Microsoft is expanding its Windows 10 early adopter network to a new group of users: businesses. The aim is to engage IT professionals who like evaluating bleeding edge technology for deployment in their organization. Like the existing Windows Insider Preview Program, the Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals gives users a sneak preview of upcoming features before they are released to the wider public. The difference with Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals is that it has a heavier focus on features that are intended for the enterprise environment, such as dynamic management, provisioning, device management, Windows Store for Business, Windows Update for Business, Defender Advanced Threat Protection and more.
Microsoft Launches New Windows Insider Program for Business Users
Previously, Microsoft’s engagement with IT pros for feedback was exclusive to large organizations participating in the company’s Windows Technology Adoption Program (TAP). Opening up Windows 10 feedback to a much broader audience of technology professionals empowers organizations and individuals to gain insights and also have an impact on the direction of the product. Getting early access to enterprise technologies slated for upcoming Windows releases also lets IT pros identify and work out any bugs or compatibility issues ahead of time.
The Windows Insider Program recognizes IT Professionals as a critical asset to any organization. From managing complex environments that incorporate Microsoft systems, to managing how they integrate with other applications inside their organization, IT Professionals understand ‘mission critical’ and know how to think through and resolve deployment issues. They are the front-line IT heroes of any organization. But we don’t have to tell you this. Source
Microsoft is recognizing that organizations are changing to a rapid deployment methodology, not because it’s trendy, but out of necessity. A big reason for this is security—companies are looking for ways they can stay ahead of constant threats. To that end, the new rolling release of Windows 10 has turned out to be quite a successful strategy, in spite of it being a dramatic departure from the “wait and see” Service Pack 1 or 2 barometer approach organizations used in the past. Many are now embracing Windows 10’s revisions every six months, with not only new end user functionality, but key improvements to guard against sophisticated attacks such as espionage and zero-day vulnerabilities.
Which Windows Insider Program is Right for You?
If your job requires you to be on top of the latest Windows features, then the Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals might be up your alley. If you don’t know or care about things like MDM, Device Guard, Credential Protection or Windows Analytics, then this is not the program for you. The existing Windows Insider Program is still available for home users who just want to kick the tires for what’s coming down the pipeline. Front-facing features like the new Nightlight, Windows Defender Security Center and desktop refinements are fun to check out before they hit the streets.
Even though Windows 10 Insider test builds are very stable, a few bugs here and there are par for the course. If you are anxious to find out what’s new, the best way to do it is on a spare machine, partition or virtual machine. Also, remember that Windows 10 Insider Previews do expire and they require that you install on top of an already activated copy of Windows.
IT 0rofessionals interested in the new program can sign up now and fill out a quick survey to help Microsoft understand your needs.
Tell us what you think—does the Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals sound interesting or useful to you? Leave a comment with your thoughts.