Originally Posted by rdgrimes
The EAP is not a beta test. The beta program is still going on behind the scenes.
Sorry, couldn't help myself...
Origin of beta test Source: en.wikipedia.org
The term beta test comes from an IBM hardware product test convention, dating back to punched card tabulating and sorting machines. Hardware first went through an alpha test for preliminary functionality and small scale manufacturing feasibility. Then came a beta test, by people or groups other than the developers, to verify that the hardware correctly performed the functions it was supposed to, and could be manufactured at scales necessary for the market. And finally, a c test to verify safety.
What is a Beta Test? Source: About.com
Definition: A Beta Test is a period in the development of hardware, software or website where it is tested by large groups of people who would be typical users. Sometimes there is an "open beta" where anyone is welcome to join. Sometimes it is a "closed beta" where you can only join by invitation. Either way, participants use the product normally and often report back on any problems they have (bugs) or with feedback on basic usability and navigation. Beta testing follows a period called an alpha test. Typically, you can expect that by the beta test, the product will be usable, although it may have fewer features available.
beta test - definition Source: www.businessdictionary.com
Second level, external pilot-test of a product (usually a software) before commercial quantity production. At the beta test stage, the product has already passed through the first-level, internal pilot-test (alpha test) and glaring defects have been removed. But (since the product may still have some minor problems that require user participation) it is released to selected customers for testing under normal, everyday conditions of use to spot the remaining flaws.