You’ve discovered an exciting new software program with tremendous potential for your company’s workplace needs, only to have an IT professional point out that “it’s still in beta.” What does this mean, why does it matter, and how should you let it affect your decision to pursue the program in question? Here’s a brief look at those questions, courtesy of your Austin IT tech support gurus at Gravity Systems.

Beta refers to a particular phase of software program development. A software release cycle begins with the alpha phase, in which developers write the program and decide on which features to include. In the beta phase, the features are all there, so the program looks and feels pretty much like the real thing. Private or public beta testers give the software a spin, noting and reporting any bugs that pop up. Once the program has been refined into an acceptably usable final result, the stable release goes into production.


Why might you want to use a beta release? Maybe you simply want to explore exciting new features or check out the UI. Maybe you want to see how far along the software has come already. You might even be actively interested in beta testing and bug reporting so you can help refine the program.

Why should you not use a beta release? In a word, bugs. Some bugs will almost certainly be present, and they could throw some serious monkey wrenches into your IT system, from breaking other programs to (in mobile devices) shortening battery life. If you value predictability and reliability, wait for the stable release or look for an existing stable alternative.


Gravity System can help you select stable software that offers the right selection of features without that generous side helping of bugs. Contact us and tell us what you need!