It seems like the IT market has adopted a new international standard for software release and management. I have consulted several independent software vendors (ISVs) on business- and architectural design session, and one of the often discussed elements of putting software somewhere (read Cloud), it the control of updates and release management.
Impacts of structural and features changes increase radically though SaaS and Cloud Computing, and if you do not architect your application, it will be a hell and mess on customer satisfaction. But on the other hand Google has set forth the new standard. All software delivered and released are BETA, why customers cannot complain. And client still sign up for the free premium service, without any concern of impact.
Remember you as a software user, do not have any impact if a feature is removed from the final release. And although Google had Gmail in BETA, do we really think they changed the model to release? Thinking of it, what is Google if released in final; in the sense of the brand of innovation and constant development?
If Google start to push for final releases, it must mean that they are slowing the innovation down, becoming Microsoft-a-like and just capitalizing on their expenses. So remember, my dear ISV. Your are the potential of the future and end-users are declining to understand the old model. BETA is the new standard, so you might as well put a sign in front of your application, make no promise around it – and go for the breath of seats.
Oh… yeah.. by the way. This article? BETA. I might change it later on 🙂