Windows Live betas – Betas that have stayed “beta” for too long

Even though Windows Live is still new, and still getting used to the ‘real world’, there’s a ton of Windows Live services and tools out there. Some of them are finalized.

While some are still in beta.

And some have been in beta for too long.

So I’m going to take a look at some of the betas that never got out.

Here’s my list of betas that have stayed way too long for their own good:

  1. Academic Search – It’s been over a year now, from what I remember. And it still look exactly the same. I still probably wouldn’t use it either. I’m not into any kind of academic search, but I’m better Windows Live’s offering would be my least picked choice.
  2. Books Search – Same as Academic Search. It’s been over a year, with little change. I did give feedback one time, and I even got a reply. But not much else has been done since that. I think it’s relatively better than Google Books, but it still needs to do more. It just scans mainly old out-of-print books, so it’s pretty useless to "average" users.
  3. Windows Live QnA – A community question and answers site. It’s been the same since at least March 07′. It’s pretty good for what it does, and on its own, but it’s no match to Y! Answers. Not yet. Needs a whole bunch more features, adopt the new Windows Live UI, and a ton of things.
  4. Windows Live Writer – the latest release seems awesome. I still don’t see why it’s still in beta. Is there more feature coming, or are the Windows Live teams a little lazy? I think it ought to get out of beta now. I’ve had no known problems.
  5. Windows Live for TV – This has been here since the beginning of the summer I think. It seemed pretty cool at first, kind of neat on Windows Media Center. But I haven’t heard any news of new features or anything like that since then. I personally think they need to tone down the gloss on it, make it speedier, and add more to it. I checked the team’s blog, which hasn’t been updated since April. That’s service for you.
  6. Windows Live Messenger (8.5) – It’s been working great for me. It’s been quite stable for some time now. So what’s taking so long for it be finalized?

So those are at least the top 6 that’s been either taking way too long to update, or should be out of beta by now.

I’m posting this as a remind to the "busy" Windows Live teams who have probably not been focusing on these other areas of Windows Live. Maybe they’ll do something about these betas.

Personally, I find these public betas a waste. Users can get upset when updates take forever, a whole lot things go wrong with their beta, and when betas drastically does something horrible to their info. or computer, users can rather be angry at Microsoft for their public betas.

Public betas also can lead to pre-mature reviews, influence other people’s thoughts, and before long, not many people will be interested in this product/service.

Betas are also cool, because if you find it cool, it’s awesome to get to take a first look at it before some other people.

But more than not, most public betas are a complete waste, and Microsoft should stop doing handing them off like that.

I bet more people would just be happy with something that really works, compared to a sloppy fix-up tossed out. Am I right?


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