In the always confusing world of Microsoft licensing, there are two sets of rules.One is written down in license agreements, drafted by Microsoft's large legal team, with separate terms for PC makers and end users. These combined terms are extremely specific about the rights and responsibilities of every party to the license agreement. They are aimed primarily at Microsoft's commercial customers and its PC-building partners, who account for more than 98 percent of all revenue from Windows desktop licenses.
The other set of rules is unwritten, for the most part. But its terms are fairly easy to deduce. They are intended for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and IT pros who like to tinker with Windows and PC hardware. Microsoft's TechNet program
was a long-running gift to this group, offering thousands of dollars' worth of Microsoft software for a few hundred bucks.
The Windows Insider program is being run in that same spirit.
Every once in a while, Microsoft actually makes a public statement tacitly (and carefully) acknowledging those unwritten rules. That happened this week, with an announcement on Microsoft's official Windows blog
outlining what's next for registered members of Microsoft's Windows Insider program