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?