1.5 million people have given Windows 10 a whirl, 450k use the Technical Preview daily

windows insider program has 450k highly active members windows10start
No less than 1.5 million people have already signed up for the Windows Insider program, despite Windows 10 needing an extra nine months or so to hit general availability. Of the 1.5 mil, almost a third of testers appear quite taken with 8.1’s paramount sequel, being described as “highly active” by Microsoft veteran Gabriel Aul in a recent blog post.

The rough number of steady previewers is 450,000, who are “really using the build day to day and putting it through its paces.” User engagement is up considerably compared to Windows 7 or 8.1 beta, or Windows 8’s Developer Preview.

Of course, this time around, Redmond welcomes suggestions from average consumers, not just skilled developers, and the firmware update pace aligns perfectly with optimization work performed backstage.

The Technical Preview rolled out as version 6.4.9841 on October 1, moved to build 6.4.9860 three weeks later, and then 6.4.9879 roughly a month ago. A big bump in kernel stability is being prepped for the next release, which is why Microsoft is taking its sweet time before making Windows 10.0.9888 and 10.0.9901 available to the masses.

Both software packages have leaked online in recent weeks. Microsoft says it’s fine with that, but those thinking of upgrading early should be wary. Anyone using the leaked builds won’t be able to automatically install the next official build, having to rely on manual upgrades via .Iso files instead.

January 21 is shaping up like a big day in Windows 10’s road to market, and Gabe Aul further hyped next month’s event by saying “we’re super excited to show you what we’ve been up to”,  and “we’re really focused on making the next build something that we hope you’ll think is awesome.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Microsoft has quashed almost 1,300 bugs based on reports and upvotes received from Technical Previewers. Hopefully the quick pace of fixes will mean a solid final release next fall.

Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Computing

Windows 7 is still immensely popular. Is it really better than Windows 10?

With the end of support of Windows 7 approaching, have you been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10? In this guide, we give look at some of the biggest differences between the most popular operating systems.
Home Theater

What is YouTube TV? Here’s everything you need to know the streaming service

YouTube TV is becoming an increasingly major competitor to other streaming services. Not sure if the service might be right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got a guide detailing everything you could want to know about the service.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Computing

A new Mac Pro is supposedly coming in 2019, but what will it be like?

Our Mac Pro 2019 rumor roundup covers all the top news, leaks, and rumors about the new Mac Pro set to be announced sometime in 2019. Here's what Apple has said, what the experts think, and what's likely to show up with the new Mac Pro.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.