The Beta Dilemma

Posted by Robyn on Mar 15, 2010 in Technology |

One thing that is always frustrating about Microsoft betas is their eagerness for usage data, paired with the cold shoulder about updates or resolutions. Now that the Office 2010 RC is out, nearly every bug posted on their forums claims that the issue is fixed in “later builds”. However, beta users aren’t given access to the RC.

The motivation for Microsoft, clearly, is that they don’t want anything close to finished code floating around for free. Well, fine then. Why not make some kind of “pay to play” beta program for Microsoft products?

Beta testers could be offered a decent discount on the final retail product, but they pay for it in advance. In exchange, they’re given every scrap of pre-release code, right up to RTM. That would be enough to keep the moochers away, but give those truly interested in testing the latest code a fair shot at having something usable.

Just my USD $0.02.

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