Need another reason to get up off the couch and hit the streets in your running shoes? Beta testing the US version of the Dell Streak.
The RunTex Foundation in Texas, where Dell calls home, organizes an annual event called the Congress Avenue Mile, which is open to people of all ages but generally seems to dominated by high school students. This year's run, held on May 22nd, was sponsored by Dell.
At some point before the race, RunTex announced that the first 1,000 people who registered were eligible to take part in beta-testing a "cool new Dell device" for 30 days. All the spots were filled by May 13th.
Giant Streaks were set up at the finish line of the course, which began near the Texas State Capital and continued straight down Congress Avenue.
The beta Streaks were bundled with a month of free service from AT&T and began shipping to eligible participants a few weeks after the race. The beta test, which involves a weekly text message that includes a link to a survey, was originally scheduled to begin on June 14th, but the latest info indicates that it was pushed back to June 21st.
Dell is hoping to receive both positive and negative feedback from the beta testers, though if the testing period began on the 21st and is supposed to go on for 30 days, it doesn't give the company much time to incorporate any of the requested changes or fix any bugs if it wants to meet its previously announced July release in the US.
Also, considering that the Streak was released in the UK a few weeks ago, the US version is unlikely to be drastically different.
I can't help but wonder how much of this "beta test" is really just being done for the sake of saying it was done. Dell can say the device was tested by 1,000 people outside of the company and that the feedback was incorporated into the final release of the product, which of course can't really be proved. If anything, shouldn't the Streak have been beta-tested before the UK release?
The demographic of the testers is also interesting, as it indicates who the Streak is "made for."[Congress Avenue Mile]