After 5 years, Google finally drops the “Beta” tag from it’s email service – Gmail. The beta tag on nearly everything has been a joke in our office with all of the web designers and programmers. Why would a large company such as Google or Yahoo beta test a program for over a year, let alone over 5 years. This is absolutely absurd.
We work numerous websites in testing until they are perfect and ready to publish and sometimes with the more intricate programming, we do a live testing period, but nothing more that one month. In comparison to Google, the giant, we’re just an ant not even David fighting Goliath, so why can they beta test everything to death?
Google removed the beta tag to attract more business to using their service. Hmmm. Why would a business not trust a company’s program that has been in beta testing for a few years? Did marketing finally talk to the programming department about fighting this uphill battle in sales?
Google does admit in an article in USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/hotsites/2009-07-07-gmail-beta_N.htm?csp=usat.me) that they are not done with making changes. This is one of the beauties of the web, that it is eternally updatable. Which leaves me to wonder, WHY DIDN’T YOU REMOVE THE BETA TAG SOONER GOOGLE IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD MAKE CHANGES LATER!?!
Google jokes about the usage of the word “beta” and its removal from Gmail as well as from the Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk on their own blog (http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/gmail-leaves-beta-launches-back-to-beta.html).