The Minecraft pre-release is available for anyone who owns the game on Windows or Mac. It allows you to test upcoming features, as well as help find and eradicate bugs from future official releases.
The future of Minecraft
Minecraft isn't the only game that is constantly under development, but developer Mojang has always been very open with letting users try out future features of the game. Anyone with Minecraft can easily install the pre-release.The current pre-release, 1.8.x Bountiful Update, is full of little tweaks and changes to the game, although there's no big headline feature as earlier updates have had. Minecraft 1.7 'The Update that Changed the World' made big changes to how the game's worlds were generated, and of course 1.6 brought us horses. You really have nothing to lose in trying the Minecraft pre-release if you already own the game. You can easily switch between that and the official release and not be in danger of losing your saved games.To install the Minecraft pre-release, simply download the file. Then open your Minecraft launcher and click the 'New Profile' button, give it the name 'snapshots', and look for a box that says 'Enable experimental development snapshots'.
Nothing to lose
Minecraft Pre-release is really like a nice extra feature of the official game. It's free, and a great way to see how the game is developing.