Alpha, Beta, etc.

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Beta in the age of the Internet:

I think that in many (most?) cases, these on-line "open" betas are really just an excuse for launching services before they're ready.

So what to think about Technorati dropping the term beta on their new facelift (which apparently didn't make it, yet, to the backend) or FeedBurner opening for business in "pre-alpha edition"?

May be I'm being too suspicious, especially for the two examples above (they're startups after all, far from having the same resources than Google), but I agree with Jeremy that there has been a trend going on here for quite a long time -- it started with the habit of some software editors to seed alphas under the name of betas, and the first beta as the 1.0 release!