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April 17, 2020

Moving the Windows Insider Program forward

Hey Windows Insiders!

How’s everyone holding up? I wanted to touch base, thank everyone for the warm welcome to the program, and share some of my initial thoughts on the program and where we want to take it forward.

As mentioned in Panos’ blog post, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work at Microsoft for most of my career working on Windows and devices powered by Windows, big and small, and like many of you, have watched Windows evolve to make great things, and learn some valuable lessons on the way. My most recent experience was driving the backend of the Windows Insider Program on the systems that make flighting ‘work’ and Flight Ops where we review data and make flighting decisions. Having been in these and other forums I saw how critical insight from Insiders was and how it directly impacted how we made release decisions in response. So, I’m very excited to pop over from behind the curtain to talk directly to Insiders and to be an interpreter between our engineers and our customers and help drive making Windows better.

On a personal note, I have a crazy blended family with early elementary school aged triplets, two teens in high school, and a new goldendoodle pup that is chewing on everything including my last nerve, but he’s cute. I’m a Seattle native, introvert at heart, and get my energy by traveling and soaking up new cultures and landscapes and seeing live music. And, like many of you, my family and I are adjusting with the recent world events to juggle managing family, work, team and community. Sight Words, Geography, Algebra, BioMed and French lessons are interspersed between Teams calls, PowerPoint decks, emails and Feedback Hub triage throughout the day. It can be a lot and I can’t wait to stretch my legs again and explore, but I feel lucky to be safe and virtually connected to everyone.

As the leader of the Windows Insider Program, I’ll be behind the scenes a little more than past leaders, but still working tirelessly on enhancing our listening systems, feature previews and engagement opportunities.  My goal is to connect you more to the passionate and unique folks that design, code and monitor the quality experiences you most care about and provide clarity on how your feedback is informing the way we build amazing experiences for all our Windows 10 customers.

I’ll be primarily engaging on the @WindowsInsider Twitter handle (^AL) and upcoming virtual events, and you will continue to see regular posts from the rest of the crew. Brandon LeBlanc (^BLB) and Jason Howard (^JH) will keep everyone looped in on the flights we are delivering to Insiders, with Eddie Leonard (^EL) providing support. We also have Jennifer Gentleman who is one of our top Community Champions for Windows as well as Community Champions from other areas. We are lucky to have a passionate group of people focused on driving and supporting the Windows Insider Program and will be featuring more folks in the future.

In the first three weeks on the job, I’ve been learning a lot about what Insiders want and care about most (more access to new UI, quality flights, and insight into the feedback process to name a few) – but where we take this program forward is really up to you. Last week we sent out a link to our annual Windows Insider Survey to Insiders via email – my eyes and ears are open, so please take a moment to fill it out and let me know what you love and what you want to see improved with the program. I can tell you from my past experience that we spend TONS of time across the Windows org looking at the data from the surveys to inform our planning. We’ve made modifications to the frequency of flights, how folks register for the program and opt-in their PCs to receive flights, and adjusted the Fast ring to be closer to the latest code from our engineers, with more to come!

In addition to the annual survey, we also offer more Pulse surveys each week via our Twitter handle to make sure that we are making progress on key elements of the program and listening more regularly. These Pulse surveys are a fantastic way of letting us know how you feel about the program each week. We look for patterns and things that pop to inform how things are going as we release new builds and engage on Twitter.

Thank you for welcoming me aboard as the new Windows Insider Program lead and I’m looking forward to working with all of you to grow and enrich this program!

Stay inside, Insiders ?