Every time a new program becomes available in BETA format I receive emails from users who have installed the software and are now experiencing problems with their computer system and are in need of help.

This leads me to believe that many people do not really know what a BETA software release is.

What you need to realize is that the term BETA translates to "not stable enough for final release but we're looking for guinea pigs to test it for us."

While there is nothing wrong with software vendors releasing BETA versions, and in the long run this leads to better software, as a business user I always suggest avoiding it.

It's one thing to install BETA releases if you're a tech hobbyist who loves to check out the latest new developments and can stand the inherent software instabilities.

However, as a business user, I'd never load BETA software on the same computer I use for day to day operations. The risks to my productivity are too great if something goes wrong, as often it will.

When a BETA release becomes available, let someone else be the "guinea pig." Stick to tried and true software for yourself.

In fact, I don't even recommend installing major upgrades to your system until they have been available for three to six months, just to give the vendor time to find and fix the bugs and problems that BETA testing itself will inevitably miss.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale