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I figured that since David Bressler did a gratuitous blog posting about his Macbook Air that I needed to do the same about mine.
Now, I'm not a Mac fanboy. This is the first Mac I've owned and I got it mostly for its size and weight since I travel a lot. To be honest, it's probably less reliable than my old XP laptop. The machine itself locks up or crashes about the same amount, and some of the apps (like MacMail) clearly have some annoying bugs in them compared to what I ran on Windows (Outlook).
But, the one thing it beats my old box on is responsiveness. I used to be able to go out for coffee while XP was coming out of sleep or hibernation. But, with the Mac, it takes me longer to type in my password than it takes for the machine to wake from sleep. Starting applications follows the same pattern. Slow on XP versus lightening fast on the Mac.
What does this have to do with SOA? Very little (that's why I called it a gratuitous blog entry after all). No, in reality, it teaches some important lessons: In you can focus on excelling in quality of service, it's probably more important than having the most bug-free services and applications.
Users will reward you for recognizing that their time is important. They can usually figure out how to work around bugs. And, after a while, the workaround becomes second nature to them. But, when something is slow across the board, there are no workarounds: Given the opportunity, users will switch or just not use the system altogether.
So, the next time you're building a service, think carefully about where you put your focus and resources. You have the opportunity to make your service consumers a lot happier with you.
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