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In terms of the beta to which you are referring…
…simply stated, it usually refers to pre-commercial release software that companies offer for download and testing by potential consumers such as yourself. All the bugs have not been worked out of the software, and many of these companies depend on feedback from those who download the software and run into problems using it. The company then takes this feedback and supposedly corrects bugs, or fixes/improves elements before the final release.
Sometimes companies simply do a commercial release KNOWING there will be bugs and issues, then when the complaints start rolling in they do various fixes, usually available for download, along the way. Or pull it and start all over. I am Mac centric, but in reading stuff I understand VISTA had/has some issues along the way, to the extent that some people even went back an operating system generation until things with VISTA settled (they hoped) out.