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Windows Insider participant reveals Achievement badge via Hub app screenshot

While getting first dibs on new features added to Windows 10 by way of the Windows Insider program is rather cool, Microsoft seems intent on keeping participants reeled in long after Anniversary Update hits the streets. Insiders who actually provide feedback began unlocking Achievement badges back in April 2015 with the launch of Build 10056. Now the company is handing out an Achievement badge for participants of the recent Windows 10 Anniversary Update June Bug Bash event.

As a refresher, this event was introduced to Insiders with the release of Build 14366 in June. Previously, Microsoft’s coveted Windows and Devices Group typically set aside specific days each month for the team to internally hunt down new, unreported bugs in Windows 10. However, this process was opened up to all Insiders in June by way of a special event spanning across four days.

The June Bug Bash Achievement badge was initially revealed by one of WinBeta’s readers. Interestingly enough, this Insider provided the site with a screenshot of this special Achievement badge displayed in the Insider Hub. Microsoft actually stopped pre-bundling this app with Windows Insider builds starting in June 2015, and now the app can’t be located and installed via Microsoft despite what a Google search will conjure up. In its place is Feedback Hub, which Microsoft supposedly serves up to anyone running Windows 10 as of May 2016. Confused, the Insider Hub screenshot prompted an investigation.

What we discovered is that if you’re a Windows 10 customer not enrolled in the Insider Program, chances are you’ll see this warning when trying to grab the Feedback Hub app:

To use this, you need to upgrade Windows. Go to aka.ms/winup.

We actually encountered this error in retrieving Feedback Hub on four separate Windows 10 machines running the latest, updated version of Windows 10 Home unleashed to consumers. Even more, the warning’s URL shown above points to a Windows 10 update tool. That said, we have a hunch Microsoft quietly changed its mind and locked general public access until Anniversary Update hits the streets next month — either that or Feedback Hub is a Windows 10 Pro service only, which is highly unlikely.

What may be confusing to some here is that Microsoft provided a baked-in Windows Feedback app with the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, which allows customers to not only provide feedback within a multitude of categories, but submit ideas and suggestions that can be voted and commented on by other users. The Feedback Hub builds on that basic foundation by throwing in specific features that are made available only to those participating in the Windows Insider program, such as Quests, Achievement badges, and Insider news.

Unfortunately, any Achievement badge earned by providing feedback can’t be turned into money, which also goes for those cool Achievements the company’s gaming crowd loves to collect. They’re simply for show although there’s less glitz and glamour given they revolve around submitting boring bug reports instead of showing awesome twitch skills on Xbox Live devices. Simply put, it’s your reward for helping make a stable environment and shaping cool apps. Go you.

As for that special Windows 10 Anniversary Update June Bug Bash Achievement badge, it merely states that the Insider participated in the event. Other Achievement badges Windows Insiders can earn include “Born leader,” “Feedback phenom,” “Feedback fanatic,” “Epic quest,” “The journey continues,” and more. Unfortunately, the author of this article has only racked in four achievements since October 2014. Yes, he’s a slacker.