The Xbox Preview Program is getting overhauled and will now be known as the Xbox Insider Program. There's way more than just a name change going on. In fact, Microsoft recently dedicated an entire post to explaining all the major changes that the program is going through for Xbox One owners.
The details were rolled out over on the official Major Nelson blog, where it was explained that the Xbox Preview Program will now be known as the Xbox Insider Program and that they want to open up this new program to all Xbox One users. This will mean that everyone will have a chance to opt-in and provide feedback on brand new features, opportunities to play upcoming games and participate in betas previously restricted to preview program members, as well as playtest and offer feedback support on apps and other "console experiences".
The new update for the Xbox Insider will also mean that Xbox One owners can opt-in for system update previews, helping Microsoft shape the future of their home console and the quality of life features that they've been rolling out for the system since its debut.
Previously the Xbox Preview Program was limited to a select number of Xbox One owners, and it was more of an exclusive club that allowed Microsoft to interact and engage with those gamers when it came to feedback and previewing upcoming system updates, app features and dashboard options. Now, anyone who wants to preview the new content can do so by opting into the Xbox Insider program.
Opting in will be done using the new Xbox Insider Hub app that replaces the Xbox Preview Dashboard app. You'll now find it in the My games & apps section on the dashboard, and once you update the app (or acquire it from the app store) you'll be good to go.
In addition to changing the name and allowing more people to participate in Xbox related preview programs, they've also made some cosmetic modifications as well. There's an all new Xbox One Experience UI so that you can find what you want when you want it and offer feedback with a quick and easy navigation.
They've added a new Xbox Insider profile card feature that allows you to check out your contributions to the program, and they've opened up the app to allow for multiple users on a single Xbox unit to participate in the Xbox Insider program.
This particular Preview feature first came onto the scene back in February 2014. It was one of the first steps Microsoft took in trying to rectify the abysmal launch they had coming out of the gate in late 2013 against the PS4.
The console struggled and struggled to regain a foothold of respect among core gamers after the bungled announcement and launch, and the core focus on DRM features. The Xbox Preview Program was Microsoft's way of getting back in touch with core gamers and understanding what they needed to add and do to lure fans back over to the green brand. The whole thing has blossomed since then and has helped chisel away the rough spots and further beautify the Xbox One's OS and dashboard features.
You can learn more about the new Xbox Insider Program by checking out the FAQ page on the Xbox support site.