Microsoft Renames Xbox Preview Program to the Xbox Insider Program

Posted on November 7, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox, Xbox One with 8 Comments

Microsoft Renames Xbox Preview Program to the Xbox Insider Program

Taking a cue from the successful Windows Insider Program, which boasts over 7 million users, Microsoft has rebranded its early access program for Xbox One to the Xbox Insider Program. And it will soon be open to anyone, not just a select few.

“The Xbox Preview Program is becoming the Xbox Insider Program,” Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb revealed. “This new name reflects how we are expanding to offer opt-in opportunities to provide feedback on Game and App Previews alongside System Update previews.”

That new name also reflects how the rest of Microsoft brands its early-access programs. The Windows Insider Program has been so successful that other groups at Microsoft have asked Windows for help and advice on their own Insider Programs. And of course with Xbox now in the same business unit as Windows, it makes sense that these programs would work more similarly.

In tandem with the name change, Microsoft has released a Xbox Preview Dashboard—shouldn’t that be “Xbox Insider Dashboard,” Microsoft?–to testers. This new Dashboard includes:

  • A new name, the Xbox Insider Hub
  • Personalized to give you more relevant announcements, quests, and Insider content opportunities to get early access to select games and apps
  • A new UI, inspired by the New Xbox One Experience, makes it easier to find the right info and provide more robust feedback
  • The Xbox Insider profile card where your contributions in the program come front and center
  • Support for multiple users on a console to participate and provide feedback

This new update is rolling out today to Preview members—sorry, Xbox Insiders—starting with those who have been providing the most feedback. Over the next few weeks, all existing Xbox Preview members will get access to the new Xbox Insider Hub, Microsoft says. I assume they mean Insiders. You get the idea.

But here’s the best news.

“The Xbox Insider Program will soon be open to all Xbox users,” Mr. Hyrb notes. “More fans will have the ability to provide feedback directly from their Xbox One consoles. The Xbox Insider Hub will provide great opportunities to try out games, apps, and other console experiences.”

 

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6 Comments
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  1. 1 | Reply
    David Alpha Member #264 - 3 weeks ago

    The "open to everyone" part of this announcement is actually more nuanced than it first seems (that's not like Microsoft at all, right? :)).

    While it is true that the Xbox Insider Program is open to everyone, this seems to be limited to providing feedback.  A bit like the Feedback Hub in Windows, I'm guessing.  It's just an application that anyone can install.

    Inside this application there are individual Previews that each participant may or may not have access to.  I'm guessing this will include specific games, apps, features etc.  One of these previews is the "Xbox One Update Preview".  This is the equivalent to the current Xbox Preview Program - ie, it's the actual previews of the OS System Updates.  This preview is NOT open to everyone and is restricted to the same people that currently have access to the Xbox Preview Program.

    Given that the OS System Updates are probably what most people are interested in, nothing has actually changed with accessing these.  If you had access before, you still do.  If you weren't in the old program, you still can't get access to these OS previews.

  2. 0 | Reply
    IanYates82 Alpha Member #1573 - 3 weeks ago

    Neat, I'll sign up.  Have you had unstable builds for the Xbox similar to the fast-ring builds on PC, or is this more akin to the release preview ring for PCs?

    1. 0 | Reply
      wolters Alpha Member #390 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to IanYates82:

      I'd say it has been fairly stable...a few quirks but usually fixed pretty quickly in updates. 

  3. 0 | Reply
    Narg Alpha Member #420 - 3 weeks ago

    I was wondering when they were going to do that.  I've had invites into the Xbox Preview before, but haven't opted to jump in.  Now that it's open to everyone, I feel the earlier adopters will have a larger community and more resources to help with the bugs and issues that will come along with such efforts.

  4. 0 | Reply
    keithwc Alpha Member #1430 - 3 weeks ago

    Let's hope this means my Build 1608 Xbox One will FINALLY be able to update to Build 1610.  I've been on the Preview Program since day 1, but it's been driving me crazy (okay.... crazier than normal) not being updated to Build 1610 and the lovely new features it contains.

    1. 0 | Reply
      DWAnderson Alpha Member #730 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to keithwc:

      Yes. I am I the same position. At least I we have avoided stability issues with this build.