Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the beginning of Microsoft's Windows Insider program.
The program was announced by Terry Myerson at the same time Microsoft's officially unveiled Windows 10 during a press event on the companies Redmond campus.
It was shortly after that when we first met the face of the Insider program - Gabe Aul. Our Ring Master quickly became a rock star because his Twitter account would end up being the channel we would learn about the release of new builds for testers.
In early 2015 Windows 10 Mobile would also become part of the Windows Insider program so testers could run new builds of the mobile version of Windows 10 on select Windows Phone handsets.
The last official count from Microsoft places over 7 million members in the Windows Insider program and according to Gabe, in a post to the Insider Hub, there have been 25 PC and mobile releases of Windows 10 sent to Insiders over this past year. That averages out to about two builds per month but each side of the program has had its big dry spells gaps between build releases.
Through the Insider program Microsoft has received unknown terabytes of telemetry data from those devices running Windows 10 plus the thousands upon thousands of specific feedback items sent in through the Windows Feedback app. Just based on the amount of data received about the fledgling operating system I am sure Microsoft considers it a huge success.
If there was one thing I would change about the Windows Insider program it would be to raise the bar for entry. I monitor social media daily and receive a lot of inquiries via email and direct messages on Twitter. Based on the interactions with those individuals they really should not be testing a technical preview of a complex operating system. Exactly how you stop individuals from joining a very public program - well I do not really know - but sometimes I do miss the days of private Windows betas.
However, Microsoft now lives in the Feedback Economy with everything they do so I am not sure they would do it any differently than they have.
Like all programs there will be post-analysis that takes place to determine the success of that effort. Is it too early to determine the overall success of the Windows Insider program?
I think it would be split right now and that division would run along the lines of the Windows 10 Experience Variable.
What are your thoughts on the Windows Insider program after one year?