Microsoft has lifted the lid on WIP4Biz, a Windows Insider Program for Business catering to IT professionals who manage enterprise desktops.
While forward-looking enterprise organizations probably are testing Windows 10, it's likely only a fraction of the 400 million devices running Windows 10 are in the enterprise, although more should be coming online as 2020 approaches when Microsoft will stop patching Windows 7. And if the US Department of Defense (DoD) has met goals outlined last year, it should have migrated four million devices to Windows 10 this month.
To help target improvements to commercial features in Windows 10, Microsoft will soon invite IT pros inside any organization that's deployed Windows 10 to join WIP4Biz or Windows Insiders for Business.
Microsoft announced the new insider branch at its Ignite conference in Australia and plans to open the program in coming months.
According to Neowin, Microsoft's Bill Karagounis said WIP4Biz aspires to "make insider systems and capabilities more friendly and easier to fit into your business environments", adding that Microsoft is focusing Windows 10 development on things that are critical to corporate and business environments.
Microsoft launched the consumer Windows Insider Program alongside Windows 10 in 2014, offering fans a sneak peek at upcoming features in the slow or fast rings, while it gathers user feedback and irons out bugs before releasing the final preview.
This format will allow it to gather feedback from enterprise IT pros about deployment and adoption issues pertinent to their organization.
It will also help Microsoft engage more with IT pros, who traditionally have been important advocates for Microsoft software in the enterprise.
As Neowin notes, business participants will be able to 'upvote' reported issues to ensure the most important ones are prioritized. Karagounis hinted that business insiders may be able to distribute Insider builds within their organization.
The new Insider Program will feature forums, blogs and events, as well as surveys and documentation to help organizations deploy Insider builds.
Besides building a community around Windows 10, it will allow business participants to test new commercial features and migrate business workflows to its preview software.
Microsoft says: "The Windows Insider Program recognizes IT Professionals as a critical asset to any organization. From managing complex environments that incorporate Microsoft systems, to managing how they integrate with other applications inside their organization, IT Professionals understand 'mission critical' and know how to think through and resolve deployment issues. They are the front-line IT heroes of any organization. But we don't have to tell you this."
"In the coming months, we'll be adding additional features to the existing Windows Insider Program to better support you in your job. Incorporating the Windows Insider Program for IT Professionals into your deployment plans enables you to prepare your organization for Windows 10, to deploy new services and tools more quickly, to secure your applications, to increase productivity giving you confidence in the stability of your environment."