Microsoft's Xbox Insider Program was introduced last year and rolled out in January. Since then, the program has been locked down to a limited number of members. Indeed, Microsoft recently stopped taking new applications. Luckily that changes today as the Xbox Insider Program is now available to everyone.
Of course, the one caveat is that you have and Xbox One console. A beta testing ground, the program serves as a replacement for the Xbox Preview Program and lets users test Xbox One features before their full release.
As well as opening the doors fully, Microsoft has also simplified how the program is structured. Since launch, the Xbox Insider Program has been somewhat confusing in its structure of preview branches.
As in other Microsoft insider projects, these branches are known as rings. These rings have now been renamed and denote which level of tester you will be. For example, the new Omega ring (previously Ring 4) is the default branch for those who sign up to the program.
Omega allows users to test and provide feedback on Dashboard updates. Providing feedback results in XP, which in turn can be used to move up ring tiers. The next level branch is called Delta, which will receive feature builds earlier. Once enough XP (and three months of membership) have been gained in Delta, users will progress to the full Beta testing rings.
Sure, the is a lot of hoop jumping to be done, but at least the system is clear.
To make the Xbox Insider Program more enticing, Microsoft says it is working with game developers to bring playtests of unreleased games to Insiders.
Xbox Insider Program
As an Insider, you get Microsoft's software and new features earlier. In exchange, the company seeks feedback on these early releases to improve them before launching to public. These features are almost always unfinished at the testing phase, so sometimes do not work properly. This is a compromise of the program and a reason why Microsoft needs feedback.
Microsoft's Insider concept has been successful. The programs allow users to interact with the teams behind Microsoft services and provide feedback. The Windows Insider Program and Office Insider Program have previously been launched, while Microsoft announced a Bing Insider Program earlier in the year.