What differentiates a point update vs a major update with regard to software?
We were having an interesting discussion in the office today about OS X Mavericks. Some people felt that Mavericks (along with Mountain Lion, Lion, and Snow Leopard) seemed more like point releases than significantly new operating systems. (i.e., a simple update intended to fix bugs rather than add significant new features.)
A second example was mentioned with regard to iOS. iOS 7 has been the first new coat of paint in a long time. Prior to that, iOS 6, 5, 4, etc, added new features under the hood, but in most cases they weren't things immediately obvious to the end user.
In your eyes, what are the primary things that differentiate a point update and a major release? Which one is OS X Mavericks? And which one will Android's new OS, KitKat, be?
I think major releases have been used to signify change (ie damage control) after a "failed release". Whereas the "good" releases can get several service packs and point updates. Think Windows XP Service Pack 4
Android 4.0 was clearly better than Android 3.1 (Heck, in my books all of honeycomb was dreadful)
Windows 7 mopped up the bitter taste of Vista.
Of course this argument falls apart when you considered how OSX Puma "fixed" OSX Cheetah, and more recently Windows 8.1 is "fixing" Windows 8
Just interesting to think about
Some OS's need more improvements than others. When it seems like there is little improvements to be made, maybe a company is just lacking innovation in terms of how to dramatically change the experience for the better. I believe Microsoft was at that stage, and wanted to provide a dramatically new experience for the better......except they forgot the making it better part.
I consider if its something that has an annual or biannual occurrence, than it's a service pack.
Something that has weekly to monthly updates are patches.
Finally, something that is a completely new build, or a revamped build is a platform.
Mobile OS's really don't need revamps in software. (yet) They are just service packs with patches in between.