Are questions about the Windows 10 Technical Preview (and its twin the Windows Insider Program) on-topic?

Given that we have a reputation for closing questions relating to beta software (we even used to have an off-topic close reason used on questions relating to prerelease software and prototype hardware), I think that it would be a gray area right now.

Additionally, though there is a public release available for everyone to download and install, AFAIK, there are certain builds that are only made available to those in the Windows Insider Program, which only few users are a part of. Should questions about such builds (or the program itself) be on-topic?

Should we do it the same way we handled the Windows 8 previews?


Yes, we should. Why not? If its a problem about computer hardware and software itself, and its generally available rather than something obscure or in closed beta, its entirely feasable to answer and we can clear them up later.

Signing up for the windows insider program is trivial in my experience, I just essentially needed to login.

  • What about questions related to builds only made available to insiders? – gparyani Oct 3 '14 at 1:02
  • Certain users, including those under 18, can't sign up for the program. – gparyani Oct 3 '14 at 1:03
  • Meh, get a parent to sign up then. – Journeyman Geek Oct 3 '14 at 1:03
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    Do we still custom-close questions about bugs in beta software? Is that still a site rule despite the removal of the close reason? (I once flagged an old question closed under it to be reopened, and the flag was declined by another mod saying that "just because a close reason is removed does not mean that the question is on-topic"). – gparyani Oct 3 '14 at 1:05
  • @damryfbfnetsi Yes, the policy is still there. If you're using bleeding edge software and seeing bugs, that's something you want to report to the developers, not us. It's the same for Windows 10 now. Not that you can't ask about it (how to achieve something etc.), but you shouldn't ask about bugs here. – slhck Oct 3 '14 at 7:11

If it was beta software that only a few people are never likely to use them it should be closed as it would not have a widely applicable audience. Bugs in beta software are subject to flux and get fixed quickly and so a question about specific bugs would have only a small time window of applicability.

The Windows prerelease software is, essentially, available to everyone and a lot of the questions asked will be applicable moving forward into the RTM release and so would be useful to have from this point onwards.

Both those points being important I would suggest that we need to split Windows 10 questions into two categories.

  • Beta program type software bugs
  • questions about using the operating system

Beta bugs should be closed in my opinion and the user pointed at the Microsoft site in order to report them. Asking them here is not constructive. Microsoft want to know about the showstoppers and broken features before release but we do not as a site as they are fleeting. (not that we aren't curious though)

If on the other hand it is an obvious feature that will certainly make its way to RTM then I am fine with it being asked here.

Granted it can be difficult to tell the difference but if you see a question that essentially says

I pressed button X and the whole operating system formatted itself. Its not meant to do that, stupid buggy Micro$oft rubbish. Lol.

Along with several users saying "yeah, that's a reported bug, its going to be fixed" then that question can die in a glorious burning fire as far as I'm concerned.

I'm sure we used to have a "beta software" close reason, I'd consider seeing that set back up to close the more useless group of questions.

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    We did have a beta off-topic close reason, but it was misused because certain users closed any question about beta software, not just about bugs, and so that's one reason they removed it. I think that a custom close reason for such questions would be better. – gparyani Oct 3 '14 at 14:38
  • Certain Windows builds are only made available to Windows Insiders, so should questions about such builds be on-topic? – gparyani Oct 3 '14 at 14:41
  • I would consider any build that is not made publicly available to be off topic as the results and problems can not be verified by the community. If you have been given a personal build then your support should be provided by the person who gave you that build. – Mokubai Oct 3 '14 at 15:47
  • @damryfbfnetsi you should also consider that if you have access to one of these "private" builds then you almost certainly have agreed to an NDA of some sort and disclosing sensitive information about upcoming features in these private builds will likely lead to a breach of the NDA and you might be putting SE in a position where it has to defend itself from legal proceedings or takedown notices. I would not want any of our users to put the site in that position. – Mokubai Oct 3 '14 at 16:01
  • And before you say, I consider the current build that is available at windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview to be a "public" build. It is trivially easy to get access (for adults) so long as you have a Microsoft account. If you are using Windows 8 then chances are you have an account already so getting access to the preview is a simple process of clicking "I agree", you being underage means you cannot be legally bound by the EULA and hence they will not supply it to you nor support you. That is your problem I'm afraid, the build is still public to any eligible persons. – Mokubai Oct 3 '14 at 16:05
  • Bugs should be reported (not that it will do any good never has) It should still be concidered that "bugs" as they can be called can still have "answers" that solution or workaround them. On one side I agree that bugs in this releace are MSes problem, and have no long term value, on the other hand is superuser going to be the only site that will look like they are oblivious? Is SE (general) happy about sending users elsewhere for (what ammounts to) almost everything anymore? Software never comes out of Beta :-) So I agree only on the terms that Bugs that may be fixed, are treated different. – Psycogeek Oct 4 '14 at 3:52

Additionally, as mentioned, we will get a bunch of questions about these tags. Eventually Windows 10 will be on-topic, so (IMO) it's good to build a base of information that can be referenced, but also provide traffic from internet searches.

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