonly held viewpoint is that Apple's traditionally pristine "it just works" reputation has been sullied by a preoccupation with rapid innovation, multitudes of new features, and a blind allegiance to annual release cycles.
While there's no need to rehash arguments on the topic yet again, I recently stumbled across an old Ars Technica article which serves to show that many believed Apple was stretching itself too thin way, and developing far too quickly, all the way back in 2004.
The Ars article summarizes a few words given by Avie Tevanian about the state and pace of OS X development. Recall, Tevanian, who came over to Apple from NeXT, was a trusted Steve Jobs lieutenant and played an instrumental role in developing and getting early versions of OS X off the ground.
Tevanian conceded that Apple's current annual upgrade schedule "is not a sustainable rate. But you'll still see us going really fast," he said [and] rebutted comments that Apple had alienated some of its customers with the rapid pace of Mac OS X upgrades. Some Mac OS 9.x users may have taken their time to upgrade to OS X, he acknowledged.
Everything old is new again.
via Daring Fireball