An incomplete version of the software has significant features, but is not stable enough to be released to the public. It is mainly intended for beta testing. The Beta Version of a software product is given to the product’s end-users with the intent to test it and improve it as much as possible. The beta version is either released only for particular and selected users or the general users. It usually has a message saying Beta to inform the user that this is not the final release. Once the beta testers are satisfied with a product’s beta version, the product is completely developed and ready for the last release.
Whenever a software product is about to reach its completion stage, and all the major features have been developed and tested, a version of the product is released to selected or general users to try the functionality and features. This version is called the Beta Version.
The beta testing is usually done after the SQA team has done all the in-house tests on the product. The product team/manager can decide whether to beta test the product by hiring professional beta testers, or just distributing the product’s beta version to the current users/customers. If the manager chooses the first option, the beta testing is done in a controlled environment in the presence of the product team. In contrast, the testing is done in the actual environment where the product will be used in the latter case.
However, when the actual users do the beta testing, they can better evaluate the performance of the product and can give better feedback. Furthermore, when so many users use the product simultaneously, the load testing is also performed side by side. Beta testing is also known as user-acceptance testing. An updated beta version is released whenever any issue reported by the user or the test team is resolved. The testers are then encouraged to install the updated version and test the product again. A product remains in the beta state unless all the issues and problems reported by the beta testers are not resolved, and the user is not satisfied with the product.
Are Beta Versions Safe?
When we feel that we might risk the safety and security of our system, we always think twice before installing anything into our devices. Similarly, when we see that some software is available in its beta state, we often think about whether it is safe to install or not. You will find the answer here.
Generally, the beta versions of any software are safe to install and use. You can install and use the beta versions like other programs, but some risks are associated with the beta version. They are as follows:
- There might be some inconsistencies in the software are it is not the final release and is in its beta version.
- It can cause unsavory problems with your computer.
- Your PC or operating system may crash due to some bug or problem in the beta version.
Don’t Want To Risk Anything?
To protect your PC from any damage that the beta version of a software product may cause, follow these instructions:
- Run the software in an isolated environment. The best option is to use any virtual machine such as VMware, VirtualBox, etc.
- Before installing the beta software on Windows, create a restore point. The restore point would be helpful if the beta software causes any problem or crashes the Windows.
The product team can decide for how long a software product should be left in the beta state before it is finally released to be used by the public. This can last anywhere between weeks and years.