Thursday, December 17, 2009

There will not be a beta for Flash Professional CS5 (Adobe Flash Platform Blog)

They are still releasing a beta, only now it'll cost you $1000 to participate....

The above is a comment from Adobe's blog post announcing that contrary to what they said at MAX, there will be no public beta of Flash CS 5. And it's a comment that I think gets straight to the heart of the matter.

I'm not a Flash developer so it's no skin off my back, but I simply can't fathom why any software company would not take advantage of the incredible value a public beta period offers, preferably a fairly lengthy one.

"Get it out the door as quickly as possible" is a very short-sighted attitude, especially when people are paying big bucks for your software, and there's a massive risk of whittling away your users' confidence that is quite damaging in the long term.

I'm not pointing this out to pick on Adobe per se (funny how CFBuilder and Flash are taking completely different approaches on the beta issue), but it's a great example of what I see as a colossal misstep that all too many software companies make.

Even if the software isn't open source, proprietary companies can learn a lot from the tremendous strengths of open source projects, and in my opinion they ignore the strengths of open source at their own peril.

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