On May 9, I gave a presentation on Autodesk Labs and the Autodesk Beta program as part of our first annual North American Autodesk Expert Elite Summit in San Francisco. The Expert Elite program recognizes community members who make extraordinary contributions to our online and social communities. Members of the Expert Elite group are characterized by their regular and responsive participation in Autodesk’s discussion forums and social channels and advanced knowledge of company and our products.
Today I thought I would cover one slide from that presentation — how teams participate in the Labs and Beta processes.
Autodesk Labs is a service to the division of the company. Teams use the Labs process to get feedback on a new concept or UI. Technologies on Labs are not a sure thing. If they were, they would go straight to Beta. Although early customer involvement is a good thing, it does tip off competitors regarding what Autodesk is thinking. So we only use the Labs process for technologies we are not sure about. That's why your feedback is important. Trying a technology, liking it, and not telling us, is the same as not trying. We look for positive feedback to move technologies forward from the preview stage to the next stage. Some of the popular technology previews on Labs include:
For Autodesk Beta, most existing Autodesk products and future versions of those products go through a beta cycle in the Autodesk Feedback Community. The beta process covers not only the desktop products but now also cloud and mobile based ones.
- Autodesk 360 Fusion — web-based follow on from Labs Inventor Fusion (yesterday it went live as a non-Beta offering)
- Autodesk 360 Mobile — accessing Autodesk 360 from mobile devices
- AutoCAD for the Mac — coming soon
A participation comparison is alive in the lab.