Opinion: When did "it almost worked" become acceptable?

Perhaps I'm getting old and philosophical but I recall the days when the IT industry prided itself on accuracy. We worried when things didn't work properly and kept working on them till they did work.

When did that change?

In a previous blog post, I've wrote about the evil "Oops something went wrong" syndrome that seems to have infected many Sofware as a Service applications.

The screenshot above though, is the outcome after a Sony TV performed its routine software upgrade. Let me paraphrase it's message for you: What it basically said is:

I did an upgrade for you. Nothing went wrong but I think I trashed some of the configuration settings that you'd made but I'm not going to give you any clue about which ones, and you'll just have to suck it and see what's changed.

What an awesome message, and one that really doesn't match the advertising slogans:

I'm guessing they're still quite a distance from perfection.

But Sony is not alone on this. A little while ago, I upgraded my Apple iPhone. The recommended method is to back it up to iCloud, then restore it onto the new phone, or at least that's what the "genius" (Apple terminology) told me at the store.

Why they can't just transfer the data directly between the old and new phones at the store immediately is far from obvious, particularly when a phone now costs so much. As phones get larger (storage-wise), sending all the data from one up to a cloud storage, and then back down to the new one seems slightly silly.

The backup was reasonably quick. The restore, however, took over 3 days and when it finally ended, it said:

Some files weren't restored.

No hint, no clue about what. Just some stuff went missing and the phone thought I'd better give me a heads-up.

How did we get to a point in the industry where a 3 day restore that ends in "something didn't get restored" is considered acceptable in a professional product?

 

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