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New Windows 10 insider program coming for businesses

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Insider Program for Businesses will cater to IT professionals.

Through the program, nicknamed WIP4Biz, IT admins will be able to test new Windows 10 features with their existing systems and give feedback to Microsoft prior to go-live dates. There is already a Windows Insider Program, however, that IT professionals can and have enrolled in to test Windows 10 updates. And it’s not clear how WIP4Biz will differ.

The Windows 10 insider program for businesses will make it easier to run preview builds and share information with peers working on similar issues, Microsoft said. The program will also let admins view feedback submitted by other members of their own IT staff.

It’s a good idea to make it easier for organizations to test Windows 10, and WIP4Biz is likely to mitigate problems such as business application incompatibility, said Robby Hill, founder and CEO at HillSouth, a Microsoft partner in Florence, S.C.

IT shops reported a number of issues following the Windows 10 Anniversary Update’s release in August 2016. For example, it did not support antivirus software from various vendors, and Microsoft had to release a fix the following month.

HillSouth dealt with that issue with its Kaspersky Labs antivirus software; Kaspersky released its own temporary fix before Microsoft issued its patch.

“That was a result of lack of testing with a lot of different vendors,” Hill said. “It took a week for the vendor to correct the issue and work with Microsoft to remedy it.”

Having a better way to test enterprise software with Windows updates could prevent these sorts of problems, but it remains to be seen how exactly the Windows 10 insider program for businesses will work. Microsoft hasn’t provided many details, but it will share more in the future, a spokesperson said. In the meantime, interested IT professionals can pre-register for the new program today.