Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft’s Windows Devices Group (WDG) at the time proposed an idea for Windows Insider Program.
Mr. Myerson seems to be really driven to pushing over a billion people to the new Windows platform as soon as humanly possible.
In the most suitable push to make this happen, Microsoft has basically decided that (somewhat off the record), pirates can come in the side door and it really doesn’t matter what the state of your Windows license is, you get Windows 10 for free.
At this point, ANYONE (except larger companies) who wants Windows 10 will be able to get a copy for FREE.
To get deep into the weeds on how this is happening, you have to read Ed “the man” Bott’s excellent article on ZDNET – “With a nod and a wink, Microsoft gives away Windows 10 to anyone who asks”.
It’s excellent and it basically describes how Microsoft have opened the Windows 10 floodgates with a nod and a wink.
FREE Windows 10 collateral damage – The Windows Insider Program
Microsoft have basically said in so many words, if you join the Windows Insider Program, we’ll hook you up with a FREE lifetime valid copy of Windows 10 – period.
The Windows Insider Program is an excellent program with approximately 6 million beta testers who have volunteered to test these early builds of Windows 10.
It’s these Insiders who have sent hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of pieces of feedback to Microsoft giving feedback that has partially shaped Windows 10.
In addition to their active participation, their passive participation has also helped Microsoft learn more about what is working or not because of all the telemetry feedback that has been generated by this group.
The Windows Insider Program is here to stay
This program is actually quite important to Microsoft and contrary to what most of us believed in the beginning, it’s here to stay.
Microsoft actually have the Windows Insiders pegged as part of the future update cycle for software update testing.
Basically the Windows Insiders are the first line of testers who receives updates from Microsoft for Windows 10.
I will go into a lot more detail about how this works in a later article but I personally think that this is one important program!
Windows Insider Program: A Gateway for FREE Windows 10
Up to this point, people who have joined the Windows 10 Insider Program really want to be part of this program.
These people have been enthusiasts who are really interested in seeing what’s new in Windows and to some extent have wanted to be part of the program to test new stuff.
If the road to FREE Windows 10 becomes membership to the Insider Program, we could expect to see hundreds of millions of new members in the Windows Insider Program.
People who couldn’t care less about the spirit of the Insider Program and are simply here for the free upgrade.
On one hand, Microsoft is obviously adopting a “the more the merrier” attitude with all this and wants to drive as many people onto Windows 10 as possible.
This is where it gets a little tricky.
What is Microsoft looking for from Windows Insiders?
This all comes down to cost benefit analysis. Hopefully someone at Microsoft has done the analysis and decided that it makes more sense for the company to open the gates wide than it does to preserve the integrity of the Insider Program.
We have to assume that if hundreds of millions join the Insider Program just for Windows 10, their participation and active feedback levels will be tremendously low. Of course their telemetry data will get back to Microsoft so that does have value.
It will make it a lot harder for Microsoft to nurture and mine this group for good information because the data sample size will grow exponentially.
It becomes more difficult to market to this group and get relevant data from this group as needed.
There is another side to this.
Maybe I’m just jaded and cynical and hundreds of millions of new Insider will also bring millions of enthusiasts and make the Insider Program more robust!
Maybe the new folk will be so happy to be part of this new free community that they will be happy to participate in testing updates and giving feedback.
This too is possible.
How to Opt-out of Windows 10 insider program?
If you are done being a beta-tester of the Windows builds and frustrated with the constant bugs, you have an option to opt-out and disable the Windows Insider Program and roll-back to the stable version of Windows 10.
To leave Windows Insider, follow these steps:
- Open ‘Settings’
- Go to “Update & Security”
- Click on “Pause Update for 7 days”
- On left pane scroll down and at last click on “Windows Insider Program”
- Under Windows Insider Program, turn On the “Stop getting preview builds” switch.
- You would be required to restart your system.
- The Windows Insider Service would be disabled. Resume the update again.
Windows Insider Program FAQs
YES, Windows Insider Program is free for every genuine Windows 10 user. You can opt-in for it by registering from the Windows settings.
The basic idea of the Windows Insider service is to perform beta testing of the upcoming builds. So most of the builds under it are unstable and contains a lot of bugs.
Since the Windows Insider Program is unstable, a beta version of the future Windows 10 versions, it may sometime contain some security bugs that may be unsafe for your system, especially if you have opted WIP for your primary device.
The Bottom Line
Windows insider program is a great initiative to test updates before making it available to public. However, some users might want to disable Windows insider program to get rid of unstable updates. Keeping all benefits in mind, you still might want a smooth working experience. Thus, use this guide to opt-out of Windows insider program.