General Question

AriellaCG's avatar

What does it exactly mean when a web site is beta?

Asked by AriellaCG (67points) February 6th, 2007
One of my favorite website ( go check it out) has a message up that says they are in beta and will relaunch soon
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4 Answers

samkusnetz's avatar
in the computer world "beta" means "still under development but available for use so we can see how it really works." generally, beta versions of software or websites are made available to the public for free or cheap, even if the final version is intended to cost some money. beta products generally carry the disclaimer that no guarantees are made as to the safety of your data or the usability of the product. in some cases, like the google gmail beta, the beta period was very long and showed no serious signs of limited functionality. in other cases, like the beta release of a piece of software for which i am a tester, the beta had some very specific flaws which resulted in several rounds of feedback to the developer followed by new versions of the software. after this process of back and forth, the final 1.0 version of the was released to the general public and had matured through the beta process so as to be devoid of any major flaws.
samkusnetz's avatar
(oops... i wrote in the very first sentence "available to the public" and meant to write "the public or to a private group of people called 'beta testers'")
Vincentt's avatar

Beta used to mean that software is almost finished and a test version was released so that people could test it, then bugs could be fixed and it could then be released as "stable" software. However, then Google came and wrote "internet apps", complete applications that you could run in your web browser, and released them with the "beta" label so they had an excuse for it not being perfect. This worked quite well so they'd leave most sites in beta for ages (e.g. Gmail is still beta) and many other sites have copied this.

zamoth's avatar

for now it’s just trend 2.0 label nothing more

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