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When Is Your BETA Application No Longer A BETA?

I was logging into my Google Account this weekend and noticed that Picasa (Google’s Image Mgmt Software) still had the Labs icon. I have trouble thinking of Picasa as “beta” software since I have been using it for a year now. It’s freely available to everyone and has been quite stable for sometime.

Calling your web solution “In Beta or in the Labs”, it’s a great technique to help increase early adoption without having to have a perfected solution, yet it can be abused resulting in potential customers losing confidence in your brand. I believe a year is too long a period of time for a web app to be tagged as BETA, and think at that point it should be fully supported by the organization.


  1. Nicholas Tolson
    Nicholas Tolson February 20, 2007

    Gmail needs to be taken out of beta as well now that it’s freely available to everyone. I’m wondering what, if any, legal protection is brought on by keeping software with the “beta” moniker? Could that be the reason they keep it for so long.

  2. Mike Allan
    Mike Allan February 20, 2007

    I remember when I started using ICQ wayyy back. It was a “beta” version. Then AOL bought it and it was still beta. Come to think of it, it was still beta when I stopped using it a few years later, even though it was like version 8 or 9!

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