That's better -- the reference to your article also makes the same point as I did -- if we don't get further builds before the final then further testing within the original Beta becomes gradually more and more useless unless you have a totally 100% stable system with minimal (and probably quite old) software and hardware.
I'm more and more sure that since there IS an incentive for Microsoft to get this product out of the door ASAP (in this economic market this is one of the few products for which there is a GENUINELY a huge consumer demand), then more widespread testing can only benefit the end product. As you said MSDN / Technet users will get RC1 on Mar 27 (actually in other post I did speculate at an Easter time release of RC1 for further external testing).
I'm sure the general public will get it a little later and n any case something like this is sure to hit the torrents not my choice BTW. Remember Microsoft is not the old KGB -- you can't bottle up stuff for ever (even the KGB had their problems with "leaked stuff" and these were professionals).
You are obviously referring to the public Beta release for assessment.
Don't forget that there are a large number of selected Tech beta testers, as is usual, and Full Partners, where it is appliceable, who are still actively testing and providing feedback., from later builds.
Of course "Corporates" and partners are important but these people today don't often provide the best testing environments -- Big companies tend to have stable machines and usually buy "Boring" but perfectly functional technology which for them is the Best Bang for Buck.
On the other hand unlike a few years ago when the opposite was true almost every home user I know has faster, more up to date and usually much better computers than they use at work -- I sometimes do some free lance work for Shell Oil -- not the poorest company on the planet but even these guys don't get nice big Apple Cinema displays to use as their monitors.
To throw open a further RC build to Home testers who are by and large hobbyists with a HUGE range of different hardware makes perfect sense for me rather than testing out fairly stable and predictable hardware that large organisations will use -- we KNOW that stuff will work anyway and corporations will update their machines quite slowly in any case.
As a prime example - most advances in really fast non power hungry PORTABLE processing and graphics card design comes from "Gamers" and Virtual Reality type of hardware -- not from large numbers of people in offices using Word, email and EXCEL.
Although a non gamer myself I still appreciate the advances in processing power that these applications have delivered to "mainstream computing" -- rather like ABS technology, efficient fuel injection systems etc now as standard in cars but were developed for Formula 1.
"To throw open a further RC build to Home testers who are by and large hobbyists "
Well acttually, they have. That is what I meant by "Tech beta testers." Many were selected at random, but based, to a certain extent, on previous track records. Some were just picked out of the hat.
The final number is only known to Microsft, but runs to thousands.