The only fault I have with that logic is "in the wild" software/hardware. The Beta Software is being developed and tested constantly - especially between when hardware vendors require units to be sent to them and kickoff when teams receive their hardware. It's true that the hardware has been "finalized", but the software most definitely is not - it's usually still being developed. If FIRST (or a developer, or a vendor) were to release a software version, that version has to be tested for safety, security, and robustness. The speed at which you can release a version of software is inversely geometrically proportional to the number of people who have access to the version. Once a version of software is released, it's considered, "in the wild" meaning it could be used at any time, and we must have a method of supporting these versions (and guaranteeing its "safety"). If the unfortunate situation were to occur where a software bug during the last phases of development were to prevent upgrade/downgrade/safety/functionality, how many units would be affected? What are the consequences of releasing an update? Think about what it must be like to release a new version of the Windows Operating System, and the consequences of releasing a version where the update mechanism was screwed up, or the code for keeping your computer cool were accidentally disabled, or the login prompt had a bug. Now what would happen if twenty beta teams got a late version of the software that had a bug that prevented them from using a beta roboRIO the last 2 weeks before kickoff - how would FIRST have to react then versus ALL teams with access to a roboRIO? What kind of support channel must be staffed to address issues and concerns from possibly three thousand teams who might have access - and where would those resources have to come from (to sacrifice from development)? I understand your frustration with not getting access to Beta software, but from a risk perspective it's just not in FIRST's interest to "open the flood gates" until a final version is absolutely ready. And there will be a version absolutely ready for kickoff.