Introduction to the Windows Insider Program for Business

Applies to

  • Windows 10

Looking for information about Windows 10 for personal or home use? See Windows Update: FAQ

For many IT Pros, it's valuable to have visibility into feature updates early--before they’re available in the Semi-Annual Channel. With Windows 10, feature flighting enables participants in the Windows Insider Preview program can consume and deploy preproduction code to test devices, gaining early visibility into the next build. This is better for your organization because you can test the early builds of Windows 10 to discover possible issues with the code or with device and app compatibility in your organization before the update is ever publicly available. We at Microsoft also appreciate it because Insiders can report issues back to us in time for us to make improvements in a release before it is more generally available.

The Windows Insider Program for Business gives you the opportunity to:

  • Get early access to Windows Insider Preview Builds.
  • Provide feedback to Microsoft in real time by using the Feedback Hub app.
  • Sign in with corporate credentials (Azure Active Directory) and increase the visibility of your organization's feedback with Microsoft – especially on features that support your productivity and business needs.
  • Register your Azure Active Directory domain in the program, allowing you to cover all users within your organization with just one registration.
  • Starting with Windows 10, version 1709, enable, disable, defer, and pause the installation of preview builds through policies.
  • Track feedback provided through the Feedback Hub App across your organization.

Microsoft recommends that all organizations have at least a few devices enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, to include the Windows Insider Program in their deployment plans, and to provide feedback on any issues they encounter to Microsoft via our Feedback Hub App.

The Windows Insider Program doesn't replace Semi-Annual Channel deployments in an organization. Rather, it provides IT Pros and other interested parties with pre-release Windows builds that they can test and ultimately provide feedback on to Microsoft.

Illustration showing the Windows Insider PreviewFast Ring for exploration, the Slow Ring for validation, the Semi-Annual Channel Targeted ring for Pilot deployment, and the Semi-Annual Channel for broad deployment.
Windows 10 Insider Preview builds enable organizations to prepare sooner for Windows Semi-Annual releases and reduce the overall validation effort required with traditional deployments.

Explore new Windows 10 features in Insider Previews

Windows 10 Insider Preview builds offer organizations a valuable and exciting opportunity to evaluate new Windows features well before general release. What’s more, by providing feedback to Microsoft on these features, you and other Insiders in your organization can help shape Windows for your specific business needs. Here’s how to get the most out of your feature exploration:

Objective Feature exploration
Release channel Fast Ring: Insider Preview builds in the Fast Ring are released approximately once a week and contain the very latest features. This makes them ideal for feature exploration.
Users Because Fast Ring builds are released so early in the development cycle, we recommend limiting feature exploration in your organization to IT administrators and developers running Insider Preview builds on secondary devices.
Tasks - Install and manage Insider Preview builds on devices (per device or centrally across multiple devices)
- Explore new features in Windows designed for organizations, including new features related to current and planned line of business applications
- Before running an Insider Preview build, check our Windows Insider blog for a summary of current features.
Feedback - Provide feedback via Feedback Hub app. This helps us make adjustments to features as quickly as possible.
- Encourage users to sign into the Feedback Hub using their AAD work accounts. This enables both you and Microsoft to track feedback submitted by users within your specific organization. (Note: This tracking is only visible to Microsoft and registered Insiders within your organization’s domain.)
- Learn how to provide effective feedback in the Feedback Hub

Validate Insider Preview builds

Along with exploring new features, you also have the option to validate your apps and infrastructure on Insider Preview builds. This activity can play an important role in your Windows 10 deployment strategy. Early validation has several benefits:

  • Get a head start on your Windows validation process
  • Identify issues sooner to accelerate your Windows deployment
  • Engage Microsoft earlier for help with potential compatibility issues
  • Deploy Windows 10 Semi-Annual releases faster and more confidently
  • Maximize the 18-month support Window that comes with each Semi-Annual release.
Objective Feature exploration
Release channel Slow Ring: Insider Preview builds in the Slow Ring are released approximately once a month. They are more stable than Fast Ring releases, making them better suited for validation purposes. Slow Ring releases can be run on either secondary or primary production devices by skilled users.
Users Application and infrastructure validation: In addition to Insiders who might have participated in feature exploration, we also recommend including a small group of application users from each business department to ensure a representative sample.
Tasks Application and infrastructure validation: Before running an Insider Preview build, check our Windows Insider blog and Windows Insider Tech Community pages for updates on current issues and fixes.
Feedback Application and infrastructure validation:Provide feedback in the Feedback Hub app and also inform app vendors of any significant issues.
Guidance Application and infrastructure validation:
- Use Upgrade Readiness to create an app inventory and identify mission-critical apps
- Use Device Health to identify problem devices and device drivers
- Windows 10 application compatibility