I know what you are saying reading this post title: “what beta?”
It really seems I missed something or VMware suddenly reverted its Player 1.0 to beta status.
The previous release, 1.0.0 build 16981, was a beta1 (as far as I remember nobody told us), and is now replaced by a 1.0.0 build 18007 release (the same build number of Workstation 5.5 RC2).
What changed on both? I don’t know since there are no release notes.
Also the Browser Appliance virtual machine (based on Ubuntu Linux 5.04) is now updated to beta 2:
In this case the changes are available here.