Windows Customer Connection Program Announced for IT Pros
Microsoft on Monday announced the "expansion" of a Windows Customer Connection Program for IT pros.
The program offers IT participants "access to exclusive virtual calls, focus groups, surveys, Teams discussions and private previews" concerning Microsoft's existing software products, plus its yet-to-be-released software. Participants can "engage directly" with Microsoft's Windows engineering teams that are building the products.
Microsoft's objective in initiating the Windows Customer Connection Program is to enable its Windows engineers "to better understand user habits, pains and recommendations for improvement."
The announcement warned against joining the program to get support from Microsoft.
"The WCCP is not a marketing or support program, it is an engineering program," the announcement emphasized.
IT pros are advised to "contact your Customer Success Account Manager (CSAM) or primary Microsoft point of contact" to get more information about the program, per the announcement.
To join the program, IT pros should:
- Have deep technical knowledge
- Be committed to using the products
- Provide actionable feedback, and
- Sign a nondisclosure agreement with Microsoft.
The form to apply to join the Windows Customer Connection Program tells prospective participants that they "may not discuss or publicize details regarding any private preview with a third party, without written approval by Microsoft."
Microsoft sees the Windows Customer Connection Program as an engagement opportunity for IT pros. The program offers "virtual badges," and awards "influencer benefits" to some participants based on their "community engagement." The influencer benefits include things like "prioritized private preview access," engineering team communications and "invitations to events."
While the announcement described the Windows Customer Connection Program as expanding, it seems to be wholly new, or at least not well publicized. It's reminiscent of Microsoft's existing Technology Adoption Program, which, in contrast, is an invite-only offering.
Microsoft also has a Windows Insider Program, a program that's open to all for testing early Windows releases. It's this program that Microsoft has typically urged IT pros to join, with the notion that they can test preview versions of Windows before product release.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.