When Microsoft launched the Windows Insider program back in October 2014, nobody really expected the program to blow up. Windows Insiders played a huge role in Windows 10’s development over the past couple of years, too. Microsoft announced back in September 2015 that the Windows Insider program had more than 7 million Windows Insiders, which was quite a big number considering the Insider program launched only a year ago at that time.
More than 2 years since its initial launch, the Windows Insider program now has 10 million users all around the world. The growth of the Insider program has clearly slowed down over the past several months, but Microsoft already has more than enough Insiders to test all the new stuff in Windows 10. In a recent post on LinkedIn, the Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, Yusuf Mehdi stated:
“We count over 10M Windows Insiders today, many of them fans, who test and use the latest build of Windows 10 on a daily basis. Their feedback comes fast and furious, they have a relentless bar of what they expect, but it so inspires our team and drives our very focus on a daily basis.”
Having 10 million in a “beta” — or an even “alpha” testing program is really quite amazing, especially for an OS like Windows which didn’t really have a good image when it came to updates in the past. The Windows Insider program has been quite helpful for Microsoft, but as the Insider program continues to grow, it is getting increasingly difficult for Redmond to obtain useful and relevant feedback from their users at the moment. The Feedback Hub (which is used to submit feedback to Microsoft by Insiders) is being flooded with useless feedback, which is a major issue for the company and the future of Windows.
Following the Windows Insider program’s success, Microsoft launched similar programs for some of its other popular products — including Office, Xbox, Skype, and even Visual Studio. We are probably not so far away from a single, centralized Insider program for Microsoft that allows their enthusiast customers to try out the latest and greatest features on their products before everyone else.