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Warranties: promising the improbable

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1 Author(s)
Dakin, K. ; Dakin Lawtech LLC, Englewood, CO

In other industries, a warranty reflects testing, which reveals how long and how well the product will perform. For example, a shock absorber can be tested for a specific lifespan and thus warranteed for 12 months or 24,000 miles. Until recently, however, there has been no real equivalent in software. From the standpoint of actual performance, software warranties have been made arbitrarily. Often, the warranty is set to match the competition. When one vendor increases or improves the scope of the warranty, so will others. With the increasing activity in software testing and quality control, it appears possible, at least in theory, to base a warranty upon actual testing. This warranty may guarantee, for example, that no errors will occur within key functions or arise from data entry. For now, the impact of software quality management on warranties remains to be seen. Ultimately, software vendors must stand behind their software. From a risk management perspective, their position would be much more comfortable if they knew how good the software was before they took the witness stand

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 1996

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