Beta this … Beta that …

May 18, 2006

We are seeing more and more applications/software pieces going into beta.  I am a memeber of so many beta software companies – box.net (which is finally out of beta), everything Google, Yahoo just launched their new site look which was in beta for some time, AOL has a new beta viedo set to rival YouTube.  It seems everyone has a beta product.

Don’t get me wrong my intention for this post is not to paint a bad pictures around betas – IE 7.0 has been in beta since my son was born two years ago.  I just find it amazing that everyone seems to be pushing out semi-release software.  It shows what I believe to be a big shift in the user driven software market.

In the past we were given software in select groups.  You had to be a partner or a user with 10 hours to spare a week and it was a select few.  If you remember, you were sent a username and password to some secret site and you had to sign some sort of NDA.  I think what is happening is a great idea.  Give people the software in an early stage with the bare minimum from a features standpoint and get feedback.  What works, what doesn’t work.

I applaud this movement and I see it as a symbol of this user driven Internet that is beginning to take shape and form.

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