Windows App Preview program offers early applications without a raw operating system

Microsoft will allow users to try out the latest version of applications without necessarily needing to use the most advanced – and potentially unstable – version of Windows 10. The Windows App Preview program will offer Windows Insiders – members of the software testing program open from Microsoft – to get your hands on the latest company software, without necessarily doing everything with their operating system.

Currently, if you want to try out the latest version of Microsoft apps like Microsoft Photos and Paint 3D, you must also be part of the Skip Ahead program. It’s a subset of the Windows Insider membership, which offered the latest versions of Windows 10 to desktop and server users keen to test a little more raw code. However, not everyone is listing this all or nothing approach.

“We heard comments from Windows Insiders that having to sign up for Skip Ahead to receive the latest app updates was not ideal because it required Insiders to also use ultra-early versions and sometimes unstable operating system, ”Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc says. “Insiders told us they wanted to be able to try out the latest app updates but be on the latest Insider Preview builds of the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview rings.”

The result is the new Windows App Preview program. Open to any Windows Insider, no matter which preview stage you are actually using, it will allow earlier access on a per-app basis. Initially, ten applications will be included:

Feedback Center
Microsoft Pictures
Microsoft Sticky Notes
Microsoft Tips
3d painting
Windows alarms and clock
Windows Calculator
Windows Camera
Windows Mixed Reality Viewer
Windows voice recorder

Rather than accessing all the apps at once, Microsoft will offer a preview subscription to each one individually. Head to the Settings or About page and at the bottom there will be a “Join Preview” option to check for the latest version. When you are in the preview, click the button again to exit it and revert to the regular and most stable public version.

Membership in each app preview will be limited, however, Microsoft cautions. If the current set of preview invitations have been used, you will receive a notification telling you to wait for another location. Skip Ahead members will continue to have the latest versions installed by default. Microsoft says the Windows App Preview program will begin rolling out invitations in the coming days.

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