Roll up, sysadmins, now you can join Windows Insider for businesses

Preview builds aimed at IT dept guinea pigs

A guinea pig

Microsoft is opening up a new Windows Insider program for IT departments looking to test out new features in advance.

The Redmond software builder says the Windows Insider Program for Business will allow corporate techies to try upcoming versions of the OS in workplace-like test environments before they are pushed out to end users.

In order to use the Business Insider service, admins will need Azure Active Directory credentials.

While the Windows Insider program has been around for years as an option for developers and advanced users, the business program will be the first Insider plan to use Microsoft's corporate credential system to allow people to obtain Insider builds and give feedback through their company accounts.

The service was first announced in February at Microsoft's Ignite conference.

Microsoft hopes that by opening the door to IT departments, Insider builds can be better tested with enterprise applications and management tools before the features are kicked out as automatic updates.

"Incorporating Insider Preview Builds into your deployment plans enables you to prepare your organization for the next update of Windows 10, to deploy new services and tools more quickly, to help secure your applications, and to increase productivity and confidence in the stability of your environment," Microsoft says of the new offering.

"We'll also help you deepen your connections with the IT Pro community, collect feedback within your organization, and resolve blocking or critical issues to better support your organization's needs sooner."

In other words, Microsoft says you (or your IT department) should start downloading and testing out the Insider for Business builds in order to make sure they won't break anything, and if they do, report it back to Microsoft so they can avoid the unfortunate type of episodes that have occurred with Windows updates in the past. ®

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