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"Beta" versus "Consumer Technology Preview"

    General discussion

  • There has been a lot of talk recently about a new build that may or may be
    released towards the end of this month, and I've noticed that "beta" and
    Consumer Technology Preview" have both been tossed around quite a bit in
    this forum.

    Just for the record, a technical beta test, and a Consumer Technology
    Preview are most definitely not the same thing and the words "beta" and
    "CTP" should not be considered to be equal.

    A technical beta test typically means that you've got access to private
    support and a private, insider method of providing bug reports and
    feedback, whereas a CTP is a build that is released to the general public
    with a public feedback and support mechanism. They are not the same thing
    by any stretch, and from what I've seen coming out of Microsoft and in the
    press is that what's coming at the end of the month is a CTP and not a
    formal beta test.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    The Geeks shall inherit the earth!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:23 AM

All replies

  • It's no longer a case of 'may or may not be'

    It was officially announced by microsoft that the consumer preview will be released on febuary 29th

    Quick news: The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available February 29th

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:53 AM
  • But it's neither beta nor is it a CTP. It is CP, right?


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:33 PM
  • A preview, by definition, is an advanced showing/viewing of something. The present version is a Developer Preview and considered widely as a  pre-beta, meant to be downloaded by  Developers to build applications on the basis of its structure. The next could very well be a Consumer Preview meant for the public, and a beta.

    Irfan

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:55 PM
  • We could discuss this further if at least we knew names of branches in TFS, but we don't. Do we?  

    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:14 PM
  • On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 12:55:46 +0000, Irfanfare wrote:

    The next could very well be a Consumer Preview meant for the public, and a beta

    Once again, you've entirely missed the point.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    If a program is useful, it must be changed.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:31 PM
  • On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 12:33:09 +0000, Exotic Hadron wrote:

    But it's neither beta nor is it a CTP. It is CP.

    Once again, you've entirely missed the point.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    If it's stupid and works, then it ain't stupid!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:31 PM
  • On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:53:54 +0000, Mirador1987 wrote:

    It's no longer a case of 'may or may not be'

    It was officially announced by microsoft that the consumer preview will be released on febuary 29th



    Quick news: The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available February 29th <http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2012/02/08/quick-news-the-windows-8-consumer-preview-will-be-available-february-29th.aspx>

    You've entirely missed the point, besides which, a post from someone in MS
    Press is not the same as an official announcement from someone on
    Sinofsky's team.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:33 PM
  • Considering that 'the point' to which I was replying was your uncertainty as to whether the beta/CP would be released towards the end of this month, I have great trouble understanding how you can claim that I have 'missed it'. Please can you clarify?

    And yes, a press release from microsoft is indeed an 'official announcement' and can be taken as gospel, Sinofsky-endorsed or not.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:27 PM
  • On Thu, 16 Feb 2012 12:27:35 +0000, Mirador1987 wrote:

    Considering that 'the point' to which I was replying was your uncertainty as to whether the beta/CP would be released towards the end of this month, I have great trouble understanding how you can claim that I have 'missed it'. Please can you clarify?

    The point of my post was not when the next release would be but rather
    whether it was going to be a beta or not.

    And yes, a press release from microsoft is indeed an 'official announcement' and can be taken as gospel, Sinofsky-endorsed or not.

    The link you provided was not a press release. Microsoft Press is the
    division that publishes books, not the one that issues press releases.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Computer programmers do it byte by byte.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:50 PM
  • Dear Paul, could you please explain what do you mean under the term 'Beta' then?

    Thank you.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:59 PM
  • Eh, seems like argument about semantics.  For all practical intents and purposes, the Consumer Preview is the public beta. 
    Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:11 PM
  • As you all know, there is a "terms" discussion on ZDNET.COM, too (e.g., http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-8-consumer-preview-due-february-29-why-its-not-called-beta/4496?tag=content;siu-container). I think it's very clear. Except an old-fashioned "beta experience" for a small - closed, private - crew of real "technical beta testers", the public will be limited to a mostly telemetry-based contribution. It was the case with Windows 7, and I don't see any changes regarding this policy.

    Understanding Windows is like understanding women.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:17 PM
  • Dear Paul, could you please explain what do you mean under the term 'Beta' then?

    Thank you.


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...


    I did so in the very first post in this discussion.
    Friday, February 17, 2012 5:18 AM
  • Okay, Paul, thanks for clarifying. What's Technical Access Preview after all?


    Well this is the world we live in And these are the hands we're given...

    Friday, February 17, 2012 9:13 AM
  • a CTP is a build that is released to the general public with a public feedback and support mechanism.

    This is what we have with the "Send Feedback for Windows Developer Preview" tool we could download for the Windows 8 DP released last year, right?

    Is there an implication here that Microsoft won't listen as hard to the bug reports (or will dismiss them more quickly/easily) when they're receiving massive quantities of information through a "public feedback and support mechanism" vs. a technical beta?  Or that the information will be of higher quality when submitted by hand-chosen geeks?

    It certainly seems, from what's written in the blog posts, that they are placing a lot of emphasis on the usage telemetry (i.e., what people are actually doing with Windows 8).

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my new eBook: Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options

    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:32 PM
  • Just for the record, a technical beta test, and a Consumer Technology
    Preview are most definitely not the same thing and the words "beta" and
    "CTP" should not be considered to be equal.

    A technical beta test typically means that you've got access to private
    support and a private, insider method of providing bug reports and
    feedback, whereas a CTP is a build that is released to the general public
    with a public feedback and support mechanism. They are not the same thing
    by any stretch, and from what I've seen coming out of Microsoft and in the
    press is that what's coming at the end of the month is a CTP and not a
    formal beta test.

    Actually, the word "beta," by modern standards, typically refers to products that are released before they are finished. Most major companies today provide betas of free products to customers. While beta testing is a little bit different when a product is going to be sold, the same concept still applies here - the Consumer Preview is a beta release that is available to the public. Don't forget that the Developer Preview, a pre-beta, is available to anyone who wants to download it. Formal beta testing programs are slowly becoming outdated, and while it is still common for products that are going to be released only on DVDs or discs to be beta tested by a small group of people, public betas are common for software that is downloadable or available online.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:37 PM
  • On Fri, 17 Feb 2012 14:37:43 +0000, WindowsVista567 wrote:

    Actually, the word "beta," by modern standards, typically refers to products that are released before they are finished. Most major companies today provide betas of free products to customers. While beta testing is a little bit different when a product is going to be sold, the same concept still applies here - the Consumer Preview is a beta release that is available to the public, as was the Developer Preview. Old-style beta testing is slowly becoming outdated, and while it is still common for products that are going to be released only on DVDs or discs, public betas are common for software that is downloadable or available online.

    In the Microsoft world, there has always been a distinction between a
    Consumer Preview and a true beta test.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    That does not compute.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:43 PM
  • In the Microsoft world, there has always been a distinction between a
    Consumer Preview and a true beta test.

    Does that distinction still exist? The Developer Preview (a pre-beta) was made available to the public, and there have been many ways for us to provide feedback to Microsoft. I'm not part of a formal test program, but I was able to try the Developer Preview and send feedback. The same is true for other Developer Preview users.


    Friday, February 17, 2012 6:29 PM
  • On Fri, 17 Feb 2012 18:29:54 +0000, WindowsVista567 wrote:

    In the Microsoft world, there has always been a distinction between a
    Consumer Preview and a true beta test.

    Does that distinction still exist? The Developer Preview (a pre-beta) was made available to the public, and there have been many ways for us to provide feedback to Microsoft. I'm not part of a formal test program, but I was able to try the Developer Preview and send feedback. The same is true for other Developer Preview users.

    I give up, seems that some people simply don't read threads any more.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Forefront Identity Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    If a program is useless, it must be documented.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 6:34 PM