Insiders are the millions who represent the billions – Dona Sarkar

This is absolutely true. Each and every Windows Insider out there is an individual who represents not only themselves, but also – to varying degrees – countless others who don’t participate in this amazing program. One area where the Windows Insider Program excels is in gathering broad coverage on the holistic Windows experience. We receive feedback and insights on every aspect of the OS – from app usage and core OS functionality, to usability and accessibility, from each of the primary languages around the globe. Windows Insiders represent the world in a microcosm.

One of the things we as a team have learned along the way is that at times the voice of one or two Insiders can be representative of hundreds of Windows users. Or thousands. Or even hundreds of thousands. Data from a handful of Insiders can truly be the “needle in a haystack” we’re often looking for while trying to squash bugs during a development cycle. The fun and challenging part of our work is when a small number of users – even just one or two – report an issue. Is this signal weak? Did so few people experience this issue that only one or two found a unique scenario (commonly referred to as a single-user or one-off issue), or is it because these users are a tiny number representing the proverbial tip of a “bug iceberg?” How do we tell the difference between these two categories?

The Tale of a Blue Screen (Well, Two Actually)

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. It’s mid-December 2016. We’ve released Build 14986 for PC to Insiders in the Fast ring. Users are installing and giving feedback and all seems well as we head into the end of the year. Fast forward a few weeks into the beginning of January 2017. Build 15002 was released. The Engineering team is taking in Insider feedback, reviewing bugs, and as usual, we’re chatting with Insiders on Twitter. As part of these conversations, a tweet comes across like so many others. One user seems to be having an issue installing the new build:

Source: A Tale of Two Kernels - Windows Experience Blog