A long winding road out of beta
Once considered the final stage of software development, beta
versions are taking on a life of their own, as companies tinker
endlessly with their products in public.
Underscoring the trend, Google co-founder Larry Page on Wednesday
told investors that the beta, or test, stage for its products would
last as long as its engineers expected to make major changes to
them--a process that has already taken years, in some cases.
"It's kind of an arbitrary thing," Page said. "We could take beta
off all of our products tomorrow, and we wouldn't actually have
accomplished anything...If it's on there for five years because we
think we're going to make major changes for five years, that's
fine. It's really a messaging and branding thing."
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