The Microsoft 365 Insider test program is open for business

Microsoft is evolving its IT-pro-focused Windows Insider for Business program with its new Microsoft 365 Insider test program.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft has a Windows Insider test program. It has an Office Insider test program. Though it hasn't promoted it much (yet), the company also has a Microsoft 365 Insider program.

I saw a link to a Microsoft 365 Insider program sign-up/sign-in page thanks to The Walking Cat (@h0x0d) on Twitter.

From that page:

"If you're all in on Windows and Office and are looking to speed up your digital transformation even more, we invite you to join our new Microsoft 365 Insider Program.

"By signing up for this program, you will be getting all your enterprise news, events and community in one place as well as a clear path into what's next for collaboration, productivity and security.

"In the coming months, we'll be looking to your help to create this program to make you even more successful in your career and help make your business more competitive."

The goal of the Microsoft 365 Insider program is to provide members of both the Windows Insider and Office Insider programs a place to get information on enterprise-specific Windows, Office client and Office server products and releases, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

The new program will provide participants with "an opportunity to connect deeper with us to make sure their bugs/feedback across products are heard and escalated to the product teams," the spokesperson added. The new combined program also will give participants a way to connect with each other around all these topics, the spokesperson added.

"The way to think about this is as an evolution of the Windows Insider Program for Business," said Windows Insider chief Dona Sarkar.

Sarkar said she and her team will continue to run this new program, in partnership with the Office Insiders program. She said over time, the Microsoft 365 Insider program also will add test builds of Intune, Microsoft's enterprise mobility management service -- which makes sense, given Microsoft 365 is a bundle of Windows Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security technologies.

The name of the Microsoft 365 Insider program may change to just "Microsoft Insiders," even though it will be focused more on businesses to start, Sarkar said.

For now, the existing Windows Insider and Office Insider programs will continue to operate separately as usual. Sarkar said the team is working to understand what makes sense to "Insider" together for a home user of Windows in the future -- whether that be Office, Skype and/or other products.

Microsoft opened its Windows Insider Program for Business (WIP4Biz), aimed at IT professionals, in April 2017. In October this year, Microsoft refreshed its "Olympia Corp." lab to get more Insider testers to more easily put Windows Enterprise features through their paces.

In other Microsoft "Insider" news, simultaneous with its announcement that it is replacing the guts of its Edge browser with Chromium platform technologies, Microsoft also launched a new Edge Insider test program. The Edge Insider program is targeted at "developers and tinkerers" who are interested in getting preview builds of the revised Edge browser starting early next year.

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