How to Send Feedback to Microsoft in the Windows 10 Technical Preview

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Microsoft wants your feedback about Windows 10 — really, they need it. This is the most important feature in the Windows 10 Technical Preview — not a Start menu, virtual desktops, or windowed “universal apps.”

Your feedback will be particularly crucial as Microsoft begins using A/B testing, rolling out different versions of features to different users and seeing who’s the happiest. The feedback from Windows 8 testers was spot-on, so Microsoft is now listening.

Send Inline Feedback

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As you’re using the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you’ll see notification balloons pop-up near your system tray. They’ll ask you for your feedback about something you just did. Whether you found the action frustrating or whether it worked smoothly, you should click (or tap) this pop-up message to give feedback when you see it.

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The Windows Feedback app will appear, and you’ll be able to give feedback instantly about something you just did. It will just take a second or two. With enough people rating their interactions with the system, Microsoft can see what works and what needs to be fixed.

One thing’s for sure — if we had this feature during Windows 8’s development, those weird hot-corner actions for accessing the charms bar with the mouse would never have survived.

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Provide Feedback on Anything

Microsoft allows you to send feedback on anything in the system. Even if someone else has already provided this feedback, you can cast your vote so Microsoft knows how many users agree with the feedback.

First, open the Windows Feedback app — you’ll find it in the Start menu. It’s also one of the default tiles, so you can’t miss it.

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The first time you open this app, you’ll need to register for the “Windows Insider Preview Program.” Just click the link in the window.

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Click the “Join now” button on the web page that appears and accept the user agreement. The Microsoft account you logged into your Windows system with will now be part of the Windows Insider Preview Program. Once it is, you can go back to the Windows Feedback app and click Reload.

We’re not really sure why you have to agree to the Windows Insider Preview Program agreement to do this. Technically speaking, you’re already part of the Windows Insider Preview Program after downloading and installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview. We’re not sure anything will behave differently after you do this — you just gain access to the Windows Feedback app.

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You’ll see a list of many different Windows system features and components. Choose the one you want to leave feedback on. The app will automatically suggest Windows features you used recently, but you can also just browse and look for something you want to provide feedback about.

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When you choose to send feedback, be sure to check the existing feedback to see if your issue has already been addressed. It may be one of the top issues in the list, or you could use the search box to search existing feedback. To provide a new piece of feedback, use the New feedback button.

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Choose existing feedback and you can cast your vote for it, saying you have the same problem with the “Me too!” button. If enough people vote for something, Microsoft will (hopefully) take notice. Maybe we’ll one day be able to remove that search button from the taskbar if enough people vote!

You can also add additional details, or provide a screenshot with the Screenshot button. This is useful if you’re experiencing some sort of bug Microsoft needs to see.

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This is the real reason to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Microsoft needs this feedback to make Windows 10 a product people like and want to use — with Windows 8, they demonstrated they couldn’t make a compelling product while ignoring feedback. Windows 10 is looking so great because it’s a product of listening to the criticisms of Windows 8. We just have to make sure they don’t mess up again!

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.