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MS: Beta Software Good Enough for Production Use

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-like-they-indemnify-you-for-damages-anyhow dept.

Microsoft 411

RMX writes "CNet is reporting that Microsoft is starting to license test software for real-world use . In particular, Visual Studio 2005 and the April "community technology preview" of SQL Server 2005 are both supposed to be released sometime in the second half of the year. But Microsoft is claiming the pre-release versions are stable already, so they're licensing the pre-released versions on the grounds that they 'are already suitable for running production business applications.'"

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Accountability (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275957)

Didn't Google start all this?

The main thing is, if something breaks, the company just puts its hands up and says "opps, sorry it's a Beta", and I bet there will still be plenty of users (businesses) who are willing try them.

In addition to the accountability shift, companies can roll out patches in a more timely fashion. With beta-security-patch, MS is free to distribute patches to plug holes even on a daily basis.

Re:Accountability (3, Insightful)

bmw (115903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276030)

At least Google's beta stuff actually *works*

You can't even say that about Microsoft's production software let alone beta software.

Re:Accountability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276113)

<sarcasm>

Yeah. Because Win XP is so unstable.

</sarcasm>

I'm confused.... (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276184)

Are we still supposed to wait for SP2, or does this mean that SP1 is the one that will be ready for production work?

Re:Accountability (4, Insightful)

RevDobbs (313888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276191)

My first reaction was "I think what Bill G is really saying is 'our realeses suck ass anyway, just buck up and pay to be a beta tester'." But after readting the article:

...Microsoft will release updates every six to eight weeks until the product is finished, said Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server.

...Because of the change in the license and the quality of the code, Microsoft expects 50,000 customers to move production applications onto the beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 and the .Net Framework, the software needed to run applications.

Oh, I get it... five years ago every body signed annual licence contracts, paid out the whazoo to get the next version 'free', but the next versions never came out. So now we have a new license where you get to spend a lot of money, and this time you really really will get some updates!

At least Google's beta stuff actually *works* (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276341)

Parent wrote At least Google's beta stuff actually *works*.

And you don't have to pay for Google's beta stuff - unlike production stuff from MSFT.

How much do it cost? (5, Insightful)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276045)

Did you pay for any of them there google betas? cause I sure didn't, and if you did some varmint mighta ripped you off.

I also reckon you might want your database a tad bit more stable than you want your nifty little search engine doo-dad.

Re:How much do it cost? (3, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276232)

Did you pay for any of them there google betas?

I don't think the price is the issue - people do have a choice not to buy/sign-up for a beta product.

It's up to the consumer if they want to risk using a beta product (and thousands of people choose to 'risk' their e-mail with the GMail beta).

Re:Accountability (5, Insightful)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276071)

if something breaks, the company just puts its hands up and says "opps, sorry..."

Doesn't Microsoft (and indeed most software comapnies) do that with *all* their products?

Read your EULA: (5, Insightful)

Truth_Quark (219407) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276181)

Microsoft has never accepted any accountablilty.


And never will. Imagine the liability if they accepted responsibility for the work lost to a crash, or time spent finding a work-around for their bugs?


It's make 5 million euros a day look postively mild!

Beta.... (2, Funny)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275959)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

FIRIEST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12275960)

biches

Bold (2, Interesting)

someonewhois (808065) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275963)

That's an awfully bold assumption, but I guess they don't want to give away the betas, as then most people would just use the beta all the way through. Good logic, I don't see why not.

Re:Bold (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276326)

Quite likely.

I've seen one system running the beta of Russian version of Win2K less than a year ago. Completely infested with spyware and other crap, of course.

This was one of the most "interesting" cleaning jobs I had, because I couldn't wipe it out. It *had* to be the Russian version, and I couldn't get it anywhere (in Spain), legal or not.

Interestingly enough, it worked fairly well after being cleaned up, and all the MS updates including Service Pack 4 installed just fine on it. I wonder how much of beta code remains after so many updates. The "beta" text on the desktop did remain after I was done with it.

My general recommendation for anybody else who has to deal with anything like this: refuse, no matter how much they beg, or how many personal favours you owe them.

Microsoft also announced (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12275965)

That un-announced future applications such as SQL Server 2010 were so "awesome" and "full of stuff you need" that they'll be licensing them now, before they've actually started work on them.

With lots of new features! (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275966)

Right. And the bugs -- they're features! Duh.

*shrugs* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12275968)

That worked for Windows 95.

Heh. Not a good idea... (1, Insightful)

bmw (115903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275972)

Given Microsoft's current track record I would be a little hesitant to deploy any of this in a production environment. I mean... who are they trying to kid here?

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276020)

<Shrug> Their language products have been pretty decent of late.

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276061)

Tell that to all the developers with thousands of lines of VB6 code that explode when they try to port them to VB.NET.

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276357)

Waaaah. My GW-BASIC programs from high school don't do so well when I rename them to .cs files, either.

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (3, Insightful)

bmw (115903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276086)

Their language products have been pretty decent of late.

Perhaps. I'm willing to give you that... but a SQL server? Yikes. I think I'll hold off for the final release... and then a round or two of patches, just to be safe ;-)

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276328)

... but a SQL server? Yikes. I think I'll hold off for the final release

Indeed. I don't think that even Gentooers (myself included) are crazy enough to run a beta-quality database server of all things, especially when perfectly stable alternatives are available. You're just asking for a corrupted DB.

Re:Heh. Not a good idea... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276189)

Why is a Microsoft beta less credible than open source 0.87 alpha 'releases', which tend to find their way into many a Linux distribution.??? ;-)

What they really mean (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12275974)

It's ok, we'll just release updates for it later

spyware beta (5, Insightful)

towaz (445789) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275977)

I wish they would just hurry up and push windows antispyware down with windows update. I know its not the best out; but it would stop 90% of support calls because some idiot has a pr0n dialer.

Re:spyware beta (1)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276024)

I agree, it works well. Personally I wish they had integrated it with the security center. They've already got virus scanners there, malware scanners are just as important.

Re:spyware beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276359)

I wish they would just hurry up and push windows antispyware down with windows update.

Um... they do. Pay more attention when you run Windows Update. Every month the antispyware app downloads and runs in the background during windows update, then deletes itself when its done. It's all automatic, and completely transparent to the user unless it detects something (at which point it promts you for action).

If once-per-month isn't enough for you, you can go to their site and download a copy that you can run every day if you want. But for the average Joe end user, I think the way MS is handling it now works just fine.

Google too (2, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275979)

MS: Beta Software Good Enough for Production Use

Well, it's good enough for Google too.

Re:Google too (5, Insightful)

cd_serek (681446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276027)

I think that pretty much goes for every software in development. The BETA is only a phase of programming. And it is not clearly defined. IMHO, all softwares remains in beta stages until they are abandoned. This is because bug-fixing and feature-adding are on-going processes, and are never fully completed.

Beta Software Good Enough for Production Use (3, Funny)

10scjed (695280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276336)

That explains all those holes, turns out their stuff has been beta all this time...
kinda weird to announce that 15-20 years after the fact.

Slashdot isn't beta and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12275982)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (developers/05/04/18/2227220.shtml?tid=109&tid=185 &tid=8) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

Safe = We want our money early (2, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275983)

I think MS is looking at not meeting profit forcasts finally and pushing out software early so they can get a boost to their cashflow early so they meet 2nd quater forectasts is entirely possible. The company's stock has been flat for so long it's just a matter of time before their profits go flat or begin to decline.

Re:Safe = We want our money early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276016)

since when does the stock being flat mean that the profits are on decline?

Re:Safe = We want our money early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276075)

Since a company begins making as much money on "financial instruments" as they do on selling and servicing their products. I don't know if Microsoft is there yet, but I recently read that 2/3 of General Motors money comes from "financial instruments" and 1/3 from selling cars.

Re:Safe = We want our money early (-1, Offtopic)

klipsch_gmx (737375) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276225)

since when does the stock being flat mean that the profits are on decline?

Since..ever?

The price of a stock is a valuation of future growth. If profits are thought to be flat or declining, so will the stock price. This book [amazon.com] will give you more details. Highly recommended.

-1, Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276276)

Don't click the link

Re:Safe = We want our money early (1)

slyguy135 (844866) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276319)

That ain't no book!

No x36! (2, Funny)

jrushton (806560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276325)

You bad man! I am afraid i CANNOT recommend that book from amazon to anyone else.

Dear me :(

thats because of pension funds... (2, Informative)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276255)

Tonnes of pension funds find it easy to invest in MS and keep it safe. But now there are more and more oldies 'expiring' and cashing out to their kiddies spending/credit cards.

Theres not enough current notquitesooldies to keep the funds up and buying the stocks of the kiddies.

Any trade in 'virtual goods' back and forth is just a pyramid scam, todays winners taking from tommorows winners, aslongas theres an increasing amount of new 'suckers'. ie population growth.

This plan falls apart once you have flat population growth.

Its time corporates died and there were 100000s more tiny companies out there.

Paying for beta software? (1)

wyckedone (875398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275987)

If it's not beta, they should just release it and say "Look! We beat our time frame for the release (after we concelled the previous release dates)!".

One born every minute (1, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275988)

It never fails to amaze me how some people are willing to pay for the priviledge of beta-testing Microsoft's software for them...

Re:One born every minute (1)

stalefries (860068) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276140)

I have that Greasemonkey Script that bleeps out stuff, and it bleeped out your .sig.

Re:One born every minute (2, Insightful)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276233)

Isn't all Microsoft software still in beta? Perhaps its only that their software performs like its still in beta?

I agree... (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275989)

Just look at Google's email service (still in beta). It works like a charm. The same applied to Adobe's Linux PDF reader...even the [Linux] kernel itself, in most cases works, without any serious problems.

This is news?... (0)

bechthros (714240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275990)

Two words - Windows XP.

Prior art (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276131)

Windows 95. Most definately beta software released to the public, just didn't have the beta label.

Re:Prior art (1)

bechthros (714240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276221)

Windows 95 was certainly buggy, and I can see how you'd say it was beta-level buggy (especially given it's three subsequent revisions), but at least it didn't have semi-automatic opt-out-if-you're-quick-enough bug reports. That, to me, marked XP as the biggest beta to ever cost $300.

Much ado about nothing (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275991)

Does the article say MS is discontinuig the production versions of SQL Server and VS? No.

Does the article say you must buy the beta if you want to license today? No.

What's the big deal? It sounds to me like there's enough customer demand to charge for the beta version of the apps for those customers who so choose. If MS has all the "free" teaters they need yet stil has customers clamoring for features/improvements in the next version, I see no reason why they can't charge these folks for early acceess.

Re:Much ado about nothing (1)

bfizzle (836992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276282)

Exactly a neat little marketing trick almost everyone else selling technology do. Look at processors the frist 6 months released they are priced outragously. The quickly come down after they capture early adopters.

Not suprised (1)

schotty (519567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275993)

Well this does fit their level of intelligence. Bugs ... fine! Security holes ... fine!! Your business will "live".

Well... (3, Funny)

composer777 (175489) | more than 9 years ago | (#12275996)

At least they are finally admitting that it's beta quality.

Is this really new? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276000)

I think it's basically a veiled, yet public admission of their release policies ever since Microsoft was founded.

pshh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276005)

since when does microsoft release stable software?

Microsoft has stable software...? (2, Funny)

JediLow (831100) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276006)

Well... considering that my computer just crashed trying to write this...

MS Software still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276009)

MS software for devs has always been excellent. With the enormous amount of beta testing, I'm ready bet that this will be no exception.

Interesting day... (4, Funny)

goMac2500 (741295) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276015)

First root is completely safe, and now beta software is fine for production environments?

If it compiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276017)

ship it.

Wasn't that their methods in the 80s?

This should read... (3, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276023)

Well, normally in the past we would have released it by now, but becuase you are always complaining about security, the piece of crap is caught in a security review, and marketing is getting worried that we won't ship on time. So here have at it, and we told you so.

Ted

Huh? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276025)

You mean that they thinked that their actual final versions of almost anything were ready for production use? And that now they will sell things that even them say that "probably have errors" before they see the ligth?

At least that they label the boxes with something like "unsafe at any speed" to give customers a hint of what will probably happen if their use them.

Well, before we get a little crazy here... (4, Insightful)

ndykman (659315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276029)

Basically, Microsoft is allowing customers, if they so choose, to develop production systems using the beta software. If they want to, and you think it's a good idea, insert usual don't come crying to us if your computer exploded boilerplate here.

The difference is that Microsoft hasn't usually allowed beta software to be used in production usage at all. They only licensed it for test usage, which, frankly, I'm sure most people were just fine with.

So, Microsoft is saying, well, heck, if you really want to, sign this piece paper (see disclamier list, etc, etc.) and enjoy.

I'd be surprised if this really had any impact, but it's interesting marketing.

I think the point is... (1)

ashpool7 (18172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276340)

If you get used to this kind of idea, where the beta is released and then they update it until it's finished, then the "finalized" product could become an unreachable milestone in your disclaimer you signed. Then, Microsoft doesn't have to take any responsibility for your software crashing because it never comes out of the GoLive status. Why would anyone depend on something like that?

The answer: because that's how Microsoft does business. Unless someone releases something that they feel will threaten the model, then that's how business is going to be.

I wouldn't go so far as calling it evil, but it's something to worry about (slower updates on new software until it's out of GoLive) in the future.

I'm not surprised (1)

Flavio (12072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276040)

Their customers have such low expectations that licensing a beta should be quite profitable. What's the worse it could do? Destroy their credibility as a software company? Hah.

Nothing new here. (4, Informative)

Ridge (37884) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276042)

Microsoft had a go live license for Visual Studio 2002 as well.

Yeah, this is new... (1)

pLnCrZy (583109) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276049)

Microsoft relying on the public to test its software, and charging for the priviledge... hey, it's worked for every other piece of software they've released.

Nothing new (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276056)

MS has been giving us Beta software for production use. Why do you think airports, rental car companies, etc have been displaying BSoDs? ;D

Excellent concept (1)

Eternally optimistic (822953) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276064)

I would happily test their software for a small fee. Sounds like a great deal.

Microsoft Software Usable? (2, Funny)

Bloodlent (797259) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276066)

Yeah... alright, next Duke Nukem Forever comes out.

Uhhh.... (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276073)

You mean the software they sold before is actually good enough to pass for a release candidate?

Let's see... NT4 with SP3 was okay, but installing SP4 was a mistake, as all 3 systems that I had NT on bluescreened. After that I stopped installing NT3 SPs... supposedly SP6 is okay.

Windows 2000 was practically unusable until SP3. Windows XP was horrible without SP1 (couldn't even run it on a VIA KT266A mobo for 5 minutes without it farking up the disk), and just plain bad with SP1. With SP2 it seems almost sale-worthy, seriously.

With Microsoft, *any* piece of software developed in house is best not to be deployed in the real world until 2-3 "Service Packs" whiz by.

but Google produces quality beta software... (0, Redundant)

deviator (92787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276083)

Microsoft doesn't have a good track record for producing quality _official_ versions (and yes, I fix MS networks for a living) - why should we trust their betas? It's a way for them to "try" more ideas on the unsuspecting public, increase revenue, and decrease the amount of support needed for their software (since they don't have to support it at all?)

wtf? software quality, industry-wide, seems to get worse daily - this is not exactly going to help.

All their final releases ... (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276098)

Are unstable and full of bugs ...
Their release candidates (Like Windows .NET) are just unusable crap.
And they try to tell us that their betas are usable?. Maybe software goes to the MBID* after they leave beta stage ;-)

* MBID=Micro$oft Bug Inclusion Department

Heil Bill! (1)

hardcorebuttsecks (871562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276111)

Bill Gates fucked me in the ass. Best assfuck I've had in my life. I wish I could say the same for Steve Jobs. When he fucked my asshole I didn't feel anything.

Nothing new.. (1)

RoadkillBunny (662203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276114)

The Open Source community has been doing this for years.

Re:Nothing new.. (1)

hardcorebuttsecks (871562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276156)

Go fuck yourself you worthless fucking kike, or I'll fuck you in the ass with my 17-inch gay cock!

Re:Nothing new.. (1)

CanadianBoy (868003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276226)

True enough, but it's easeir to swallow when you didn't pay for the privalage of having your system catch on fire.

Just making corperate clients happy (1)

alpha1125 (54938) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276132)

A nice move to make corperate clients happy.

Clients need to feel like they're getting some bang for their buck. So why not give them more buggy software, but this time they have an excuse, it's beta.

IMHO, It's just to nice marketing ploy.

Shock Beta Software Announcement from Microsoft (1)

synesis (786756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276133)

In a shock news release today Microsoft annmounced that you will no longer be able to distinguish between Beta and Production software. This follows a long period of de facto ....

Free beta CD (5, Informative)

DigitlDud (443365) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276138)

Just FYI, you can order a FREE (no s&h) CD of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/getthebetas/

If you want to distribute programs you make with it, you have to sign the GoLive aggreement here: http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/golive/licens e/

Know what I have to say about that? (0)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276148)

Nipples.

Now, I don't think this is actually new on MS's part. They've been selling Beta software under the guise of point-oh releases for more than 20 years. Think about it... If software is well designed and simple, it's going to have very few if any bugs in it. What DOS like that? No. Windows 2.0? Windows 3.0? Windows NT 3.51? Windows NT 4? Windows XP? No on all counts. There were tons of patches. But Microsoft promulgated the notion of "production ready" software and claimed to be giving their customers the best quality. What is happening is that MS is not, suddenly releasing betas as production ready. They are finally being honest about the fact that complex software is ALWAYS beta quality because there are always problems. It doesn't matter if it's proprietary or FOSS, it's so complex that there will always be an uncrossed 't' or an undotted 'i' (or more realistically a forgotten function or two that get accidentally called when someone else decides to use the same name without knowing that other function exists).

By Microsoft being a little more truthful about the quality of their software they can afford to become a little sloppier. Expect to see more "great things" from the Microsoft camp. ;P

What? (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276149)

You know, I think that, considering the majority of Slashdot, I'd be considered a Microsoft fanboy... ...but did someone forget to take their retard pills this morning?

Seriously, this is stupid. Why even do testing at all, just give the program to the users, have something that reports to Microsoft when it crashes, and just give them updates to fix problems as they're found.

Oh, my bad. Windows XP already exists.

(Yes, I just did a 180.)

What's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276150)

I mean they launch operating systems that are only alpha quality.

Microsoft's beta software is great! (1)

Xenophon Fenderson, (1469) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276153)

I should know: I've been running their betas for the last 10 years now, stuff like Windows Server 2003 and Internet Explorer 6.0.

Even better... (4, Funny)

Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276154)

If you want the features in a Microsoft Beta product, you can usually get them in production quality over here -> www.apple.com

So...? Whats changed? (2, Insightful)

rastin (727137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276174)

Being that no M$ products are really ready for production on launch date, isn't this really just admitting the reality that Service Packs are what make software stable not QA?

Sh17 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276175)

conducted at MIT any doubt: FreeBSD hear yoU. Also, if need to join the

Actually... (2, Insightful)

Sprotch (832431) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276185)

That is an unintended consequence of the Internet. It is now so easy to upgrade that companies don't even bother to release a finished product anymore.

Starting with windows Version 3.0 (1)

DoninIN (115418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276199)

This is news? Seriously, I'm not the most hardcore MS basher alive, but they've been doing this from the begining, now they're just going to admit to doing this.

I wonder... (1)

Mike Wagstaff (518609) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276204)

... how much the release of Tiger influenced this decision?

Free from Google, $$$ from Micro$oft (1)

JoelMC (877117) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276208)

Now correct me if I am wrong, but am I the only one that hasn't paid a cent for all of the Google software? I don't care if it's Alpha, Beta, or production. They provide some of the best services for some of the least (visually) intrusive advertising on the market. If Microsoft wants to offer their products for free until they go gold, then by all means...

All Your Beta Are Belong To MSFT (1)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276214)

but don't count on us fixing bugs until we feel like it.

However, you can pay us now.

Ignore the Man with the Diet Orange Crush ...

Seriously, it's bad enough getting beta quality in shipped software, but one has to wonder if MSFT is admitting it's beta quality, can it be even more untested?

And what kind of support can one expect for such a "beta" version? Will they say "Come back in one year and we'll think about maybe fixing the bug"?

This is not the first time they did this (1, Funny)

mustardman123 (877114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276217)

Anyone remember Millenium (cringe!). That is STILL beta software!

Good enough? Try it for yourself (2, Informative)

wahgnube (557787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276237)

Here is a page [getthebetas.com] where you can order a copy of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 for free (as in beer of course).

Soo... (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276242)

If I program something in Visual Studio 05, and there is a beta bug in it and my enterprise server app with 100000 customers fails, can I sue M$?

More like wait until version 3 (1)

deejer (833001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276290)

I almost always wait until version 3 of Microsoft software. I will not install a beta version. Seems version one is the beta version.

Question.... (1)

thegamerformelyknown (868463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276301)

Why is it sitll beta then?

desperate? (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276302)

I've been starting to compare developing Eclipse RCP applications [eclipse.org] with C#/.NET, which I am finally starting to learn. To teach myself C#, I have been reading Professional C# (Programmer to Programmer), 3rd Ed. from Wrox. The book is fine, although learning about control loops and whatnot for yet another C-like language is not real exciting.

The interesting point is their constant hyping of .NET, especially in early chapters. Their religious zeal for .NET and C# is not matched by any clear superiority of those technologies over Java/Eclipse, although they try to convince you otherwise. It can't be long before significant numbers of developers simply start wandering away from the MS camp towards greener pastures, especially those that are 1) free, 2) really cross-platform (the book's authors make curiously equivocal remarks in this regard) and 3) provide a large ready-to-integrate framework like Eclipse.

Don't expect any earth-shaking change, just a gradual wearing away of the MS developer base and an increasingly desperate MS unable to evolve its business model.

Its just fine (3, Insightful)

Grip3n (470031) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276318)

I like Microsoft as much as most people here, but this move doesn't really make me think "oooOOoo...so evil". Look at the Linux world! So much out there is plainly Beta, but we all still use it. How many of us were using Firefox when it was still in Beta? How about any other program? There are tons out there, I would assume half my linux box is all beta =)

So why is it so terrible when Microsoft mimics Linux? They realize that some people are willing to take the risks, so why not let them? It increases the testing base, people are happy, if something blew up they knew the consequences. Really there's not too much of a downside to this, as any linux developer will attest.

I won't be part of any MS bashing on this move.

yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12276323)

Oh big bad ms, thanks god you can choose unstable buggy prealphas with linux.

Won't really know until you try it... (1)

Strider_Hiryu (875413) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276338)

I suppose that if anybody wants to try this stuff out. You can go to one of the MSDN events in an area near you. you can go to and register. [msdnevents.com]

Half Baked Products are OK (1)

Mr. Lwanga (872401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12276346)

Can you imagine customers demanding migration to a beta product, after getting wound up by some sales pimps? Its bad enough to do a migration prior to SP1 of any MS OS being released. The other side is that the billable hours for support will be spectacular..... Thanks MS, way to support the channel.
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