The stage of testing computer software after the alpha test. A thankless job often delegated to employees in entry level positions as a way of paying your dues. Game development companies are particularly fond of public beta testing as a means of finding bugs without actually paying anyone to do so. A truly ingenious scheme ...assuming 1000 beta testers won't submit 1000 reports of the same bug.

For a lot of today's proprietary software, the distinction is blurry between beta test and final release. Open Source software however, is in perpetual beta.

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