What is a “Beta Release” of a program?
A beta release of any program or game is a version that has been through extensive in-house testing by the program developers and has been released for public use. This usually comes with very minimal support for the product and has a few different phases which focus on different areas of the program.
Before a retail version comes out, it’s always good for a developer to host a public beta to tell the company how well their program works for real-world users with all the possible different operating systems, hardware configurations, and other programs on their machines. The company usually encourages these beta users to give feedback so they can fix any little wrinkles before the general release of the “real” version and answer the most common questions in the help files and guides.