There Are Now 10 Million Windows Insiders

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Xbox One with 11 Comments

There Are Now 10 Million Windows Insiders

Microsoft today claimed that there are now over 10 million people in the Windows Insider program. That’s a big jump from the previous numbers.

As you may recall from my article Next Up for the Windows Insider Program: Changing the World, Microsoft launched this program in October 2015 and the program had hit about 3 million people within a month. By the time of my interviews with Microsoft last November, I was told that there were about 7 million people in the Windows Insider program.

But now, just four months later, there are apparently over 10 million Windows Insiders.

“We count over 10 million Windows Insiders today, many of them fans, who test and use the latest build of Windows 10 on a daily basis,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi claims. “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.”

I don’t actually believe that 3 million more people are suddenly testing Windows 10 builds now. Instead, I bet most of those new testers are actually on Xbox One: In November, Microsoft renamed its testing program to the Xbox Insiders program as part of a consolidation with the broader Windows Insiders program. A bit later, they opened it up so anyone could join. That, I think, accounts for the sudden rise in testers.

But no matter how or where the new testers are coming from, Windows Insiders is huge.

“To my knowledge, [the Windows Insider Program] is the largest public software preview program in the world, certainly the largest of its type,” Microsoft’s Gabe Aul told me in November. “It’s significantly bigger than anything Microsoft had ever done, and the number of downloads for Windows 10 preview releases is now hovering around the 100 million mark.”

Or as Dona Sarkar put it, “Insiders are the millions who represent the needs of the billions.”


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “There Are Now 10 Million Windows Insiders”

  1. Mark from CO

    Or the 400 million...

    Mark from CO

  2. skane2600

    I guess the important question is what percentage of insiders send feedback to MS and what percentage of that feedback is incorporated into Windows?

  3. Waethorn

    Probably more than there should be. They can't feasibly filter out the wheat from the chaff, i.e. the noise.

    When you have that many real voices commenting, you end up with "I want pretty colours" and "Boaty McBoatface".

  4. OwenM

    Do they give a breakdown of the number of people in each ring? i'd be willing to guess most are on the Slow or Release Preview rings.

  5. disco_larry

    And 9,999,988 of them are running the Insider builds in a virtual machine, leaving 12 to ferret out bugs like the webcam one that hit the last big update.

  6. SherlockHolmes

    100 Million people testing Windows 10 upfront. And they still dont get it right. Nice!

  7. twitch2spark

    The insider program started in October 2014 when Microsoft first announced Windows 10. So it took two years to get to 7 million and you're probably right that the sudden jump in 3 million is mostly from Xbox.

  8. nbplopes

    This number is absolutely incredible at all counts. Basically the size of one small country in population or even more, beta testers. I would think they ought to do better with Windows 10 considering the belief and trust of these people to spend their time helping the company do better.

  9. Aras

    I joined the Xbox Insider program when I purchased the One S a few months ago. Other than a a couple of bug ridden items added to the Insider Hub to test, I wouldn't know that I was in the program. I am in ring 4 which means nothing of course and I'm sure that this group represents the largest portion of the overall number. I haven't even received the March dashboard update and March is almost over! I guess I need to go to YouTube to see what its all about until I fulfill the mystical requirements to move up to the next circle.

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