A New Face For Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program

We’ve been reporting on Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program for quite some time as changes in each preview of Windows 10 could impact future updates for the operating system. The program had been led by Gabe Aul, Microsoft vice-president for the engineering systems team, since the very beginning but he has now stepped aside and has named his successor. Read on to find out more.

Image: Dona Sarkar with Gabe Aul

Windows Insider Program was launched in September 2014 in conjunction with Microsoft’s official announcement of Windows 10. The objective of the program was to give PC experts and IT professionals the opportunity to get access to technical previews of the Windows 10 operating system before they are rolled out to the general public. Participants can provide feedback that shapes the direction of future Windows 10 builds. For example, the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK, which brought the Bash Shell to the operating system, was made available to participants of the Windows Insider Program first.

So far, 35 PC builds and 22 Mobile builds have been released to Insiders. Aul has been there since the beginning, engaging with users in the program. But since assuming his new role in the engineering systems team, he has been unable to fully commit to managing the Windows Insider Program:

” Even though I changed jobs, I wanted to keep managing the Windows Insider Program because I loved it so much.
“Over the past few months I’ve realized that I cannot give 100% to my main job on the ES, and also give 100% to the Windows Insider Program. And this program is so important to me that I really want to have the leader spending 100% of their time on it. So the time has come for me to pass the torch to a new leader for the program, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to her today. My attention will turn to being obsessed about our engineers at Microsoft as my “customers of the Engineering System.”

He said he wanted to apply all the lessons he learned while running the Insider Program, including listening to end-users, to his engineering team internally. He will continue to contribute to the program behind-the-scenes.

Aul has named Dona Sarkar, long-time software engineer at Microsoft, as the new head of the Windows Insider Program. Sarkar has been at Microsoft for 11 years and has worked on the Windows operating system since the Vista days. She has most recently been working on the HoloLens developer experience.

Aul expects Dona to bring some fresh ideas and new insights to the Windows Insider Program.

[Via Windows Blog]

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