"Insiders" refers to the participants who have signed up for the Windows 10 Technical Preview. That program, called "Windows Insider," will continue indefinitely, a perpetual pre-release build resembling the roughest-edged versions that browser makers offer. Google, for instance, calls its similar Chrome build "Canary," for obvious reasons.
Omitted from Alkove's list of testers was Microsoft itself.
Although that omission may not be significant, Windows customers have been griping for months about the quality of Microsoft's updates, many of which have been problem-filled and some of which have had to be pulled because of those problems. Some analysts and users have connected the dots, arguing that after Microsoft's massive layoffs in mid-2014, when the company's software testing groups were especially hard hit, the quality of its updates declined.
"Microsoft fired all those testers last year," pointed out Wes Miller, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, in a Friday interview. "Now consumers are the testers."
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