Access public and private preview features
Microsoft offers previews of Azure features for evaluation purposes. With Azure Preview Features, you can test beta and other pre-release features, products, services, software, and regions.
Some of the common areas you will see previews for include:
- New storage types
- New Azure services, such as Machine Learning enhancements
- New or enhanced integration with other platforms
- New APIs for services
Azure feature previews are available under certain terms and conditions that are specific to each particular Azure preview. Also, some previews are not covered by customer support.
Once a feature has been evaluated and tested successfully, it might be released to customers as part of Azure's default product set. This release is referred to as General Availability (GA).
Feature preview categories
There are two types of previews available:
- Private Preview. An Azure feature marked "private preview" is available to specific Azure customers for evaluation purposes. This is typically by invite only and issued directly by the product team responsible for the feature or service.
- Public Preview. An Azure feature marked "public preview" is available to all Azure customers for evaluation purposes. These previews can be turned on through the preview features page as detailed below.
Finding preview features
You can learn about preview features through the preview features page. This page lists the preview features that are available for evaluation. To access a preview feature, select its entry on this page and learn more about how to evaluate it. You can also use the RSS Feed button on this page to subscribe to notifications and stay informed.
You can also find Azure preview features in the portal as follows:
- Sign in to Azure portal.
- Select Create a resource in the resources panel to open the New pane.
- Enter the word preview into the search box at the top of the New pane.
- A list of available preview features is displayed, with the word (preview) next to each one.
Azure portal preview features
Another preview area you can try is the next version of the Azure portal. Use the URL https://preview.portal.azure.com (notice the preview prefix).
Typical portal preview features provide performance, navigation, and accessibility improvements to the Azure portal interface. It will be branded with Microsoft Azure (Preview) in the top bar, so you will know you are in the preview portal.
Provide feedback on preview features
If you utilize the preview portal or a preview feature, Microsoft wants to hear about your experience. You can provide feedback through the "smiley" face icon on the portal or by posting ideas and suggestions on the Azure portal Feedback Forum.
Get notified about GA releases
The Azure portal "What's New" link on the help menu (?) provides a list of recent updates you can periodically check to see what's changed in Azure.
Alternatively, you can use the Azure Updates page. This page provides additional information and features including:
- Which updates are in general availability, preview, or development.
- Browse updates by product category or update type, by using the provided dropdown lists.
- Search for updates by keyword by entering search terms into a text-entry field.
- Subscribe to get Azure update notifications by RSS.