Microsoft Announces Xbox Insider Program, Welcomes All Gamers To Join And Provide Feedback

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Microsoft has been hinting at consolidating its Xbox Preview Program and Windows Insider Program for quite some time. After all, the Xbox One shares a codebase with Windows 10, and as Windows Chief Terry Myerson stated in March, “It doesn’t make sense for these to be separate.”

Today, Microsoft is taking the first step towards harmonizing its public software testing regimen by renaming the Xbox Preview Program to the Xbox Insider Program. “Since the program launched in February 2014, your feature requests, ideas, and millions of votes have helped shape and improve your Xbox experience for the whole community,” writes Xbox Live chief Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb.

As for the name change, Major Nelson explains, “This new name reflects how we are expanding to offer opt-in opportunities to provide feedback on Game and App Previews alongside System Update previews.” The Xbox Preview Dashboard has also received a name change, and is now known as the Xbox Insider Hub.

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Some of the other changes included with the refreshed Xbox Insider Hub include:

  • Personalization to give you more relevant announcements, quests, and Insider content opportunities to get early access to select games and apps
  • A new UI, inspired by the New Xbox One Experience, makes it easier to find the right info and provide more robust feedback
  • The Xbox Insider profile card where your contributions in the program come front and center
  • Support for multiple users on a console to participate and provide feedback

If you’re a long-time member of the Xbox Preview program that has provided plenty of feedback to Microsoft over the years, you’ll be among the first to sample the new Xbox Insider Hub, which goes live today. The new Xbox Insider Preview will eventually be rolled out to all current Xbox Preview participants by the end of the month.

The other big change is that the Xbox Insider Preview (including the Xbox Insider Hub) is being opened to all Xbox One users. However, if you are a new tester looking to score early system updates, you’ll likely be disappointed. “Xbox system updates will currently be limited to those already testing them (not open to new members), as we still have a huge number of volunteers already doing a great job testing and providing feedback,” added Major Nelson.