Are you a Windows user who loves to tinker? Do you want to have all of the latest and greatest Windows features delivered directly to your desktop before everyone else? If you answered yes to these questions, the Windows Insider Program is for you!

What is the Windows Insider Program?

The Windows Insider Program is Microsoft’s unique hybrid of making sure their fans get the latest and greatest Windows updates, and giving these Windows Insiders the opportunity to give feedback directly to the teams developing the latest and greatest Windows features. After a brief signup process, it is just a matter of simply changing a few settings in Windows 10 to access the latest Windows Insider Program build. The Windows Insider Program also provides detailed instructions for providing feedback to Microsoft in order to make the most out of your experience.

Why Join the Windows Insider Program?

Besides getting to test out the latest and greatest versions of Microsoft Windows, the Windows Insider Program is much more. There is a big community focus around the program, allowing members to not only interact with the teams creating Windows, but fellow Windows Insiders. There are podcasts, events, and a pathway for becoming a Microsoft MVP.

Unique Windows Features in the Windows Insider Program

The current Windows Insider Program build is 19329, and you my also here it referred to as 1H19. At the time of this article, this update is due in April 2019. You can find the complete list of features in the Windows Insider build here, but I want to take a few moments to highlight my favorites.

Enhanced Support for RAW Images

If you are a photographer, chances are you are familiar with the RAW image format. The RAW image format is exactly what it seems like, it is the data captured by your digital camera in its purest form. Enhancing support for this format is huge for photographers, making it easier to view their images and further showing Microsoft’s commitment to their market which has been traditionally dominated by Apple.

Separation of Search and Cortana

Search and Cortana are getting separated in the menu bar. While this may not seem like a huge deal to many, I personally do not use Cortana and find it annoying when she follows me around when I am just looking for a file. This is a nice usability feature I am looking forward to gaining early access to.

Keyboard Shortcut for Symbols and Kaomoji

I was just lamenting over the lack of options in Microsoft Teams when it came to some of the built in emojis. By hitting Windows and period or Windows and semicolon, you will be able to quickly launch these picker windows, making things more fun to use.

Set Default Task Manager Tab

How cool is this one? Now I can have Task Manager default to whatever tab I want it to. My personal choice will probably be performance, since that is the reason I usually open task manager.

Notepad Improvements

Notepad remains one of my most used programs in Windows, and I am glad even this program which has been around forever is still being enhanced. Simple things like new keyboard shortcuts and longer filenames will go a long way with this commonly used program.

You can find out more about the Windows Insider Program right here, and it is easy to get started with.  These are just a few small things that are available in the insider builds, and the massive complete list is available here.  While we focused on the Windows Insider Program around Windows 10 here, remember, the program is not just for individuals.  Businesses can also take place in the program, and even have a dedicated section of the Windows Insider Program site.  If you have experience with the Windows Insider Program, be sure to let us know in the comments.

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