Beta

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See also: The Software Cycle | Software | Alpha

The second greek letter and, in software, a program that has been developed for a time and has become reasonably stable and useful but not subjected to thorough enough use to ferret out all of the theoretically existant bugs. The release of a beta edition of a piece of software is a sign of the maturation of a project, showing that it has evolved from the planning stages to have a majority of the program's intended features.

This label is frequently seen applied to Shareware and similar software types. Beta software is commonly released in order to self-advertise and attract potential customers or to release the software to a wider audience for public opinion, bug hunting, etc.

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