Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Jan 2007 16:35 UTC
Windows Millions of computer users participate in software beta programs every year, usually toiling away in anonymity, never quite sure if whatever they find or report will matter in the final product. Others find the experience a lot more fulfilling, such as the families that participated in Microsoft's Life with Windows Vista program. In addition to the more than 2 million testers of Vista, Microsoft selected 50 families from around the world and watched, in a reality TV kind of way, how they interacted with Vista, right out of the box with the first beta and all the way up to release to manufacturing.
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Microsoft did this before
by Ford Prefect on Wed 10th Jan 2007 16:45 UTC
Ford Prefect
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Although they didn't want the families/households to try Windows XY, but other things like XBOX or the Media Center thing.

I think it's a rather good idea to have this approach on usability testing, additionally. Microsoft has enough money to afford it, too.

But I wonder how much they really learn from it. I don't see many key usability features in Windows ;) (Not that all of them were present in "the competition")

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