During a session at Build 2016, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul and Bill Karagounis shared some cool stats about the Windows 10 Insider Program. Both guys, who have a customer service background, went over the beginning of the program offering stats and explaining the purpose behind the Windows Insider program.
Microsoft planned for 250,000 Insiders and presented the first Insider program plans to executives back in May of 2014, several months before the announcement of Windows 10 and the release of the first preview build. Worst case scenario, Microsoft was aiming for 400 thousand testers. One week prior to announcing the Windows Insider program, Windows boss Terry Myerson refused to move forward with the 400 thousand limit, instead urging Aul and Karagounis to make it available to everyone. In September of 2014, a lot of code was thrown away and the feedback stack was rebuilt to support as many people as possible. Then came the big day. September 30th of 2014 was the day Windows 10 and the Insider program was announced. The very first preview build was released on October 1st of 2014 and within weeks, Microsoft hit 1 million Insiders. Microsoft scored 3 million Insiders by March of 2015 and as of today, Microsoft has over 7 million registered Insiders in the program.
Windows Insiders come from all over the globe including Antartica, except for two unnamed countries. When it comes to demographics of the Insider program, 46 percent are in a tech job, while 54 percent joined the program because they “love Windows.” 20 percent of Windows Insiders are students (1/5th of those are in high school still!).
Instead of the traditional “Beta” program, Microsoft opted for something a bit more different with Windows 10 testing. As Aul puts it, “by the time people saw our work, it was too late to give feedback.” Citing the development cycle of Windows 7 and Windows 8, by the time feedback was provided during the public preview phases, it was already too late to make big changes to the operating system. This is why Microsoft opted for the Windows Insider program to change the way they collected and implemented feedback suggestions.
Aul also explains the various different Insider rings, as well as a few other juicy stats. We’ve embedded the session below for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Share your comments below.