“In February 2011, we’ve invited a limited number of public users to begin testing public access to the new FamilySearch [Family Tree] website,” disclosed FamilySearch. “These valued testers will help us make sure the system can handle the increased load.” Don’t bother begging; FamilySearch has already selected the testers.I am not sure that this constitutes going public, hence the question mark in the title. The AI is correct about the confusing terminology. I have begun calling the FamilySearch.org website released in December, 2010, the "updated FamilySearch.org website." This is to try not to use the term "new" which is getting pretty old now anyway. Technically we aren't talking about a new site at all. FamilySearch.org has not changed URLs and is still tied to the old FamilySearch.org website. The site we all call "New FamilySearch" should properly be called FamilySearch Family Tree or something of that nature.
New.FamilySearch.org (NFS) does have an entirely new User Profile and Preferences. All of the old Preferences have been re-set to hide names, addresses and phone numbers. Unless users go back into their preferences and change those items, they will not be shown. I have found it valuable to have my contact information in New FamilySearch and so I opt for having my info made public.
I agree that those coming into the system will have a different experience than those of us who already have generations of ancestors mangled by the program. I find that anyone who has little or no previous contact with families listed in the New FamilySearch program, will have an easier time using the program than those of us who have been in the system for years and years dating back to the Ancestral File and before.
As for AI's comments about SCOE, I am not sure I see anything remotely moving in that direction yet. By the way, SCOE stands for Source Centric, Open Edit. Right now, NFS is a long way from SCOE.