It seems like Microsoft is planning to Insider All The Things these days.

Right now the Redmond company has Insider programs for some of their biggest products such as the Windows Insider Program, the Office Insider Program  and the recently announced Xbox Insider Program.

The basic premise is that you gain access to early versions of these products for the purpose of testing them and providing feedback. Some of that feedback is collected through telemetry automatically and other items can be submitted by testers as they use the software.

It seems this Insider thing has become the trend these days across the tech industry but here is the reality - Insiders are really just a fancy name for beta testers.

The big change these days is the automatic telemetry collection which is required for participation in these Insider programs. Before companies like Microsoft had this telemetry capability they depended upon the testers to submit feedback manually but many of those individuals would never submit one piece of feedback despite using the beta software.

Obviously, this telemetry collection is working because whether an Insider ever submits one manual piece of feedback the company is still collecting telemetry from them to see how they are using the service and if it experiences any issues.

Now more products and services are getting their own Insider programs at Microsoft and the latest to join the fray is the Skype Team.

The goal of the Skype Insider Program is very much like similar offerings:

  • You will have early access to Skype software and services updates and improvements.
  • You will be able to give early feedback on these improvements and as well as help us iron out any quirks before we release them broadly.
  • On top of that you will be able to submit your suggestions on what you would like to see in the Skype app in the future

If you are interested in providing specific feedback or just letting the team collect telemetry you can sign up today to participate.

How many Insider programs are you participating in these days?

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.