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Microsoft Beta Testing

July 17, 2006

I would guess that in the 7 years I’ve worked at Microsoft, I’ve been running mostly beta for about 5 of them. Sometimes that’s pretty trying, but when you get right down to it, I think that this is extremely important to the state of the final product. Alex has some stats:

Microsoft’s Ultimate Beta Tester?
Microsoft’s Ultimate Beta Tester? Itself:
* 60,000 machines were running Windows XP Service Pack 2 during its beta phase
* By mid-June
o Microsoft had 16,000 Windows Vista Beta 2 users (I’m one of them)
o 25,000 on Office 2007 Beta 2 (I’m one of them)

I’m currently running Office 2007 on my Windows PC, some server beta bits, and I’m on Exchange 2007 dogfood, along with some other stuff. I’m also using the SharePoint V3 beta, which I love.

This little utility does a pretty good job of keeping me sane:

2007 Microsoft Office System Beta: Send a Smile to Office Feedback Tool
Send a Smile (SaS) is a feedback tool that enables 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta participants to easily send Microsoft positive and negative comments about the Beta on an ad hoc basis.

I don’t use it for bugs, but I do fire off a note when something bugs me. 🙂 Check it out if you’re running the Office 2007 beta.

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