Mozilla Firefox Test Pilot takes off
From the 'Yo Quiero Mozilla' files:
Eight months ago, Mozilla announced a new effort called Test Pilot to help get user feedback. Today Mozilla is now making that effort available with the Test Pilot add-on for Firefox.
The basic idea is that the add-on will make users part of the Test Pilot community where Mozilla will give users various tests. The whole effort is supposed to sanitize any personal information to protect individual user privacy.
"As a Test Pilot, you will not only be able to try out the newest features and user interface ideas before anyone else, but also see and learn how those results may contribute back to the product design," Mozilla states in a blog post.
Then again, I don't see Mozilla as having had difficulty getting people to try out new things in the past. Think of the recent Firefox 3.5 release, the beta releases (arguably a type of test) were widely used by tens of thousands of users.
The way I see Test Pilot is as a way to get even more feedback, for a number of different things, ranging from new features to usage behavior.