October 13, 2014 10:18 am

Checking in on the Windows Insider Program

It’s been awesome to see so many of you joining the Windows Insider Program and letting us know what you think about the Windows 10 Technical Preview software. As Terry mentioned on Sept. 30th, this is going to be a different Windows. We’re going to share our plans and progress with you earlier and more often as we want to build a Windows that everyone will love and really enjoy using. I’m excited for the level of participation we’ve seen…Terry was right when he said you’d be a vocal bunch. Keep it coming!

Stats: What’s happening with the software

Over the weekend, we hit 1 million registrants for the Windows Insider Program. That equates to a lot of people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and sending us feedback. How much feedback? Over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback have been submitted to us via the Windows Feedback app from Windows Insiders like you. (BTW, we have a TLA—“three letter acronym”–for these: “UIFs”.) Matt Goldstein is a Windows Insider and actually developed a script that looks at the top feedback that has been sent in so far – see this article from Paul Thurrott for the rundown. This showcases how helpful it is for you to click the “me too” button when you see someone else’s feedback that you agree with or are experiencing yourself.

Here’s a few other interesting nuggets:

Wondering whether people are running this on actual PCs or just “trying it out” for a few minutes in a VM (Virtual Machine)? Well, only 36% of installations of the Windows 10 Technical Preview are in VMs. The remaining 64% are all on actual PCs. This makes us confident that a lot of the feedback is based on “medium-term” use and not just a few minutes of experimentation. (If you’re running the Windows 10 Technical Preview in a VM that’s cool too.)

Another indicator that we have solid usage is the number of app-launches that happen on a device. 68% of you are launching more than 7 apps/day, and some people are using it even more heavily. We have seen about 25% of devices running the Windows 10 Technical Preview launching more than 26 apps per day, and 5% launching a whopping 68 apps per day!

People on the team are hard at work poring through all the feedback, categorizing and processing it, and cycling it back into our development. Again, make sure you look at the feedback others are reporting and use the “me too” button! It’s early days right now, but you’ll see the fruits of your engagement over the next year as you’ll see the product evolve. What we’re doing is almost like building a plane while flying it with you as our co-engineers. (And yes, that means sometimes the ride will get bumpier! 🙂 )

Keep that feedback coming

So that you have it handy, I want to take a moment to summarize some different ways you – or your non-Insider friends – can send us your opinions and further impact product decisions:

  • Signed up as a Windows Insider? Tell us your Windows 10 likes, dislikes and bugs using the Windows Feedback app built into the Tech Preview software. This is the best way to get us your opinion on Windows 10 Tech Preview builds.
  • You can ask questions and talk with us and other Windows Insiders through the Windows Technical Preview Program forum. We have people reading the forum all the time and we’re forwarding questions, conclusions, discussions, stats around the team.
  • If you’re not a Windows Insider, you can still tell us what you’d like to see in Windows. We now have a Windows Suggestion Box on UserVoice which is open to anyone who wants to send us ideas and suggestions for Windows. For example – if you think it would be awesome if Windows natively supported some file format it doesn’t support today, submit it through the Windows Suggestion Box!

Meet Gabe, Your “Windows Insider Host”

Finally, let me introduce you to Gabriel Aul. Gabe runs our Data & Fundamentals Team. His team is spending a lot of time going through all telemetry data and feedback we’re receiving from the Windows Insider Program, so he’s the closest guy to everything you folks are saying. Going forward, he’ll be the one blogging about the Windows Insider Program and each new build we release to Windows Insiders. A new build should be coming soon too! If you want the early jump on news about future builds, I recommend you follow Gabe here on Twitter.

Even though we’re just two weeks into this huge collaborative project, we’re learning a lot and we’re working hard to keep up with your enthusiasm and passion. Overall, we’ve all been stoked to see the Windows Insider Program grow into a community of people actively participating and excited to help us build Windows 10. Thank you to all you Windows Insiders! Now it’s time to get back to your feedback…

Updated February 20, 2015 1:26 pm