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55% of Google’s Products Aren’t in Beta
Website monitoring service Pingdom has completed a bit of analysis about Google and their products. They found that 45% of their products are in beta currently. Some of the more popular Google products in beta include: Gmail, Google Docs, the new Chrome browser and Google Video. Playground products weren’t included in the 45%.
Interesting to note that Google App Engine is a "preview release" as opposed to a beta. Why is Google keeping their products in beta? Pingdom notes that companies normally don’t charge for beta services while Google does charge for some of their beta products. I’d disagree, there are plenty of services that charge while in beta. It can help to validate a product.
The beta tag is like a shield to protect against bugs and downtime. If a service in beta is down, it’s easy to say "hey it’s in beta, give them a break!"
If Flickr could move out of beta, certainly Google could do it too.