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Users Will Get Better Applications

Software craftsmanship will affect shrink-wrapped consumer software vendors as users start to demand long-lived software. This affects the bottom line because the vendors will no longer be able to assume that everyone will upgrade every year or two. This is already starting to happen to some extent because home computers are already fast enough for most purposes. For most uses other than games and entertainment there is little need for more speed; what users need now is stability and longevity.

Users will get better applications because they'll start to demand better applications. It's one thing to put up with "good enough" software when you know you're soon going to upgrade to the next version. It's completely different when you know you'll be sticking with the application for a long time; suddenly it becomes important that the application works well.

Longevity will become important to users when they start to realize the sheer volume of data that they're keeping on their computer. People care about old letters and email, they don't want to upgrade, and then they suddenly discover that they can no longer access their old files. Similarly, they don't want to be sent new files and discover that the new format is unreadable in older versions of the software. Users want what software craftsmen can deliver—long-lived applications that work.

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