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When is a Beta a Beta

This has been discussed numerous times before but Windows Vista brings it up once again.

I went on a rant on this on this week's FoxShow related to user interface design but I agree.

"As I pointed out last week, it's not a beta until it's feature-complete. Microsoft is showing off a prototype, a demo. When they have the new UI in place, and lock down the features they plan to actually ship, then it is time for beta evaluation and testing."

Ted's Radio Weblog


Anonymous said…
I have to dissagree with this. The primary purpose of beta testing, at least as my company does it, is to get feedback from real world users in real world situtations on feature sets and usability. Secondary would be performance and stress testing in a live environment. Finding "bugs" is only a minor reason to send a beta version to customers.

So, if you have locked down functionality and design you might as well call it a release candidate.
Andrew MacNeill said…

The piece in "quotes" were from Ted's original post - I was quoting as opposed to giving my entire view (which was done on the Rant )

I agree with you that it's certainly needed to get feedback from real world users but wouldn't you agree that you should generally be interface-complete for the beta stage?

Agreed that for the an Alpha stage, the interface shouldn't be locked down but by the time you get to beta, the interface should be pretty much set.

I completely agree with the performance and stress comment.

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