A week away from Thanksgiving … the time is flying by. I have to say up until recently, the activity at the Course Blog has been great. Maybe my posts haven’t been as interesting? At any rate, please keep those posts coming … the Discussion Activity for this week is a little late, so you have until Sunday at 5 PM to finish it. I really struggled with this one … in years past, I’ve gotten some decent responses, but I’ve just never really liked the idea behind this one. The Solutions Institute builds software — some of it we even sell to people … most of it however is used in educational settings to support IST. I understand the whole designing and developing IT applications and it is a critical piece of knowledge to have if you are going to be a part of any development effort. With that said, some of the things that are going on in industry do disturb me … I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll just give you the question.
More and more, software giants are selling beta versions of their software to end-users. Beta testing has traditionally cost companies a lot of money to perform properly. However, they receive very valuable feedback from the beta testers. With this new trend, they are receiving both feedback and a revenue stream. Is this appropriate? Should end users pay for incomplete, unstable software and provide mission-critical feedback?