Microsoft has a number of Insider programs aimed at providing power users and technical support staff early access to software. In return, the company asks users to provide feedback on the good and the bad, which has apparently resulted in software that is more stable and with the best mix of features.
While most people might be familiar with the larger Windows Insider program that results in periodic preview updates to Windows 10. But Microsoft has another insider program that is also valuable for users of the company’s productivity software, Office Insider, and Microsoft recently added Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices to the program, OnMSFT reports.
The news came via a tweet from the Office Insider team, which directed interested parties to a web form indicating that Microsoft is limiting access to the iPhone and iPad version of the program. The company only wants users who will be actively using Office Mobile on those devices and will remove inactive users. As Microsoft puts it on the signup page, “We have limited capacity in this program so we will largely offer these spots on a first come first served basis, to enthusiastic Office fans who want to test the apps on iPhone and iPad and provide feedback.”
As always, there are some serious caveats to being involved in Microsoft’s Insider programs. The biggest one is that you will be testing pre-release software that can and will have bugs, known and unknown, that can impact your ability to get your work done.
In addition, you will need to sign up specifically for the iPhone and iPad Office Insider program even if you’re already an Insider on Windows and Android — the programs require special processes for each platform. For now, Microsoft only has a Fast Ring for iOS devices, not the usual Slow Ring option, so you will be getting nothing but the most cutting edge bits if you choose to participate.
If you’re willing to accept some potential instability and ongoing issues with your Office Mobile apps on your iPhone or iPad and want access to the newest features, then you can sign up today. You won’t know immediately if you’ve been accepted as an Office Insider, so make sure to check your email for an acceptance message and instructions on how to set up your iOS device.