Microsoft Reinstates Test Program For Windows 10

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is inviting Windows 10 users to join a test program for new features. It's something of a surprise given the system theoretically reaches its "end of life" next year.

The program is part of Windows Insider, where Microsoft lets people sign up to test new Windows features. The idea is to get an audience big enough to pick up problems in real world testing, but small enough that any problems aren't a major issue.

Microsoft is reopening the Beta Channel for Windows 10. That's one of four Windows Insider channels: Canary, Dev, Beta and Release Preview. The first two are very early stages of testing suitable only for the most technically confident users. Beta is the last major stage of testing while Release Preview is the point where Microsoft doesn't plan on making any more changes before a full public release unless something goes very wrong.

New Features Coming

It's now three years since the last update was rolled out to the Beta Channel for Windows 10. Microsoft now says "To bring new features and more improvements to Windows 10 as needed, we need a place to do active feature development with Windows Insiders." (Source:

The company hasn't yet said what the new features being tested will be. It did recently add the Copilot AI chatbot to Windows 10.

Users who want to join the Beta channel can do through the Windows 10 settings under "Update & Security" and then "Windows Insider Program."

Microsoft added a couple of clarifications. First, it reassured users that joining the program won't mean getting an automatic update to Windows 11, even if their computer is compatible. That suggests it believes some users are still skeptical about the benefits or need for Windows 11.

Windows 10 Still Near End Of Life

Second, it confirmed there's no change to the planned 14 October 2025 end of life date for Windows 10. That's when Microsoft will stop issuing any updates, including security patches, and no longer recommend people use the system.

That's proven controversial as many users have computers that don't meet Windows 11's minimum hardware specifications (such as the trusted platform module, or TPM), but are still working well. To add to the controversy, Microsoft plans to offer paid security updates and fixes to anyone who does choose to continue using the system. (Source:

It remains to be seen if Microsoft will really go ahead with the plans or will conclude that the sheer number of people still using Windows 10 means its too risky to leave the system unprotected.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you ever joined the Microsoft Insider Program? Are you surprised to see new features coming to Windows 10? Do you plan to stick with Windows 10 even after it stops getting security patches?

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olds97_lss's picture

I have 5 computers in my life that will need replaced once I'm forced to go to windows 11 as none of them are capable of having windows 11 on them directly without forcing it... even if I can, I haven't looked into it that hard.

All of them are computers that work just fine, so it's really frustrating for me knowing I'll have to spend thousands of $ just to be able to have security updates, unless I pay for those outright. Not to mention the time wasted to set everything up again on all of them.

Focused100's picture

I think it's too risky for the huge installed base of Win 10 for MS to not support it.
I think they should at least for security updates.

nospam_5346's picture

Never joined an insider channel as I generally don’t need, want, or use their new features. Can’t remember the last added feature I’ve actually used. And I use Open Shell so I can have the Windows Classic GUI.

I plan to stay with Windows 10 as long as possible unless Windows 12 fixes everything I dislike about Windows 11. I hope, but doubt, it will.

I’ll pay for security updates if it’s not too expensive, but will most likely rely on third party security software once Microsoft ends all support.

I still just wish Microsoft would give users the choice of what features, if any, they want or at least allow them to be completely uninstalled.

When I upgraded from Windows 7 to 10, I uninstalled and disabled pretty much everything I could and continue to do so having had to recently disable Copilot as I have no use for it.

And as you pointed out, why are they adding new features to 10 at this point? By the time they roll them out, there will probably be no more than a year until they discontinue support. And didn’t they say they weren’t adding any new features to 10 already? Of course then they added Copilot and now more features?

No wonder no one trusts what they say. And they want us to trust Recall. Right!

Draq's picture

Yeah. I really don't understand what Microsoft is trying to do here. If Windows 10 is going to be unsupported in a little more than a year from now, what's the point of adding new features? It sounds like a waste of development resources that could be used to improve Windows 11. That's unless they need that channel to test security fixes or something.

Meanwhile, we have Windows 10, and now Windows 11 running on PCs that do and don't support all this Copilot stuff they're trying to cram down everyone's throats. They should have stayed with 10 being the last version of Windows instead of bringing OS fragmentation back.