Earlier this month there had been signs that Microsoft was expanding its Insiders program, which is used to test early versions of operating systems and programs, to include testing of physical hardware devices.
Select Windows Insiders were sent a series of special invites hinting that the program was due for some sort of expansion and that those Insiders that had provided Microsoft with exceptionally detailed and quality feedback on Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview in particular would somehow be involved. Along with this letter was a survey to complete and instructions for participants to inform Microsoft of their mailing address and what sort of device they were currently using.
Very little had been heard regarding these surveys until today when a Windows Insider posted on Reddit about a letter he got from Microsoft informing him that they wanted to send him a new Lumia 950 or 950 XL, a display dock, and an Actiontec wireless adapter. It appears that Microsoft is interested in having active Windows Insiders continue to partake in the program using the latest devices to get the best real-case usage data of their software that they can. It’s unlikely they’re giving Lumia 950s to every Windows Insider for example, only those that are active in the program and appear to not already own one. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL are the two main Windows 10 Mobile flagship phones so it makes sense that Microsoft would want more testing done on these.
Windows Insiders are currently used to test early versions of Windows 10 for Desktop and Windows 10 Mobile for Windows phones. Microsoft also runs a similar program for Xbox One owners called the Xbox One Preview Program (or, Xbox One Preview Programme, depending on the region) which tests early versions of the console’s operating system as well as several apps.
Have you ever participated in one of these programs? Are they worthwhile? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.Further reading: Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL, Microsoft, Xbox Preview Program