To me, the whole process of selecting beta testers for a new product is a lot like jury selection -- except I hope the beta testers enjoyed this more than they do jury duty! The principle is the same: gathering educated but objective people to make an honest decision.
I take this process seriously because these volunteers represent all the users out there. We divided our testers into three categories that we feel best describe Alpha users: professional software consultants who build applications for clients, those who work in large organizations and build applications, and those who work in small and medium-sized organizations and build applications.
After experiencing Alpha Five Version 11, they answered a series of questions for us. I'm proud to report that there was little to no critical feedback -- the vast majority of these guys were familiar with most of our competitor's platforms and still gave us rave reviews!
I can't share all the questions here, but I do want to share some of the most important ones. Most of our developers answered that they are focusing on building Web, desktop, and mobile applications. I know, I know -- nothing surprising there.
But what about this? According to our responses, 26 percent of our beta testers felt that Alpha Five lets you build applications over 10 times faster when compared to competitive products that they had first-hand experience with.
Nineteen percent of our beta testers felt that the Alpha Five development time advantage was five to 10 times as fast. Twenty percent felt that Alpha Five was four times more productive, and the remaining 24 percent felt that Alpha Five was anywhere from two to three times more productive.
The beta testers compared Alpha Five to the the following platforms: Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, FileMaker, Visual FoxPro, ColdFusion, PHP, and Visual Studio.
And because I've been showing you snippets of what to expect in our feature peeks, I'll leave you with a real teaser. The feature in Version 11 that the testers were the most excited about? The answer is mobile!
This shouldn't surprise me, because what we've been doing for building mobile applications is, I think, pretty groundbreaking. Where else can you build your mobile application once and run it across every mobile platform on the market, while still looking and behaving like a native application?
What was most interesting is the broad interest in the key features in Version 11, which I am happy to share with you below:
What do you think your favorite Version 11 feature will be?