"The advantage that a lot of Open Source projects have is that they release the buggy code with a little tag that says "not for general use" and the users who want the newest features swallow the bugs for the latest Good Thing(tm). I wish we could do
the same thing, but when people pay for software they expect the latest features and stability all the time."
Are you suggesting that Microsoft does not have Beta test programs? There appears to be one for Longhorn, and I imagine it comes with the same kind of disclaimer.
Beat test program != Dev Branch Release. Like all the other developers I work with, I have full access to the MSDN developer downloads and access to beta code, but it isn't nearly the same thing. You can download the latest Open Source code branch for most
projects at any time. If someone checked it in yesterday, you have access today. I know that I checked in a really cool feature yesterday to our code base, but even the beta user group won't get to peak at it for nearly 9 months while other modules are stabilized.