"Beta" is the software development phase following alpha, named after the Greek letter beta. Beta testing is done to get feedback from customers before the general release.
Types of beta testsEdit
There are usually closed and open beta tests; closed betas are done with a select group of individuals, while open betas are to a larger community group, usually the general public, and often done to 'stress test' servers. In addition, closed betas usually start earlier in the testing cycle, while open betas happen before the software is released.
RIFT: Planes of TelaraEdit
There is no date yet for RIFT's beta test, although it is suggested that the game will release in 2011, which means that RIFT's beta phase will likely be sometime in late 2010'.