Nearly 40% of Microsoft Employees Tested Windows 10 Before its Public Launch
Microsoft launched Windows 10 to the users across the world on July 29 this year. Before this, however, the operating system was being tested by the Windows Insiders for several months. Turns out, it wasn’t only the Windows Insider community, helping Redmond based tech giant to improve its next operating system. Microsoft had apparently started testing the new OS on computers being used within the company to test how the operating system worked in real-time. The company had its own internal rings for Windows 10 which received the test builds before they were even rolled out to the Fast ring Insiders.
Nearly 40,000 Microsoft employees (some 40% of the staff) were running the new operating system on their computers to diagnose the bugs and to help improve its performance.
Prior to product release, there were 38,000 users, roughly 40 percent of employees, internally running Windows 10. Microsoft IT used flighting (delivering pre-release builds of Windows 10 through Windows Update) to make sure that early adopters were running the latest builds as they became available.
The early adoption community is closely tied to a moderated internal community support forum, where users could report issues and seek assistance from other users. Microsoft IT was able to gain early insight by watching the threads to identify issues as they surfaced.
Internal deployment of Windows 10:
While this recent case study documents the number of Windows 10 users inside Microsoft, before it was rolled out to the public, it also reveals the current number of employees using the new OS. Proving to be the fastest deployment of Windows inside the company, over 95% of workers at Microsoft are using Windows 10 as their primary operating system. It took Microsoft only about 10 weeks to transition over 120,000 employees to the new Windows.
Windows 7, Microsoft’s most popular yet, took a year to reach to 80% of the staff. Microsoft’s latest report shares that the in-house deployment of Windows 10 was made possible using their in-place update system which made the transition easier than previous Windows iterations.
Using the in-place upgrade eliminated the need to build a complex zero touch deployment image. Microsoft IT didn’t have to create packages to deal with data migration or application reinstallation—everything just worked. The upgrade had a 97 percent success rate, and in the few instances that the upgrade failed, it simply rolled the computer back to its previous operating system. Microsoft IT saw a 35 percent reduction in help desk calls for setup, which was over the 10 percent reduction goal. Microsoft IT was able to deploy 95 percent of employees in three months by using the in-place upgrade and received user feedback that it was a great experience.
Having reached the first few benchmarks for Windows 10, Microsoft intends to go more aggressive, starts 2016. As we reported earlier this month, the company plans to send out more builds to the Fast ring members which means quicker updates and more features will come to the users. However, this also means that the builds won’t be as thoroughly internally tested before they are sent out to the Fast ring as Microsoft will give Fast ring members the access to the same builds as the company’s internal rings. Gabe Aul recommended Windows 10 testers to stick to the Slow ring if they wish to receive more stable builds.