I think the problem is Google.. Before you switch off, let me explain.
Over the years, Google has released several beta products for large scale use by the general public (yes, they had a system where you had to be invited to use it, but lets face it, invites were not hard to get) They did this to generate publicity, but it also got the public used to the idea of using Beta products.
They (and Mozilla) also started a sort of version number arms race, where they'd release several new versions of their browsers each year, each with a relatively minor change. With the result that Firefox, Chrome and Opera all have version numbers in the high fifties, where if they stuck to only updating the major version number with major changes, they'd probably still be on version 12 or 13.
My concern isn't so much the nonsense version numbers, more that the race for ever higher and higher numbers is causing companies to rush development. It also seems to be causing companies to reduce things like proper beta testing (public beta testing is OK as an addition to internal professional testing, but it's not a good substitute). It's likely Microsoft are being affected by this. Adobe certainly are, as are Apple. On a related note, I know that Microsoft, back in the 90s, spent a lot of money on designing user interfaces, even to the point of using products like Macromedia director to create a models of new UIs and testing them before implementing them in products. With things like the ribbon, and start screen, it feels like they've given up that step, and are just trying new ideas on the public now.
I'd like to see all software companies take a step back. They need to slow development, They need to cut the number of releases (preferably to one a year), and they need to do their utmost to ensure that new versions are as ready as they can be before release. The current method used by all software companies (certainly by Microsoft, Apple and Adobe) seems to be release the new version as soon as it's ready, then require the customer to download patches to fix the inevitable bugs. That's fine if, like me, the user has a relatively fast and stable network connection, but a lot of people don't. They don't want to be spending several hours downloading a patch just so they can get their Word processor working.