Windows 10 test program attracts 1M signups

Does that mean 1 million people are running Windows 10? Not necessarily, though the number is probably a good indicator.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

The Windows 10 Technical Preview. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft's Windows 10 may be on the examining table of 1 million people so far.

The Windows Insider Program hit 1 million registered users this past weekend, said Microsoft Windows VP Joe Belfiore in a blog posted on Monday. Just what is the Windows Insider Program? Well, it's a program Microsoft has set up to receive feedback from people who download and use the Windows 10 Technical Preview that was released September 30.

Ideally, Microsoft would like you to register with the Windows Insider Program if you are going to check out the Windows 10 preview. As a registered user, you can use the Windows Feedback app built into Windows 10 to share your thoughts about the new operating system with Microsoft. If you don't register with the program, you can still download and run Windows 10 via a special Download page. You just won't be able to use the Feedback app to tell Microsoft what you like or don't like about the next version of Windows.

Since you can use Windows 10 without joining the Insider Program, and some people may have joined the program but not installed the OS yet, there may not actually be 10 million people running Windows 10. But that's likely a fair estimate at this point.

Get a closer look at the Windows 10 Technical Preview (pictures)

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Whatever the actual number, Microsoft is already getting a hefty amount of feedback. Belfiore said more than 200,000 "pieces of user-initiated feedback" have been sent to the company via the Windows Feedback app. What are people saying about Windows 10?

Software developer and Windows Insider Matt Goldstein cooked up a script that compiles the top feedback sent thus far, Belifore said. In an article published October 8, Supersite for Windows author Paul Thurrott revealed the top ten comments, requests and concerns.

One recommendation was to move or disable the new search and/or taskview buttons. Another idea was to make it easier to use a local account. A third suggestion was to complete the transition from Control Panel to PC Settings.

Belifore also revealed stats about how people are running and using Windows 10.

One useful way to run a beta OS is in a virtual machine so you don't have to upgrade or upset your core operating system. But Belifore said that only 36 percent of the Windows 10 installations reside in VMs, while the remaining 64 percent are on actual PCs. That means that most people are running the OS on its own on a dedicated PC or possibly in a dual-boot scenario alongside their current version of Windows.

"This makes us confident that a lot of the feedback is based on 'medium-term' use and not just a few minutes of experimentation," Belifore said. "(If you're running the Windows 10 Technical Preview in a VM that's cool too.)"

Microsoft is also seeing a healthy number of apps being launched in Windows 10. Among users of the OS, 68 percent launch more than 7 apps per day. Around 25 percent of all Windows 10 devices run more than 26 apps each day and 5 percent open 68 apps per day.

Beyond offering your feedback via the Windows Insider Program and Feedback app, you can ask and answer questions about Windows 10 on a Microsoft Community page. If you're not part of the Windows Insider Program, you can still submit your suggestions and feedback through the Windows Feature Suggestion Box page.

Microsoft needs Windows 10 to erase the stigma and poor response to Windows 8. So you can bet the company will analyze all the feedback it receives on the new Technical Preview to ensure that the next version of Windows is more appealing and user-friendly than its predecessor.