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I put the question to the folks at Lifehacker earlier: do you feel like you're getting a tangible benefit from beta software, or do you stick to stable because you have no desire to troubleshoot or fix broken apps? What do you think?
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Alan Henry's profile photoEd Twiss's profile photoRob Seger's profile photoJeff Metzger's profile photo
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I'm not a huge fan of beta software for my main OS. But I do like to try the Adobe beta packages with minimal risk to my work flow.
 
I think that might be the key, +Jeff Metzger - it's a matter of risk versus reward. I know a lot of people who grabbed the dev or beta versions of Chrome or Firefox because they were faster, never looked back, and still run them even though those speed improvements are now in the stable releases!
 
My browser is about as important as my OS due to my heavy extension addiction.. No firebug or 1 Password it's a no go.
 
Beta is good when it has benefits, I found that CM9 beta was better with my Nexus S than CM7 and it was so trouble free I uploaded it to my SO's phone as well. On the other hand beta FF on Android was a nightmare and I uninstalled within a day.
 
I think the problem is the concept of 'beta' or what it's evolved into anyway. Beta now has more to do with liability control (legally but more importantly to brand image) than it has to do with bugs. How long was gmail in 'beta'?

When it all boils down, I find betas to be the version 1.0 of this decade. I'm assuming alphas will be that in the next. Maybe we'll start calling them 0days by 2035 ;)

In answer to your original question: yeah, I generally find value in version 1.0s of all flavors.
 
I think you're absolutely right +Rob Seger- I hit on the "infinite beta" problem that Gmail started in the article, but you're spot on. There's a point where betas become less and less cutting edge than they used to be, both as entire categories evolve and become more mature (really, how many features can they introduce in a browser) and as more people see betas as ways to get buzz at launch and build a brand-and less soliciting feedback from users and working on a product. :)
 
Wait, you wrote that article - how tired was I?!

Good article btw :)
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