Microsoft is stepping up its Insider program after heavy criticism over the past couple of months. The company is now letting users apply to give direct feedback on features via Skype call.
The engineering team is talking to Insiders in 5-10 minute slots, though Microsoft notes it “may be longer if there is more to discuss”.
Despite the important nature of the call, the company says it won’t be recorded or stored. The call is anonymous, with no request for name, phone number or other information. However, Microsoft may ask customers if they want to join a customer research panel.
Judging by the calendar events, the company is currently looking for feedback on its Windows 10 Light Theme. Users with their Windows 10 set to high feedback settings are most likely to get an invite.
“Hearing from you early in the development cycle helps us make changes to our products and test them before release,” reads the web page. “Early customer interactions ensure we hit the mark with features. The time you spend with us today can improve our products for users around the world.”
While many will be happy Microsoft is conversing with its Insiders in a direct way, others will see it as more reliance on unpaid volunteers. Given the rampant bugs with the Windows 10 October 2018 update, many are calling for the company to grow its internal testing teams.
Ultimately, though, both should happen to get a good end result. This is likely part of Microsoft’s new commitment to deliver a higher quality Windows.
Personally, I’m still not sure if Windows Light Theme is something users want. At this point, most companies are looking to make their apps darker to avoid eye strain, rather than the other way around. Either way, it’ll be nice to shake up Windows 10’s appearance a bit.