Although Windows Vista and Office have received most of the media buzz lately, they’re not the only products under development at Microsoft labs. Earlier this month, the software giant confirmed plans to upgrade their popular "Greg" product.
Citing numerous complaints from end-users and increasing support costs, Microsoft engineers recently announced plans to replace the current version of Greg with version 2.0, due out sometime during the second quarter of 2007. Early estimates put the ship date at April 19.
Tentatively dubbed "Junior," the new release will be part of Microsoft’s recent push toward "Live" services. It is expected to offer substantial advancements, such as increased cooing, crawling, snuggling, of course, improved XML support.
A press release issued by Microsoft included the following screen shot of the product, which is still under round-the-clock development in a secure environment, code-named "Ginny." The fact sheet stresses that this image is an "early alpha version" and that the final product will likely look drastically different.
Early Prototype of Greg 2.0
When asked if there are plans to speed up the development cycle, Microsoft executives responded that they are exploring the idea of hiring more developers. "According to Microsoft Project™, if one mother takes nine months, then we should be able to use nine mothers and complete the development cycle in about one month," explained one Microsoft project manager. "We’re still ironing out the details."
At the time of initial release, "Junior" will ship with a basic feature set, such as crying, gurgling, thumb-sucking, and pooping. Add-on features, such as walking, talking, and patty-cake will become available within 12 – 16 months. Critics speculate that, like most Microsoft products, it will likely arrive in shaky condition with inadequate documentation. "One thing is for sure," quipped a market expert. "For the first year or so, it’ll definitely ‘suck.’"
Support is expected to be outsourced to grandparents.
Expect more announcements as the new version moves into beta testing.
Seriously, Ginny and I are extremely excited about this announcement! You can bet we’ll keep everyone regularly posted. We’ll see you soon, our precious little one.