Microsoft offers insider programs for multiple platforms, including — Windows, Office, Xbox, and Skype.
The Redmond-based tech giant allows access to beta versions of software to users who sign up for these insider programs.
In exchange, the company asks these users to offer feedback that can help it to improve its products.
Amongst these programs, the Windows Insider Program is the largest one, boasting over 10 million participants.
Microsoft has also rolled out several major updates for Windows over the past few years through the Windows Insider Program.
However, Microsoft’s Surface Duo foldable Android smartphones don’t have a separate Insider Program.
This might soon change as references to a “Surface Insider Program” has been reportedly spotted in the latest Android update for the Surface Duo device.
The company recently rolled out the Android 12L update for its Surface Duo devices which also introduced Microsoft’s Fluent design language to the Android OS.
This new update has better aligned the Android OS with the interface found on Windows 11.
Surface Insider Program: How was it discovered
According to a report by WindowsCentral, a Twitter user named Gustave Monce has shared a tweet with
a screenshot revealing the “Surface Insider Program” references spotted in Surface Duo’s latest Android update.
— Gustave Monce (@gus33000) November 30, 2022
The screenshot reveals multiple references suggesting Microsoft’s development of an insider program designed exclusively for Surface Duo devices.
For example, a page has been added to the Settings app, allowing users to choose between preview “rings” when it becomes fully operational.
Microsoft also allows users who are a part of the Windows and Xbox Insider Programs to do the same.
The report mentions that the feature also seemed tied to “feature flags,” similar to the A/B testing Microsoft does on Windows.
The company can turn beta features on or off either remotely or locally with these “feature flags.”
Surface Insider Program: Importance
The Surface Insider Program will help Microsoft to roll out preview builds of Android, including beta features and functions, before they are released officially.
Other brands like Samsung and OnePlus also let their users do the same.
The insider program will allow interested users to easily access the latest Android version of Surface Duo.
As per the report, this feature is designed for engineers to use internally.
However, Microsoft has reportedly been planning to introduce a public Surface Duo insider program for some time now.
The company is also working on multiple upcoming features, including a new cloud-based Continuum mode,
the ability to take notes with the Surface Pen on the lock screen, and a one-handed mode.