Why Buzz was not called beta from the start is due to semantics. Because it's tied so closely with Gmail -- almost as a feature akin to the chat tool -- it seemed awkward, Jackson said, to label it differently.
"We started questioning the very meaning of the word 'beta,'" Jackson said.
Google still has some beta software out there -- Web apps like Scholar, browser extensions and popular versions of the Chrome browser itself. But it appears the company is being more selective about what gets the beta excuse.