Does “beta” mean anything anymore?

I just wrote about the public “beta” for mint.com and it got me thinking…is there really any meaning to the term “beta” anymore as it applies to software?

In my mind beta means feature-complete but has bugs that need to be worked out. Mint.com doesn’t seem to apply there. I can’t believe their launch was just going to be the small feature set that is currently on display at that website. There isn’t much there for a personal finance application.

So what does beta mean? Is release candidate the new beta? Should we even be using the term beta anymore?

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