Microsoft has really changed a lot in the last few years. There was a time when Microsoft was much more protective over allowing consumers to get early glimpses of its products.
When Vista rolled around for commercial release, it just wasn’t well received.
A combination of Vista’s low popularity and the rise of Apple products like iPod meant a rise in Mac Switchers and more people were beginning to doubt Microsoft’s Windows operating system in general.
In order to appeal to customers better, Windows 7’s development was much more publicly shared and throughout the process things like BETAs and RTMs were easily available for testing.
Did these changes make Windows 7 a success? Although Windows 7 was a success for more than just its more ‘open’ sharing with its customers, it certainly didn’t hurt.
Luckily, Microsoft is keeping the same approach up for Windows 8.
Even the pre-BETA (Windows Developer Preview) has been shared, giving developers and curious tech folks like myself an opportunity to see what direction Windows 8 is going in and also help make suggestions as to areas needed for improvement.
This is a win-win situation for Microsoft because it gives people the view that Microsoft is open and wants input, and honestly it also gives Microsoft thousands of free bug testers.
Since releasing Windows Developer Preview, users have made many comments and suggestions that have helped change the way Windows 8 is developing. Part of the complaints had to do with Metro customization, the way Metro works on non-touch systems, and just basic bugs.
Although the time with the pre-Beta is coming to an end (with the BETA expected in the next 1-2 months), if you are interested in helping improve Windows Developer Preview this is as good as time as any.
For those of us already operating Windows Developer Preview, what is the best way to communicate with Microsoft about potential bugs and errors?
There is actually a special tool that you must download to report such bugs.
To me it seems a little odd that Microsoft didn’t bundle the bug reporting tool with Windows Developer Preview to begin with, but I guess they were trying to minimize bloatware and decided not everyone would want the tool.
Keep in mind that in order to use the tool you will need to first download the “File Transfer Manager” at http://transfers.one.microsoft.com/ftm/default.aspx?target=install.
The actual location for the Feedback Tool is http://connect.microsoft.com/site1147/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=38389.
You may also be asked for an invitation code and so go ahead and use the code MSDN-76H9-3CFP, which was found at the site, My Windows Club.
With Windows Beta coming quickly, reporting bugs now is going to be the best way to ensure the most solid experience possible with the upcoming Beta.
What do you think of the idea of Microsoft having a separate “Feedback Tool?” Should Microsoft have just included the tool in the first place or was the idea of making it separate okay?
Of course so close to the Beta, it might just be better to wait until it arrives instead to get your first taste of Windows 8.