About Beta Software
|What is BETA Software?|
|A beta version or beta release represents an early version of the software that has passed basic system and regression testing. These tests were performed in a test environment using hardware and data constructed for the purposes. The beta build is now ready for a beta test, in which it is tested through a limited roll-out to a production environment using live data and real users. The beta test is normally closely monitored by the software testers.|
Some development teams use the term beta informally to denote a build of the software that is stable enough to be useful for internal demonstrations and previews to select customers, but not yet ready for release to the general user. Beta versions stand at an intermediate step in the full development cycle. Developers release them to a group of beta testers (sometimes the general public) for a user test. The testers report any bugs that they found and sometimes features they would like to see in the final version.
When a beta release becomes available to the general public it is often widely used by the technologically savvy and those familiar with previous versions as though it were the finished product. Usually developers of freeware or open-source betas release them to the general public while proprietary betas go to a relatively small group of testers. This technique may also allow a developer to delay offering full support and/or responsibility for remaining issues. This applies to all Beta products.
Specifically, your BETA version of any software is expected to have bugs and in all
probability will not work the way it is designed to. The onus is on you as the tester ( read
as lab rat ) to do your research and find out all you can about any product before installing it on your system.