Microsoft's Windows Insider Program has become a vital part of Microsoft's Windows development. According to the head of the program, users have also embraced the idea, making the Insider Program a raging success for Microsoft.
Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider Program, says while clearly a minority of Windows 10 users are Insiders, the number is no significant. Indeed, she tweeted 16.5 million Insiders are now a part of the program.
Of course, hundreds of millions are running Windows 10, but it is clear the Insider Program is now a genuinely important part of the platform. That makes sense considering the idea behind why the program exists.
Microsoft launched the Windows Insider Program back in 2014. It connects the brains that develop the platform with normal users. Insiders get access to early Windows 10 builds and features, while in return Microsoft receives feedback on those features and can refine them before launch.
It's always a fun convo when someone asks me "How many managers have you had at MS?"
Me: 16.5 M Insiders and about 10 engineering managers
— Dona Sarkar at #AbilitySummit (@donasarkar) June 1, 2019
The Insider model was successful enough that Microsoft has expanded it across other services. Users can now access the Office Insider Program, Xbox Insider Program, Azure Insider Program, Microsoft 365 Insider Program, and the latest addition is the Halo Insider Program.
Launched in March, the Halo Insider Program connects users of the popular game with developers:
“The Halo Insider Program is the new way Halo fans and community members can partner with 343 Industries to improve our games, products, and services,” Microsoft notes.
It is worth noting that Sarkar only mentioned 16.5 million Insiders in here tweet, without specifically talking about Windows Insider members. It is logical she meant Windows users considering that's where her authority lies within Microsoft.