The Cost of Installs

I try to keep on top of the various important releases fromMicrosoft, testing assumptions and seeing what’s new with eachrelease. Tonight I decided to install the September 2005 CTP ofMicrosoft SQL Server 2005.

While it seems like a pretty trivial exercise to update toa new release – and from a difficulty perspective it is – itis remarkable how much time each of these iterationstakes. While I don’t need to sit here looking at the screenfor the duration of the install, there nonetheless is a lot of userinteraction that is necessary (even if it’s just saying okay torandom dialogs), and it soaks up PC resources for quite some time.First one performs all of the various deinstalls of the prioriteration, and the lengthy installs of the new one. Add in variousincompatibilities just for fun. “Whoops, I have the Visual StudioJuly CTP .NET Framework, which is conflicting with the SeptemberCTP of SQL Server 2005”. Almost sounds like “.dll hell”. Ofcourse to really keep on top, add in all of the CTPs of VisualStudio, and the other tools. You can basically fill your daysuninstalling and installing various tools.

There is no real “point” here, and I can’t see any possiblesolution (except for perhaps completely touchless installs thatrequire zero interaction from setup.exe to finish), but it could bethe reason why so few people seem to have any hands on experiencewith either SQL Server 2005, or Visual Studio 2005.