Microsoft has tried, and in many cases succeeded, to incorporate feedback from gamers into the various software versions of the Xbox One life cycle. One of those gamer feedback oriented programs is the Xbox Insider Program. Microsoft is trying to simplify entry into the Insider Program through the use of a heirarchical ring program. Microsoft is introducing some changes to the Insider Program that will make it easier to opt into the Insider Program and give people more access to testing opportunities.
Microsoft is introducing earlier access to the top rings for those who reach benchmarks. Previously, people in the earlier rings (which are now renamed to Delta and Omega) could not provide the same type of feedback as those in the top two rings, Alpha and Beta. Now gamers will be able to join Omega and Delta earlier and provide testing and feedback on new features in the Xbox One world.
For those in the Delta ring, some will be selected (randomly it seems) to receive earlier builds than others. System designers will be able to compare experiences between the two groups. The rings will enable some flexibility in receiving updates as well. Those in higher rings will still be able to access the lower level rings. If you are concerned about the number of updates or bandwidth issues, you can move to one of the lower levels. Those with multiple consoles can enroll each one individually. Insiders can also gain access to first and third party games for beta testing purposes. Recently, Sea of Thieves
was available for testing, as was Paladins: Champions of the Realm
this past spring.
For those interesting in this program, go to the store on your Xbox One, search for “Xbox Insider Hub” and download the app to get started with testing.