Microsoft launches Insider program for business users

Goal is to solicit feedback from corporate users just like it does with consumers.

 Microsoft launches Insider program for business users
Credit: Thinkstock

The Windows Insider program has been an important program for Microsoft, soliciting feedback from thousands of individual customers to help with the development and debugging of Windows 10. Now the company has launched an equivalent program for corporate users.

Dubbed the Windows Insider Program for Businesses — or WIP4Biz, for short -- Microsoft is aiming to get more business involvement in the feedback process. At its recent NexTech Africa conference, the company recommended that SMBs and enterprise customers should run Windows 10 Insider Preview builds on 1% of their systems to see what's coming in future builds and prepare for them.

Now, at the company's Ignite show in Australia, Bill Karagounis, the Windows 10 OS Fundamentals Director, formally announced WIP4Biz. According to Neowin, which must have had someone at the show, a major goal of WIP4Biz is to "make Insider systems and capabilities more friendly and easier to fit into your business environments."

Karagounis said Microsoft a deeper and ongoing focus on things that are critical in corporate and business environments for Windows 10 development, to understand those customers' needs and improve its overall development process.

This isn't surprising since business users tend to be more locked into an OS through customer development. In-house apps and custom Web apps often lock a company to an operating system and/or browser, which is why they are often so slow to migrate to a new platform.

Karagounis outlined three key goals of the initiative:

Bring commercial insiders into the community

  • Build a community of like-minded individuals to share information
  • Create experiences to build excitement and engagement with WIP
  • Advocate for the needs of the community with product changes including software updates and the supporting communication

Get feedback on commercial features/functionalities

  • Provide a scalable feedback mechanism for Insiders at all levels
  • Listen to businesses' and Insiders' needs and requirements
  • Test our new commercial features, migrate business workflows to pre-release software where appropriate and provide feedback

Support Windows commercial deployment

  • Deliver information about new features in Windows and the benefits to the Insider's organization while supporting end user adoption
  • Offer a channel to have a real-time dialogue with WIP and Microsoft
  • Share success stories, provide role models and connections

WIP4Biz includes dedicated forums, blogs and events; regular surveys with IT professionals; and extensive documentation to support those organizations deploying Insider builds. It will launch in the next few months, but you can register now by filling in a survey on Microsoft's WIP4Biz website.

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