Definition: Most companies use "beta" to label software that is not quite ready for commercial release. Often this software has bugs or is missing functionality. Google, on the other hand, labels any product or service as beta when they feel that they may make significant changes to the interface. This means some products may spend years in beta. Google News, for instance, spent four years in beta.
In Google jargon, items that may be unstable are not betas. They're Labs projects.
Also Known As: Google Beta