I'm curious about how stable are pre-release versions of minor software updates (OSX 10.9.1-pre, for example) for everyday use in production.

Had anyone encountered any bugs with pre-release versions in the past that made the system unusable?

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    Well betas are betas they aren't public for a reason. – Matthieu Riegler Nov 19 '13 at 22:30
  • I'm asking a generic question about OS X betas. This is not the question just about 10.9.1. I'm asking for people experience in the past with their betas. I think this is 100% reasonable question. – Paul Miller Nov 20 '13 at 2:43
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    "Questions about pre-release software are off-topic." How much clearer must one be? Pre-release software is NDA. You aren't even supposed to talk about it... – daviesgeek Nov 20 '13 at 2:54
  • See apple.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic: "Please refrain from asking about the following topics as questions with these core subjects are generally closed or deleted: Pre-release, non-publicly available beta software and software granted only under an NDA" – Daniel Nov 20 '13 at 2:54
  • @PaulMiller I appreciate the effort to target this to past released, but really the best place to ask this is devforums.apple.com/community/mac – bmike Nov 20 '13 at 4:57

Typically, they are mostly stable. They may have a noticeable bug or two, but it usually isn't anything that would cause major inconvenience.

However, I don't know why you would want to use a version before it's released. Unless something absolutely critical was patched, there's really no benefit to it. It's not likely there'd be any crippling issues with prerelease versions, but why bother when it'll be released pretty soon anyways?

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    If they are a beta then you should assume they have a bug that causes major inconvenience. That is the point of a beta – user151019 Nov 19 '13 at 22:53
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    Assumptions like that are generally just for safety. In every beta of any software I've used, there have been some bugs most of the time, but only in very few instances has anything majorly inconvenient happened. And the worst case scenario in those few instances tended to be an application crash. Not even something that may be unrecoverable, like data corruption. Beta is just a label. It means "We're not entirely sure yet, so we're calling it beta so you can't blame us. But the final will probably be almost the same." Alpha is when there tend to be a significant amount of inconveniences. – superriku11 Nov 19 '13 at 22:59

Like all pre-release software it's mixed. Depending on bugs inadvertently added it may be stable or it may not.

If stability is paramount, don't install pre-release software on your device.

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