When Mary Jo and I interviewed Dona Sarkar at the Worldwide Partner Conference a few weeks back in Toronto, we asked what would happen to the Insider Program after the Anniversary Update was complete. This week, Ms. Sarkar provided even more information about what we can expect moving forward.
“On Tuesday we will begin to roll out the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to over 350 million devices,” she writes in a new post to the Windows Experience blog. “We’ve had 3 major releases in 1 year, which is pretty incredible. When we look back over the past year, we’ve been amazed by how passionate Windows Insiders and fans have been. They’ve been so instrumental in helping us make a better Windows 10 and delivering what people want the most.”
Sarkar says that Microsoft released 28 PCs builds and 20 Mobile builds to Windows Insiders since the November Update (1511), and that the pace of updates during the Anniversary Update development period was greater than that for the original release or 1511. This doesn’t surprise me, as anyone on the Insider program surely noticed the pace picking up, with Microsoft often releasing two builds in a single week. The resulting level of quality is something that Apple, especially, with its limited public betas, can only dream of.
Microsoft also received over 70 million individual pieces of feedback during 2016 alone, and made over 5000 improvements to Windows as a result of that feedback.
The direct connection between Windows users and the people actually making and improving Windows has led to a dramatic change in the community surrounding this product. (Compare this, briefly, to the Stalinist-like secrecy of the Sinofsky area and then shake off that chilly you just got up your back.)
“This direct engagement has been instrumental in connecting our teams with our most passionate fans to hear their stories first-hand of how they use Windows 10 and what we can do better,” Ms. Sarkar writes. “These engagements have become super helpful in building Windows.”
I love a group hug as much as anyone, but what we’re really interested in, of course, is what happens next? Does the Insider program take a short break and then start testing RS2 builds, as I’ve long suspected?
“We’ll be pushing out new builds again in August,” Sarkar explains.
So there you go. Take a breather, enjoy the Anniversary Update. I’ll keep pumping out free updates to the Windows 10 Field Guide to address its many changes, and of course I’ll be publishing tips and other articles here on Thurrott.com as well. We’ve had a great run. And it ain’t over yet.