Beta Program

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 26-Oct-2007 16:14

I'm used to hearing Tom Bascom complain about the beta program requiring NDAs and having him advocate that it should be an open download that anyone can get and experiment with. While I see his point, I also understand that software companies have traditionally managed the release of information about new product, so the attitude is hardly unusual. Of course, with PSC getting increasingly open about future releases at Exchange, one wonders what it is that one is supposed to keep secret.

But, the latest wrinkle in the beta program has me really stumped. I applied for the 10.1C beta and was rejected. Now, I can see that if someone has signed up for prior betas and then not done anything with them, there might be a reason to question whether one should let them keep participating, but I have been one of the most active participants in the last two betas, even getting the little prize at the end for people who had done all of the things they were asked to do ... and, of course, a lot more.

So, what's the reason? They were oversubscribed and decided to give priority to new folks. Huh? Turn away loyal, hard working contributors in favor of unknowns?

Not to mention, of course, that the whole idea of "oversubscribed" is silly. The historical problem is getting people to use the product during beta. People start off with good intentions and a lot of interest, but then there are pressures and distractions and just not as much gets done with the beta as one intended. It is a problem year after year that not as much testing happened as would have been desired. So the response to this is to limit the pool?

If there were some huge per customer cost in the beta I could see that there would be some concerns, but what are we talking about here? Pennies for the media and mailing a couple of times. A forum which has no incremental cost at all. In a really extreme case one might need to add another conference call to get everyone time to participate, but even that is trivial.

I just don't get it.

All Replies

Posted by Admin on 28-Oct-2007 07:05

> I just don't get it

And that's a fact ;-) Maybe they want to target a different user group with this beta, to test older applications.

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 28-Oct-2007 10:30

Oh, and I am a very long term partner and I have an existing legacy application of a bit under 2MLOC.

This thread is closed