Are you a BETA Addict...

  STREETWORK 18:57 08 Sep 2006

Thinking about the so called 'Beta Testing' particularly using Microsoft software in development.

1. Would Microsoft foot the bill if your computer went kaput?

2. Should you get paid to test, if so how much?

Why can we not BETA test the next Mercedes...

  wolfie3000 19:06 08 Sep 2006

Beta software i wouldnt touch myself,
Apart from games (Why is gunzonline still in beta?)

As for question 1 well They tell you it could mess up your pc before you even download it so no.

Question 2 well it would be nice but Mocrosoft would go out of bussiness if they paid everyone who tested there software.

I like the idea of beta testing a mercedes.

  Jackcoms 19:07 08 Sep 2006

1. If it's a Beta product you use it at your peril.

2. Get real

  anskyber 19:09 08 Sep 2006

Our regular contributor Gandalf once remarked that in effect if you do try Betas do not moan about it on this site. A sentiment I wholly agree with.

On the other hand there has to be some risk in life and using the odd Beta does not get my top rating for risky things to do.

I have 3 Betas running at the moment IE7 RC1, Skype and Win Media Player 11. I do however ensure thatI have a solid back up to fall upon if the PC resembles a pear. No getting paid for it is nonsense, you do not have to do it after all.

  mammak 19:10 08 Sep 2006

Na I dont trust them myself I recently had Hotmail BETA it was awful,

the BETA testing Mercedes now your talking I could like that :)

  anskyber 19:12 08 Sep 2006

I should have added to conclude that a program is bug free simply because it has "gone gold" and for open release is fanciful.

  Forum Editor 19:45 08 Sep 2006

for quite a few years now, and I can tell you it can be hard work at times. I'll be approached by the company whenever there's any major software being developed - like a new version of Windows, or Microsoft Office, telling me that the first technical beta is ready for download from my personal page on the Microsoft beta site.

That starts a fairly rigorous period of technical testing, which involves participating in special newsgroups and online discussion sessions with Microsoft development teams, and that process continues through the various beta versions, right up to launch.

I've also tested new versions of Hotmail, Windows update, Microsoft messenger, and the various Microsoft Server releases. There's always something on the go, and you need to be organised - they expect you to answer regular questionnaires for major programs.

Nobody gets paid for doing this, but usually I'm provided with a free full version of the product when it's launched.

Microsoft doesn't foot the bill for anything - if you're selected to join a technical beta panel they expect you to know what you're doing, and you certainly wouldn't conduct a testing routine on a machine that's used for anything critical.

  anskyber 19:57 08 Sep 2006

Yes the Fe makes (by implication) a very important point. The FE is a Bets tester from the ground upwards, in other words does so before it gets to public general release. Even if I was invited to do so I know my limitations.

I sit back with some diappointment because I cannot/do not want to be involved with Vista testing.

The key for me is choosing a time (if there ever is a time) to use a Beta, and that is always right at the end of the development run, but perhaps just before final release. So I suppose it is not just a simple yes/no issue. There are judgements to be made. For example I judged that it was wiser to have the now discontinued MS Antispyware program which was in Beta for a very long time rather than being without.

  anskyber 19:57 08 Sep 2006

rotten spelling, sorry.

  spuds 20:08 08 Sep 2006

In answer to your questions


(2)Some people do, some do not.
Depends on status.

You could perhaps test a Mercedes 'Beta' version, if you were a Mercedes company approved testing technician or motoring journalist.

  Belatucadrus 00:43 09 Sep 2006

Beta test a car ? I think not, if a PC goes pear shaped it's a pain, but no big deal. I don't really want to be the driver that discovers a glitch in the engine management or brake systems.

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