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The alpha phase of the release life cycle is the first phase to begin software testing. Alpha software can be unstable and could cause crashes or data loss. The exception to this is when the alpha is available publicly, in which developers normally push for stability so that their testers can test properly. (Source WikiPedia)

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
alpha (noun)
the 1st letter of the Greek - alphabet see alphabet table
something that is first - beginning
- alpha wave
- alpha particle
alpha (adjective)
closest in the structure of an organic molecule to a particular group or atom - symbol ? ?-substitution
socially dominant especially in a group of animals - an alpha male
- alphabetic
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
alpha (noun)
the point at which something begins
alpha, baseline, birth, commencement, dawn, day one, genesis, get-go ( git-go), inception, incipience, incipiency, kickoff, launch, morning, nascence, nascency, onset, outset, start, threshold
drawing board, first base, ground zero, square one; creation, founding, inauguration, initiation, institution, origination; cradle, fountain, fountainhead, germ, origin, root, seedbed, source, spring, well, wellspring; dawning, opening; advent, appearance, arrival, debut ( début), emergence; childhood, infancy, youth
cessation, closing, closure, completion, finale, finish, period, stop, termination, windup
close, conclusion, end, ending, omega
Alpha (Wikipedia)
For other uses, see Alpha (disambiguation).

Alpha (uppercase Α, lowercase α; Greek: Άλφα Álpha) is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 1. It was derived from the Phoenician letter aleph Aleph. Letters that arose from alpha include the Latin A and the Cyrillic letter А.

In English, the noun "alpha" is used as a synonym for "beginning", or "first" (in a series), reflecting its Greek roots.

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