Thoughts on today's news of delay to Q1 2013

Maybe it's because I'm a software person and I sympathize with making good time estimates, and the complexity of birthing a whole new platform, but I'm just not surprised at the Q1 2013 announcement today.

On June 12, I wrote on my blog:

"And I tend to be pessimistic/conservative about tech time estimates. What I mean by that is that although the public seems to be all caught up with "October" being the magical month, I would actually be surprised to see BB10 that early. I think it's much more likely that it will be released in November or December or January or February. Heck, if it were launched in March it wouldn't be a big surprise. You can't snap your fingers and pull a whole new generation of product out of a hat, and RIM can't afford to release it half baked. So things will take time."

So hearing the announcement today for me was basically what I expected to hear.

The trouble is, if they had said 8 months ago "BB10 may launch as late as May 2013", they would have been dead meat. The only way they can keep people's interest is to be as optimistic as possible. I don't think they're being dishonest, they're just forced to be very optimistic. And when you're very optimistic in the software world, you have a high probability of missing your dates, sometimes by a very wide margin.

Frankly it is sounding more and more like it will be Feb/March/April/May. Yes, there's absolutely no reason it couldn't be May. And before you shoot me, hear me out.... they're probably aiming now for say late February, and with something this complex, being 6 months away from your estimate and missing by slightly over 2 months is not unheard of by any stretch of the imagination.

So that's my opinion: We'll probably see BB10 launch in the Feb-April window, but it is a very real possibility that it could even be May. Probably not, but it's very possible.

All of the super optimism in the world doesn't make the process of developing a new platform and then building on top of them the world's best communications software any easier.

Sorry folks. Patience, and lots of it, will be required.

The other reaction I have to this announcement is actually a sigh of relief. Sounds weird, but one of my greatest fears about BB10 is that it will be rushed out the door before it's ready.

Think about it, the company is under *tremendous* pressure to get it into the hands of customers. And because it is still many months of work until it will be done, they're therefore under tremendous pressure to let their ideals slip and ship it before it's ready.

Because of that, any time I hear about a delay, even though it does hurt, it's a reminder that the people making the decisions aren't willing to make short term compromises that will damage the long term success of the platform.

Thank goodness.