We often get asked about how we know about software before it is release and the answer is Beta testing. When software is almost ready to go on sale it is released to selected testers so we can install it, break it, and then feed back to the developers before the final copy is produced.
Internally we have beta tested the following over the years:
- Windows XP
- Windows 2000 SP4
- Windows XP SP1, SP2
- Windows Server 2003, SP1
- Windows Home Server
- Office 2003, 2007
- Norton Internet Security 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
- Norton Ghost 2008
These are all products which we have been using for up to a year before they were released, so we can say that we know them warts and all. There are some products we have tested that never made it into the public arena, but these are covered by Non-Disclosure Agreements so it would not be fair to name and shame.
It is for this reason that we can now have over a year of experience with Windows Vista and Office 2007.