Microsoft reminds us on every single occasion that feedback is what powers the development of new features and improvements for existing products, including here Windows 10.
And while this doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case all the time, at least as far as Windows 10 goes – because, you know, there are lots of popular feature requests that have been ignored for years – the software giant frequently comes up with new ideas to collect feedback from users in a more effective manner.
The Feedback Hub app is the best example in this regard, as this particular platform allows pretty much any user on Windows 10 to report bugs and send suggestions to the software giant.
Microsoft enables the rest of the users to vote every submission, and the bigger the number of votes, the bigger the chances for a specific feature to make it to the final version of Windows 10.
In the last few years, Microsoft has also tried different approaches, and participants in the Windows Insider program are often invited to dedicated events that connect them with engineers working on the operating system directly.
In other words, insiders get to know the people that receive their feedback, and this way, everyone should technically bring their contribution to improving Windows 10.
But since these are events that can only take place in specific regions, therefore the number of insiders that are involved is rather limited, Microsoft is now experimenting with a different approach: it allows Windows 10 users to call Windows engineers and chat with them face to face just like they’d do in person.
Basically, the idea is pretty simple. A Windows insider can set up a Skype call with a Microsoft engineer at a pre-defined time in order to discuss a specific feature. This experiment started earlier this month, and users are now invited via desktop notifications to chat with engineers on the ALT + Tab app switching interface.
There are three reasons why I think this is a brilliant idea and if Microsoft plays its card right, this can eventually become a winning move for the future of Windows.
“A brilliant idea.”
First of all, it shows users that it cares. Feedback is without a doubt critical for Windows 10, but at the same time, it’s essential for users who send it to see that their suggestions play a role in the development process of the operating system. By connecting engineers and insiders directly, Microsoft makes sure that the feedback is received by the people who can make things happen in Windows 10.
Second of all, chatting with engineers turns Windows into a growing community that works together with a common goal: to improve the operating system in a way that better adapts to everyone’s needs. This is something that Microsoft has tried with the aforementioned events as well, but with this new approach, everything is going twice as fast and twice more effectively.
And third of all, Microsoft can collect feedback on key areas that it wants to improve in Windows 10, all without having to analyze the data in the Feedback Hub. While the Feedback Hub is a useful platform, I think that it has grown to become a place where it’s nearly impossible to keep track of the good ideas and the bugs that are critical for Windows. This is one of the reasons Microsoft might have missed the data removal bug in Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
Finding a specific entry in the Feedback Hub is a nightmare, and there are way too many duplicates on the same topic. A direct call with an experienced insider allows Microsoft not only to get exactly the feedback it needs but also to dig deeper into a specific problem in a way that could help it roll out fixes faster.
Needless to say, it all depends on how Microsoft improves this new idea. If Microsoft engineers adopt an approach similar to the people working for Microsoft Support, setting up a phone call is just a waste of time. However, if the company manages to create a bonded community, Windows might have a bright future ahead.