Microsoft recently announced the Windows 10 Preview, this preview is considered more of an Alpha build of the operating system as we very likely won’t see the finished version for another year or so. As a result, one wouldn’t expect many people to start testing an operating system out this far out, but Microsoft wants to get a lot of user feedback about Windows 10, so they made a preview available for download the day after they announced Windows 10. This new version of Windows is designed to compromise between Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 and essentially tries to make up for all of the mistakes they made with Windows 8.
In a recent blog post, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said, “Over the weekend, we hit 1 million registrants for the Windows Insider Program. That equates to a lot of people using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and sending us feedback. How much feedback? Over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback have been submitted to us via the Windows Feedback app from Windows Insiders like you.” What is also interesting is that even though this is supposed to be an enterprise version of Windows 10, there are still a surprisingly large amount of users actually installing Windows 10 Preview on their machines rather than just testing inside of a virtual machine. Joe said that, “…Well, only 36% of installations of the Windows 10 Technical Preview are in VMs. The remaining 64% are all on actual PCs. This makes us confident that a lot of the feedback is based on “medium-term” use and not just a few minutes of experimentation. Another indicator that we have solid usage is the number of app-launches that happen on a device. 68% of you are launching more than 7 apps/day, and some people are using it even more heavily. We have seen about 25% of devices running the Windows 10 Technical Preview launching more than 26 apps per day, and 5% launching a whopping 68 apps per day!”
What this means to Microsoft is that people are genuinely trying to use Windows 10 Preview and see whether or not they really like it, well in advance of its release. Plus, it also shows us what kinds of statistics Microsoft is collecting during this Windows 10 Preview phase. Personally, I enjoyed using previous Windows previews when they were made available, and I don’t expect Windows 10 to be any different. Microsoft clearly wants to get as much feedback and data as they can about Windows 10 before they actually launch the OS later next year and they don’t want to have a repeat of Windows 8 where people are cursing the company up and down and saying that the old version was much better (see Windows Vista vs Windows XP).
Additionally, one must remember that Microsoft is already getting this many people interested in Windows 10 Preview after only two weeks of being available. Clearly there is a lot of desire for a new and fresh operating system from Microsoft and that they’ve made a lot of their users unhappy with Windows 8. And frankly, they’re not wrong. Because the reality of the situation is that a lot of desktop users still prefer to run Windows 7 on their desktops over Windows 8 if they have the choice. Windows 7 is simply more desktop friendly than Windows 8, even if it lacks a lot of the performance improvements that Windows 8 brings.