Software speed

Lately, I have been thinking about speed as the number one factor for software satisfaction.  When a piece of software is fast, it makes the user so much happier than if it is just “powerful”.

For example, in the early 90’s I loved XTreeGold.  It was wicked fast and could do what I wanted so much faster than any windows software.  (It worked in DOS mode).  I also loved InfoSelect for exactly the same reason.  It was superfast!

This is why Vista users are unhappy.  The GUI is just too damn slow.  Why is this?  It takes me as much time to launch a browser today as it did 10 years ago on my Pentium 100 mhtz.

The point I am making is that speed is a huge differentiating factor for you against your competition.  This may mean more hardware for your Web app, or it may mean a bigger database or more robust architecture.  Fundamentally, you need to make your software “pop”.  When you click something it should work within 1 second.

Interestingly on this subject, WordPress just added a ‘Turbo’ Mode.  It uses Google Gears to move alot of the functionality local for the purpose of speed.  Speed, speed and more speed.

One Reply to “Software speed”

  1. Well, #1, for most users of Windows, Windows _has_ no competition. 😉 Doesn’t matter how slow it is.

    And #2 — keeping software slow is a private deal between we software developers and hardware developers that’s been passed down through the decades.

    We help keep our code full of bloat so that they can stay in a job, since users will always be needing to upgrade. (In turn, they help get us the latest and greatest hardware for a fraction of the price when we want to play around with it.)

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