I’d like to ask all of the technology companies out there to stop shipping beta software. You’re lowering the benchmark for software. You’re giving people something that doesn’t work quite right for free. You’re delivering two sets of expectations to your customers. “Beta” is starting to mean “I’m not smart enough to figure out a fix to this bug”.
A beta test of software used to mean something. Tests were put in place and the testers (or users) had an expectation to test for bugs and report those to the programmer. Beta software has been used been many companies as a way to “ship” but give them an out when things go wrong. Instead of saying “we make shitty software” they say “it’s a beta!”
As of this morning, 4 of the top 25 listings of Mac OS X software on VersionTracker were labeled “beta”.
If it’s good enough to send to the general public for “beta testing” then ship it.