It is now possible to play Beta within the current Minecraft launcher. But the versions in Beta may contain bugs. You’ll need to proceed at your risk. It was announced on Notch’s blog on December 11, 2010, and released nine days later. With some minor updates, Beta’s price increased 50%. It is the change since Notch removed the line that said “all future updates will be provided free of charge” though the statement still applies to users who bought Minecraft before Beta was released. Alpha and Beta got the full game free of charge and some updates to the main website.