Windows Insider Program surpasses 10 million users

How much the Insider users are contributing is debatable, but the program has definitely grown

Windows Insider Program surpasses 10 million users

Microsoft announced that the Windows Insider Program—its global community of testers who run interim builds of Windows 10 and serve as beta testers/guinea pigs for what might be an unstable build on their personal machines—has passed the 10 million mark.

It's taken a while to get here after a fast start. The program launched in September 2014 with the modest hopes of getting 400,000 enthusiasts on board. Instead, it hit 1 million after a few weeks. Back in August 2015, the number stood at 6 million people, and less than a month later Microsoft said it was up to 7 million.

Then things got quiet. Clearly an 18-month lag between the 7 million and 10 million mark means things plateaued, and perhaps Microsoft didn't want to admit it. 

But now they have something to crow about. In a blog posted on LinkedIn (interesting choice, to use a non-Microsoft site) over the weekend, Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president for the Windows and Devices Group, revealed the big number. It was almost lost in his lengthy blog post on the Xbox One, which is set to make big news at the upcoming E3 gaming show. 

Mehdi wrote: 

We count over 10M Windows Insiders today, many of them fans, who test and use the latest build of Windows 10 on a daily basis. Their feedback comes fast and furious, they have a relentless bar of what they expect, but it so inspires our team and drives our very focus on a daily basis.

It's a bit of an act of bravery to use a build on your work or home PC like this because you don't know what will break from one build to the next. And then there's the question of how much people really contribute. My laptop is signed up for Insider, but I work on my desktop all the time. So I'm not much of a contributor to the program. 

The number of testers is likely to grow with the launch of the Windows Insider Program for Business, which is specifically for corporate and business users. Microsoft has recommended that all SMEs and enterprise customers run Insider Preview builds on 1 percent of their systems in order to prepare for what's coming.

At the 2016 Build conference, Gabe Aul shared some interesting stats. The Insider program had participants in every country but two, which they did not name but are likely North Korea and Cuba. There were Insiders in even Antarctica and Vatican City.

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